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The Office Space Guide to Sydney Festival 2014

Each January the Sydney Festival weaves a brilliant cultural web through Sydney city streets with a three week long program of music, art, theatre, dance, opera, circus and cabaret events and installations. Drawing artists from all over the globe, the festival offers up a great set of out of the ordinary summer time activities and encounters – and the 2014 program is no exception. Here are 10 of the most unmissable, according to us.

1. Christian Boltanski’s Chance at Carriageworks 10 January 2014 – 23 March 2014.

The French artist’s first major installation in Australia, this immense and complex piece will allow you to witness lives unfolding, following the rhythm of births and deaths across the globe: the idea that all human life is the result of chance.

2. Big Star’s Third at Enmore Theatre 23 January at 8pm.

A tribute to the iconic music of indie heroes, Big Star and their third album Sister Lovers with performances by Mike Mills (R.E.M), Ken Stringfellow (The Posies), Mitch Easter (Let’s Active), Chris Stamey (the dB’s), Cat Power, Tim Rogers (You am I) and Dave Faulkner (Hoodoo Gurus).

3. Leandro Erlich’s Merchants Store at Darling Harbour 9 January 2014 – 23 January 2014.

A perspective-skewing interactive installation involving a mirrored building facade that will surely be the ultimate Instagram photo frenzy.

4. Forklift by Kage at Carriageworks 16, 18 and 19 January.

A breathtaking performance that combines choreography, contortion and aerial acrobatics – all centred on and around a 2.5 tonne forklift.

5. Jeremy Deller’s Sacrilege at Hyde Park North 8 January 2014 – 26 January 2014.

This is Stonehenge – re-envisioned as a giant inflatable castle and everyone is invited to bounce.

6. All That Fall by Pan Pan Theatre 13 January 2014 – 19 January 2014.

An unconventional listening party by Ireland’s Pan Pan Theatre, All That Fall is an different kind of communal storytelling experience set in Pan Pan’s atmospheric, theatrically tuned listening chamber.

7. So Frenchy So Chic in the Park at St John’s College at Sydney University 18 January 2014 noon until 9pm.

An afternoon of French music, food and wine featuring Lou Doillon, Fefe and Babylon Circus and hampers filled with fresh French fare by Simmone Logue.

8. HIVE + 100 Million Nights Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House 21 January 2014 at 8pm.

Two brilliant sight and sound works take hold of the Sydney Opera House – one with former Battles frontman Tyondai Braxton as HIVE and the other a cosmic collaboration between Sydney electronic outfit Canyons and artist Daniel Boyd.

9. Dido & Aeneas at Sydney Lyric at The Star 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 January 2014.

An opera by Berlin choreographer Sasha Waltz, baroque orchestra Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin and Vocalconsort Berrlin – entirely staged and danced underwater, in a glass aquarium that fills the stage.

10. La Voix Humain at Carriageworks 9 January 2014 – 13 January 2014.

A monologue written by Jean Cocteau in 1927 presented here by visionary director Ivo van Hove from the Netherlands – the performance is in Dutch with English surtitles.

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