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Fire Gardens - 2018 Melbourne International Arts Festival

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by Elizabeth Quinn (subscribe)
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See the Royal Botanic Gardens like never before
Fire Gardens, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Compagnie Carabosse
Image via Melbourne International Arts Festival website

If you have lived in Melbourne, or even visited for a little while, chances are you have fond memories of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Maybe you remember school excursions to the Herbarium, or date nights spent at the Moonlight Cinema, or picnics on the lawn. But for a few nights this month, the Botanic Gardens that we know and love are being transformed into something completely different French artists Compagnie Carabosse are torching the place with Fire Gardens, and the results are spectacular.

For the ultimate Fire Gardens experience, it's best to arrive early. Walking through the gardens at dusk gives you time to appreciate them in daylight, and as night settles you gain a feel for the complete transformation taking place. As you walk down the fire-lit pathways, you'll find new and exciting sculptures being set alight, accompanied by live musicians who give each area a distinctly different flavour. Fire Gardens is unlike a traditional performance, and more like an experience go with an open mind and a willingness to stop and smell the roses. The effect of fire reflecting off the water is very relaxing; you may find yourself feeling almost meditative.

Fire Gardens, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Compagnie Carabosse
Image via Melbourne International Arts Festival website

Fire Gardens is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see an iconic part of Melbourne like you've never seen it before. It's the only place you can find mammoth spheres of leaping flames, sculptures that flicker and dance, and fiery urns that cause shadows to play. As the heat warms your soul and flames dance in front of your eyes, you'll gain a new appreciation of fire and its power sometimes destructive, sometimes beautiful. A definite highlight of the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Fire Gardens is an experience full of surprises.
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Why? Fire Gardens will light Melbourne up like never before.
When: 10 October - 13 October
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Cost: $25
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