The Melbourne International Arts Festival is off and away. For Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway, watching a line-up that he has programmed finally take physical shape is like falling in love, he tells Limelight. And as the opening weekend unfolds, that’s exactly how he is feeling.

Jonathan Holloway. Photograph © Sarah Walker

“I find every year that I have to fall out of love with the previous festival and into love with this one, which actually doesn’t happen until we open. It’s not until I see an audience going to things that I think ‘now I understand it’. It’s been a beautiful two days,” he said chatting to Limelightyesterday.

“We had Tanderrum[the Indigenous celebratory opening ceremony by groups from the East Kulin Nation] which was absolutely exquisite. The clocks go back a week later this year so it was dark, and also they invited First Nations people from around the world into the circle at one point and it was so moving, it was the most moving I’ve seen it,” says Holloway.

Other shows to have opened include the circus piece Lexicon, theatre pieces Flight, Trustees, Wattand M y Name is Jimi, as...