Things to do in Melbourne today
Roar! Stomp! Snuff! No, that's not an approaching wild animal, it's the sound of an exhibition of animatronic dinosaurs in St Kilda. The exhibition comprises more than 30 dinosaurs from across the ages, including, yes, a Tyrannosaurus rex. The dinosaurs move, blink their eyes and roar, to terrify (and delight) visitors of all ages. There is an interactive fossil-digging area for budding paleontologists to practise their stuff, as well as dinosaur-themed activities such as a 3D jigsaw puzzle station and dinosaur sand art. The dinosaurs will be in residence at the St Kilda Triangle, adjacent to the Palais Theatre, until October 14.
A world-first exhibition of 50 jaw-dropping wildlife photographs is being shown at Melbourne Zoo, giving visitors a look at some of the world's most beautiful creatures in their native habitat. The photographs come from one of the world's best-known wildlife publication, National Geographic. The pictures were taken by some of National Geographic's most renowned photographers, including Paul Nicklen and David Doubilet. They reflect some of the best pictures published during the 130 years of the magazine's history. National Geographic published its very first animal image in 1903, a reindeer. Alongside the exhibition is an augmented-reality work called Air, Land & Sea. Visitors are able to look inside a watering hole as a range of animals, from all over the world, come to drink. Entry to the exhibition is included with zoo entry.
A pop-up wine bar will set up shop in Melbourne this September for a two-day wine event they’re calling Rutherglen in the City. Running from Saturday September 22 to Sunday September 23, punters can try Rutherglen’s best drops when they set up shop at the Atrium at Federation Square. The pop-up comes from the Winemakers of Rutherglen, a collective of 19 wineries from the historic wine region in north-east Victoria. Throughout the weekend, the Atrium will be transformed into a pop-up wine and cocktail bar with 17 cellar doors for wine tasting so you can get familiar with Rutherglen muscat, durifs, sparkling reds, and aromatic whites like marsanne, viognier, roussanne and ugni blanc. Up for a drive? Here’s our guide to wining and dining in Rutherglen.
How much do you know about your body, really? You know how it feels and acts, but what's going on beneath your skin? How do muscles, tendons and bone connect, how do they work together to help you move, and what happens when illness or injury prevents your body from working as it should? Body Worlds: Vital is an exhibition that will help you better understand your body and the way it works. An educational exhibit about human anatomy, it features 150 real human bodies, which have been 'plastinated' and put on display. There are whole bodies, individual organs and transparent 'body slices' that demonstrate the human body in all its forms – healthy, diseased and everywhere in between. All of the specimens have been voluntarily donated for this express purpose, and the process of donation has been thoroughly documented. The exhibition also includes an 'anatomical mirror', where visitors can see where organs are positioned within their own bodies. Visitors can also learn tips as to how to keep their bodies in alignment, see detailed brain scans to better understand diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and read detailed infographics explaining systems of the body. The exhibition has travelled the world, having been seen by more than 40 million people in 130 countries.
Ballet dancer Li Cunxin, whose autobiography Mao's Last Dancer was an international bestseller and is now a popular film, has been director of the Queensland Ballet since 2012. An exhibition about his life is now leaving Brisbane for the first time, and Melburnians can learn about his truly extraordinary life story. Born in rural China, Li studied for seven years at the Beijing Dance Academy. When he was given the opportunity to study at the Houston Ballet School, he defected to the west. Li moved to Melbourne in 1995 and became the principal dancer of the Australian Ballet. The exhibition includes pictures, interviews, costumes and other artefacts from Li's life. Li also made a series of kites specifically for the exhibition.
A historical exhibition commemorating the life of South African leader and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela is its world premiere in Melbourne this year. Mandela My Life: The Exhibition will chronicle Mandela’s ongoing fight for freedom and human rights amidst apartheid in South Africa with a collection of original artefacts, memorabilia as well as film and audio archives. The exhibition is endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, an organisation set up in 1999 by Mandela as a vehicle for his charitable, rural development and diplomatic work. It will be the first time such a comprehensive collection of artefacts and memorabilia associated with the former president has ever left South Africa. Coming to the Melbourne Museum in September 2018, the exhibition’s premiere coincides with what would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday. More information on the exhibition, including exact dates, times and prices, will be announced soon. Watch this space.
Who doesn’t love seeing the city streets alight with colour and art? On September 21 and 22, Getrude Street Projection Festival Mini invites you to open your mind and your imagination as it takes over Fitzroy's Atherton Gardens on Gertrude Street to put on a light display. The mini-festival will spread throughout the housing estate and show off works from a variety of emerging projection artists and other creatives. Kate Geck, who is known for her amazing kaleidoscopic projections, will be the featured artist this year. One of the highlights from her show is a moving image piece projected onto the Atherton Towers façade. Guests are also invited to explore the beautiful and interactive artworks around the building. On Friday you can even enjoy music from DJs Vinyl Vixens Jnr and Rising High’s Ror and HendriX. The festival will run from 6pm to 9pm and best of all, it’s free.
Every weekend until September 23, the Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Research Centre is offering visitors the chance to cuddle, pat, feed, play and take photos with their adorable dingo cubs and friendly dingo adults. Every Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 2pm, guests will have the chance to spend some quality time with these little fuzz-balls, and also learn about what makes the dingos so special from the sanctuary’s team of keepers. Tickets are $49 for adults and $35 for children. Children must be seven or older, and seven to 12-year-olds must be accompanied by a paying adult.
The beating heart of the Melbourne Fringe Festival is its raucous club, where art-loving audiences dance and drink at themed parties presented by different performers every night. The Melbourne Fringe Festival Club kicks off with the Opening Night Party on Thursday, September 13, complete with an opening ceremony lead by DJ Andrew McClelland of Finishing School fame and the Sydney duo the Dollar Bin Darlings. Other highlights of the program include All that Glitters is Blak, Fringe's very own First Nations dance extravaganza, as well as Queen of the Night a celebratory tribute to Whitney Houston. If you're after more nostalgia make sure you head along to the Year 10 Formal night, or 1992-1-OMG!, a super fun '90s themed pop party. If you're not into dancing, head in for the Test Drive comedy night hosted by Nath Valvo, the theatrical Circus Battle Royale, or sign up for All Gender and Sexuality Speed Dating. And that's far from it. For the full list of parties, head to the Festival Club website. It's open every Tuesday to Saturday night and it's totally free! It's not uncommon for queues to snake out of Arts House, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Find out more about the Melbourne Fringe's Festival Club here.
If you have fond memories of falling down the rabbit hole with Alice in the 1951 Disney animation or venturing into Tim Burton’s dark Wonderland in his 2010 live action film, then we’ve got good news: Alice has landed in Melbourne. Wonderland is a highly interactive and immersive journey through Alice's many incarnations in pop culture over the years, from Lewis Carroll's original texts to countless adaptations. The exhibition begins with the earliest moving image adaptations of Carroll’s three Alice stories, and moves chronologically through each major work. The result is an exploration of the evolution of film, as Alice graduates from silent film into animation, live-action cinema, CGI, 3D and video games. Audiences can also discover the influence of the story on fashion, music videos and advertising. Here’s where it gets curiouser and curiouser: ACMI has collaborated with some of the country’s most cutting-edge artists and designers to make Wonderland an interactive and immersive experience. With collaborators like creative studios Sandpit and Grumpy Sailor (who collaborated on a VR work at ACMI last year) on board, there are plenty of surprises along the way. Theatrical elements will also come into play, as will activities for children.
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