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The Southern Hemisphere’s annual summer arts event, the Sydney Festival, will open early in the New Year. (Jan. 8 - 30, 2005, Sydney, Australia)
  The annual Sydney Festival will open in Australia’s largest city on January 8 of 2005. In addition to select domestic and foreign artist performances, a variety of events like free outdoor concerts bring a festive atmosphere to the whole city.
Highlighting this year’s festival will be a music theater production titled ““The Black Rider”” by Robert Wilson and Tom Waits (co-produced by the Sydney Festival) and the first Australian performance by the New York dance company Shen Wei Dance Arts, which is led by the Chinese-born choreographer Shen Wei and offers a unique fusion of dance, theater, Chinese Opera and art that is the focus of attention in the performing arts world today. More highlights include a unique concert by the poet and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen featuring Hal Willner and Nick Cave and a remixing of music and images from the film Rebirth of a Nation (directed by G.W. Griffith) by the New York disc jockey and philosopher DJ Spooky, titled Rebirth of a nation. The director of this 2005 Festival is Brett Sheehy.