The Sydney Festival 2014 lineup is pretty damn impressive. Drenching our city with music, art and cultural goodness from January 9-26, the festival promises to encourage our city to get social. And with multipack tickets on sale from tomorrow morning, we’re not here to waste your time. Let us present to you BRAG’s program picks.

Contemporary dance-theatre choreographer Sasha Waltz’s epic retelling of Henry Purcell’s Baroque opera Dido & Aeneas will present at the Sydney Lyric Theatre from January 16-17 and 19-21 for an Australian exclusive. But you already knew thatso instead of giving you the low-down again we, recommend you just watch this teaser. It’ll make you want to secure tickets right about now.

Wesley Enoch’s Black Diggers will mark the eve of the centenary of the First World War by presenting a work of significance, scope and monumental ambition in a world premiere event at the Sydney Opera House. Showing from January 17-26, Enoch’s work focuses in on the First World War’s Aboriginal Diggers, following their homelands to the battlefields of Gallipoli. Want to look to the future instead? Music and dance collaboration, Am I, by Shaun Parker & Company will present at the Sydney Opera House from January 9-12. Seven individuals seek to re-establish a new civilisation, observing the frailties and mishaps of those that have gone before them.

Othello: The Remix will have Shakespeare aficionados frothing at the mouth in appropriation ecstasy as the Chicago Shakespeare Theaterand Richard Jordan Productions deliver feisty musical ad-rap-tations of The Bard’s plays. Hip hop lads, the Q Brothers, turn up the volume on Shakespeare’s rhymes and rhythms, prepping punters for a new generation to tune into.

A slew of live musical acts are also on the Sydney Festival bill. Multi-sensory sight and sound will be delivered by Tyondai Braxton’s HIVE and Canyons and Daniel Boyd’s 100 Million Nights; the former a multimedia performance that is part installation, part band and the latter a collaborative visual arts and live music performance. Taking things to a new level,Eclipse by Malian superstars Amadou and Marlam will plunge a Sydney Town Hall audience into complete darkness as they transform their blues-infused Afro-pop sound into a story of their life and work together.

And there’s plenty Festival Village Spiegeltent action to soak up too.Amanda Palmer takes to the stage from January 9-19, electric guitarist Omara ‘Bambino’ Moctar on January 9 and 10, and acclaimed solo artist Edwyn Collins on January 19 and 21. Then there’s the popular Hot Dub Time Machine, running on January 11,18 and 25, that will take festival-goers on a journey through musical history, starting in 1954 and traversing the last 60 years. Lest we forget to highlight multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey, who’ll pay tribute to Serge Cainsbourg with a special presentation of the enigmatic French provocateur’s work on January 19 as part of Paradiso at Town Hall.

On January 16 at City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Hurricane Transcriptions and Laborintus II will satisfy those seeking to experience two genre-defying artists come together for one massive night of entertainment. Sonic Youth co-founder and guitarist Lee Ranaldopresents the Australian premiere of his new work Hurricane Transcriptions, a piece composed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and Mike Patton will tackle Luciano Berior’s 1965 composition Laborintus II, a montage of spoken work, instrumentation and electronics.

And for those electronically inclined, Modular will take over paradiso, assembling a lineup of international and homegrown talent including Movement, Ronald Tings, Worldlife and Softwar on January 17 at Town Hall.

And that’s seriously just the start of it, folks. Get on this.

For ticketing information and the full festival program head to sydneyfestival.org.au/2014

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