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A true celebration of arts, culture, heritage and community, the George Town Festival ‘is growing into a major Asian arts’ event,’ quoted the International New York Times.

 And we agree!

In its eighth year already, the festival will be held in George Town, Penang from July 28 to September 3 and aims to make arts accessible to the community by transforming the city into a global stage, showcasing world-class performances, visual installations and collaborations from international and local artists alike.

Read Also: Upcoming music events in KL and beyond

 “With this year’s edition primarily oriented towards the youth, community and women, the Festival will host more than 100 shows, out of which 60% focuses on local content. The programmes vary from art, design, photography, film, music, dance to drama.” Says Festival Director Joe Sidek.

 Seeking to create new and vibrant connections between the traditional and the contemporary, the past and the future, GTF has announced the line-up for the upcoming year and it seems to promise multitude of talent and excitement.

Keep scrolling right for a sneak peek of the George Town Festival 2017 (GTF2017).


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This year GTF2017 will open with its own production of an all ASEAN showcase, SVARA ASEAN. The musical is a tribute to Southeast Asian artists and the line-up includes the Madrigal Singers from the Philippines, Gus Teja from Indonesia, the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra, local artist Sean Ghazi and Adibah Noor and Anchee from Thailand.

Location: Diwan Sri Pinang

Date: July 28 & 29

Time: 9:00 pm

Livin’ La Vida Imelda

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Resonating with humour, Carlos Celdran brings to you Livin La Vida Imelda: a hysterical late night cabaret where Celdran guides you through the skeletons hanging inside the closet of the former Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos. A recollection of his personal experiences, learning Filipino history will never be this much fun again.

Location: Loft 29 @ Gat Lebuh Gereja

Date: July 28

Time: 11:30 pm

The Manganiyar Classroom

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From the director who brought to you the Manganiyar Seduction and The Kitchen comes yet another genius production entitled Manganiyar Classroom. With his commendable wit and vision, Director Roysten Abel will take you for a nostalgic ride as his latest work showcases 35 village children on a four-row bench terrace, spontaneously singing and dancing to their schooling days.

Location: Diwan Sri Pinang

Date: August 5 & 6

 Time: 8:30 pm

A Simple Space

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Find yourself gaping in awe as seven acrobats push their physical limits without reserve in A Simple Space; a lyrical revue performed by the Australian acrobatics ensemble, Gravity & Other Myths.

 Location: Dewan Sri Pinang

 Date: August 11 & 12.

 Time: 8:30 pm (On August 11)

             3:30 pm (On August 12)


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Ikat revolves around a story about the daily life of people from different cities and countries. Yet the problems they face are similar; namely the consequences of living out of rapid constant changes. With Ikat, a collaboration between different countries bolster and establish a rapport giving room to the audience to exchange thoughts while a combination of theatre practitioners, dancers and visual artists glow on stage.

Location: Loft 29 @ Gat Lebuh Gereja

Date: August 11 & 12

Time: 8:30 pm


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Performed by Adrien M and Claire B, Hakanai is a solo choreographic performance that unfolds through a series of images in motion. The show highlights fragile human existence and the condition between dreams and reality with on stage animations that move in patterns according to the rhythm of live sounds.

Location: Loft 29 @ Gat Lebuh Gereja

Date: August 18 -19

Time: 8:30 pm


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Directed by French choreographer Jermore Bel, GALA brings together dance professionals and amateurs from varying backgrounds and generations in a unique dance routine. GALA showcases the beauty in diversity, united through the passion of dance and has been performed over 55 times in the past year.

Location: Dewan Sri Pinang

Date: August 19& 20

Time: 8:30 pm

 6 & 8

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A mesmerising dance show, 6 & 8 are two performances from the series ‘Straight Line Triology’ directed by Beijing based acclaimed choreographer Tao Ye. Both intriguing and captivating at the same time, the dance studies the logic of movement and discovers the full potential of the human body, albeit all kinds of limitations and represents a whole new level of abstract dancing.

Location : Dewan Sri Pinang

Date: August 25 & 26

Time: 8:30 pm

 The Italian Restaurant

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The Italian Restaurant is an existential Noh written and directed by Naohiko Umewada and given an innovative twist by choreographer Aida Rezda. The story emerges from a chance meeting of a man and woman in a restaurant where destinies forge and hearts entwine.

Location : Loft 29 @ Gat Lebuh Gereja

Date: August 26 & 27

Time: 8:30 pm

 Anthar Agni

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Adding new dimensions to classical Indian music performances, Anthar Agni is a music and dance tribute to the sacred fire (Agni) and is presented by the Temple of Fine Arts. The show celebrates spiritual significance of the integration of various cultures such as Chinese drums, Christian prayers and the Spanish Flamenco.

 Location: Dewan Sri Pinang

 Date: August 30 & 31

 Time: 8:30 pm

 For more happenings about art installations, exhibitions, music and dance performances and delightful theatre taking place at GTF2017 click here

To purchase tickets for the various events  log onto

(Photos: George Town Festival)

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Tags: Art And Culture, Penang, Georgetown Festival, Local Artist, Joe Sidek, International Artist