Flavours of Asia go way beyond food

OzAsia festival in Adelaide offers very best in Asian arts and culture

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SPOILT FOR CHOICE: More than 20 films will be shown during the festival. In Caramel, above, a beauty parlour provides a safe haven for five women to share their stories and sisterhood.

SPOILT FOR CHOICE: More than 20 films will be shown during the festival. In Caramel, above, a beauty parlour provides a safe haven for five women to share their stories and sisterhood.

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Venues include Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide College of the Arts and Art Gallery of SA.

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Held annually over three weeks in spring, Adelaide's OzAsia Festival showcases the best theatre, dance, music, visual arts, literature, film, food and cultural events from across Asia.

Led by artistic director Joseph Mitchell, its extensive program has included artists from countries such as Japan, Korea, China, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Singapore,Thailand, the Philippines and Australia.

Highlights this year include the world premiere of Light, by local writer/director Thomas Henning and radical Malaysian theatre makers TerryandTheCuz. It takes a fresh look at the theft of Penang, the birth of Adelaide and the rise of the British Empire.

Choreographer Akram Khan continues his passion for exploring old and new myths in the context of modern times with Outwitting the Devil, performed bydancers from Taiwan, Australia, the Philippines, the US and France.

Visual art is also on display, including No god but God: The art of Islam, encompassing a geographical span extending from Morocco to Australia and works from the ninth century to Portrait of Emperor Akbar, acquired only this century.

Families will love Moon Lantern Parade, a free outdoor event that is also Australia's largest lantern parade. Foodies, too, will be looked after the Lucky Dumpling Market, which will offer delicious Asian-inspired food as well as bars and free entertainment

The Australia-China Lecture will feature author Madeleine O'Dea, who will join film-maker Henry Thong to discuss the current complex state of the relationship between China and the West.

The Jaipur Literature Festival also comes to town, bringing the likes of Melanie Cheng, author of Room for a Stranger, in which a visiting student from Hong Kong moves in with an elderly woman in Melbourne; William Dalrymple, who will discuss his new book, The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company; and Frank Dikoetter, author of How To Be A Dictator, who will consider eight 20th-century despots.

The festival will be held from October 17-November 3 at city venues including the Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide College of the Arts, Art Gallery of SA, Samstag Museum and the University of Adelaide. For the full program and bookings, head to ozasiafestival.com.au

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