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Arts Centre Melbourne invites patrons to experience a comprehensive program of productions, events, and exhibitions to commemorate the Anzac Centenary in 2015. Our Anzac Centenary program spans visual arts, theatre, dance, and opera and will explore the many ways that the Anzac story has impacted on not only our nation’s history, but also our culture.

Leading up to Anzac Day of this special Centenary year Arts Centre Melbourne launches Theatres of War: Wartime Entertainment and the Australian Experience, the major new exhibition curated by Arts Centre Melbourne. The exhibition will run from 18 April to 20 September and looks at the transformative power of performance in war time – from shows for the troops to the makeshift instruments smuggled into prisoner of war camps.

Just in time for Anzac Day, Arts Centre Melbourne will present the extraordinarily powerful Black Diggers. Receiving rave reviews across a national tour and directed by Wesley Enoch (Artistic Director, Queensland Theatre Company) Black Diggers is a meticulously researched production that draws from in-depth interviews with the families of black Diggers who heard the call to arms from all over Australia.

Black Diggers provides a penetrating and honest exploration of Australian culture, finally shining a light on the very real sacrifices made by these men.

Moving from theatre to dance, The New Zealand Dance Company will bring to life a snapshot of wartime history in its new work Rotunda (7-9 May). Blending exhilarating contemporary dance and the music of a live brass band, Rotunda pays homage to the band rotunda – the circular space that was the heart of community in the early 20th century, many of which were constructed as memorials to those who fell in WWI.

This haunting portrait of Australia and New Zealand’s shared history of conflict will celebrate the Anzac spirit and the themes of courage, loss, kinship and, ultimately, a desire for peace.

Finally, in partnership with the Lemnos Gallipoli Project, Arts Centre Melbourne will present Women in War (30 July – 2 August), a contemporary opera about conflict, love and hope. Set in 1915 during the Gallipoli campaign, Women in War delves into the contrasting mindsets of three very different women – an Australian nurse, a Turkish mother and a Greek war widow.

Women in War is a story of prejudice, loss, and forgiveness and is an unmissable operatic experience marking the Anzac Centenary.

Arts Centre Melbourne is also committed to helping the community access the Anzac Centenary programs of other Melbourne institutions. With the help of our friends in the Melbourne arts precinct and our resident companies, a special Centenary website has been created that draws together content tagged with the hashtag #anzacarts. To see all the #anzacarts events, go to: http://anzac.artscentremelbourne.com.au/
For further information on Arts Centre Melbourne’s Anzac program, head to Arts Centre Melbourne’s website: artscentremelbourne.com.au or contact:

Maria O’Dwyer
Media Manager
Arts Centre Melbourne