Melbourne Festival Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway was at the premiere of Tree of Codesat the 2015 Manchester International Festival, and before he had even left the theatre he had called producers to say that he wanted it for Melbourne.

In the first reveal of the 2017 programme, Melbourne Festival today announced that the extraordinary dance event will be coming to Melbourne for an exclusive, six-performance season.

Tree of Codes. Photography © Joel Chester Fildes

Tree of Codesis a collaboration between British choreographer Wayne McGregor, Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and UK musician Jamie xx. It is performed by six dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet and nine from Company Wayne McGregor.

It was inspired by Jonathan Safran Foer’s enigmatic book-sculpture of the same name, which he famously created by carving up Bruno Schulz’s book The Street of Crocodiles. For the performance piece, Eliasson created breathtaking lighting and visual effects, Jamie xx used an algorithm to turn shapes and spaces from the book into melodies, while McGregor created a dance for each of the book’s 134 pages.

All three of the collaborators are internationally renowned. McGregor – whose work has been performed by...