UPSPRING at HOTA sees Giselle, Sahara Beck, Roots Music Festival and more

HOTA, Home of the Arts welcomes the warmer weather with UPSPRING – the new live program bursting with great art, live performances until December, including a special run of Giselle from Queensland Ballet.

Over the next few months, audiences can expect intimate performances by some of Australia’s best singer-songwriters, live music in the sunshine, local storytelling, panel discussions, movies, and in a first at HOTA’s Outdoor Stage – Queensland Ballet presents a short and exclusive season of Giselle.

A program highlight, Queensland Ballet returns to the stage from 12 to 14 November with a ballet of the romantic era. The Gold Coast event made extra special, being the only production of Giselle that Queensland Ballet currently has in its calendar.

Giselle follows the story of an innocent peasant girl, tricked into love with a deceitful Count, before transforming into a forgiving spirit who saves her lover from a vengeful death.

Queensland Ballet’s Artistic Director Li Cunxin said the outdoor venue will be a great backdrop to celebrate this momentous occasion for the Company, after its entire 2020 season was postponed to 2021 as a result of COVID-19.

“We are thrilled to be back on the stage, not only to do what we love, but to give back to our audiences who have been so generously supportive through this unprecedented time,” said Mr Li.

“Everyone in the company is so excited,” he continued. “Dancing is their life, and to do a ballet like Giselle under the stars will be very special.

A story of innocent love and betrayal, Giselle is a masterpiece that has captured the hearts of audiences since it first premiered in Paris in 1841.

Giselle wasn’t originally planned as part of Queensland Ballet’s 2020 season, meaning the dancers had to quickly embrace a packed rehearsal schedule that included not just Giselle but current touring production 60 Dancers; 60 Stories.

“Our dancers are used to juggling a full schedule and multiple productions, so though it’ll be intense, it’s what they know and have missed during the COVID shut down,” said Mr Li.

“Especially for the Principals, Giselle is a very challenging ballet technically and requires a deep commitment to their roles emotionally.”

UPSPRING has kicked off with its Supper Club events, an opportunity to get up close and personal during a series of Saturday nights in HOTA’s Lakeside Room, with tickets including great food and performance from Katie Noonan (31 Oct), Washington (7 Nov) and Sahara Beck (28 Nov).

While for cinemagoers, the Gold Coast Film Festival will be curating the Queer Film Festival on 8 to 10 November in HOTA’s Cinema featuring a series of vivid and engaging films; National Theatre Live returns to the stage with James McAvoy in Cyrano de Bergerac (Nov 14); and there’s a feast of bite-sized cinema with Flickerfest 2020 and more.

Magic Beach is the new stage adaptation of the classic Australian book by Alison Lester AM on 13 to 14 November, from the team behind The Gruffalo.

The Gold Coast’s popular storytelling night is on again – Stories in the Key of GC returns on 27 November after being the very first live show at HOTA since the venue had to temporarily close its doors earlier this year. MC Fletcher Babb (aka Cold Ghost) will be joined by local writer Sam Morris, investigative journalist Hedley Thomas (Teacher’s Pet), and Gold Coast poet Vivi Baker for a dive into local stories.

On 29 November, the Gold Coast’s Roots Music Festival returns with a star-studded line up of roots artists taking to HOTA’s Outdoor Stage, including Tijuana Cartel, Fat Picnic, Hanlon Brothers, August River Band and MC, DJ Sarah Howells.

HOTA joins forces with VAULT to present The F Word on 5 December, with a day of panellists discussing feminism in the art world, chaired by one of Australia’s leading curators and art advisors, Alison Kubler.

And throughout December, HOTA’s popular Fridays on the Lawn continues with 12 Days of Christmas – free live music throughout the HOTA parklands celebrating the festive season, with performances from several Queensland artists including Benny D Williams, Trichotomy, Bobby Alu, Karl S Williams, and plenty more.

UPSPRING will be sure to put a spring in the Gold Coasters’ steps with this jam-packed live program and more to be announced over the coming months.

All events meet social distancing and hygiene guidelines per HOTA’s COVID safe plan and is available on their website. Giselle runs from 12 to 14 November 2020. For more information on HOTA’s UPSPRING program, visit

Giselle image by David Kelly

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