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Stage set for Auckland Festival 2009

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"For eighteen days next March, Auckland will once again be energised, enlivened and entertained b

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The Auckland Festival 2009 programme includes a line-up of New Zealand work headlined by world premiere seasons of Black Grace Dance Company's much anticipated Gathering Clouds - Peace, Poverty, Dreams & The Pacific, and Kate Parker and Julie Nolan's magical adaptation of Shaun Tan's The Arrival, the Festival's major NZ commission for 2009.

The Auckland Festival 2009 programme includes a line-up of New Zealand work headlined by world premiere seasons of Black Grace Dance Company's much anticipated Gathering Clouds - Peace, Poverty, Dreams & The Pacific, and Kate Parker and Julie Nolan's magical adaptation of Shaun Tan's The Arrival, the Festival's major NZ commission for 2009.

"For eighteen days next March, Auckland will once again be energised, enlivened and entertained by musicians, singers, dancers, sculptors, directors, poets, aerialists, actors and more from New Zealand and around the globe," says Festival Director David Malacari.

The NZ work will include first productions from 'Watch This Space,' the Festival's development programme; multi-dimensional theatre pieces The Arrival, Sleep/Wake, and The Kreutzer. The inspiring theatre programme also includes work from Auckland Theatre Company (The Wife Who Spoke Japanese In Her Sleep), Silo Theatre (The Ensemble Project), and Taki Rua Productions (Te Karakia). The local dance programme features Taonga: Dust, Water, Wind, a powerful, mesmerizing new work from critically acclaimed Maori dance collective Atamira (pictured) and the New Zealand premiere of Tempest: Without a Body, the latest work in Lemi Ponifasio's Tempest series, a poignant, poetic and frighteningly beautiful reflection on the post 9/11 world which premiered in Vienna.

Major concerts from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra head a line-up of wonderful local and international music. A modern fairytale from theatrical master Robert Lepage, the New Zealand debut of spell-binding Japanese company Ishinha, a dazzling contemporary circus, and a free world music party - that will see part of Queen Street closed to traffic - are just some of the highlights of the 18 days of arts, culture, and entertainment on offer in Auckland Festival 2009.

Festival Director David Malacari, who launched the 2009 programme on November 12, says he is proud to bring New Zealanders a Festival that offers inspiration, provocation and delight. "Aucklanders - and New Zealanders - have embraced Auckland Festival in increasing numbers over the past six years. In 2009, huge numbers of Kiwis will attend free events, tens of thousands of tickets will be sold, and visitors to the city will boost the local economy. These economic measures are important, but the true worth of Auckland Festival lies in the social and cultural value it will add to our city. Festivals bring communities together; they are an inclusive time of celebration, contemplation and conversation that is rare in our busy modern lives."

International highlights include Nostalgia, a spectacular production from Osaka based company Ishinha that tells the story of Japanese immigrants to South America at the dawn of the 20th Century; The Andersen Project by Robert Lepage, a theatrical masterpiece created for the 200th anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen's birth; The White Body, a new dance work by the internationally acclaimed French/Vietnamese choreographer Ea Sola; the Circus Oz 30th Birthday Bash, a thrilling new show from the company that inspired Cirque du Soleil; and a hugely entertaining adaptation of Venus & Adonis, the New Zealand debut of renowned Australian company Bell Shakespeare.

New Festival initiatives include The Queen Street Sing Sing, and The New Zealand Post Family Weekend. Performed by the Wantok Musik Foundation with guest artists from New Zealand and around the Pacific, Sing Sing is a celebration of the songlines of Oceania - a free world music party that combines traditional and contemporary musical forms, drumming, choral vocals, sublime world fusion grooves, and state of the art projections. Part of Queen Street will be closed off for the Sing Sing concert, one of the highlights of the Festival's opening weekend. Developed in partnership with the Festival's major sponsor, The New Zealand Post Family Weekend is a weekend dedicated to arts and culture for Auckland's families. Highlights include performances of Peter And The Wolf by the NZSO and The Arrival, workshops with Kate Parker and Judy Darragh, the magic of storytime in the Famous Spiegeltent, and the extraordinary production Fluff.

Returning festival favourites include Festival hub Red Square, where La Clique, the sell-out sensation of AK07, will once again be in residence at The Famous Spiegeltent. Relocated to the Aotea Precinct for Auckland Festival 2009, Red Square will truly be the heart of the Festival, feeding into festival venues at The Edge, Sky City Theatre, The Maidment Theatre, and adjacent to The Basement, the home of Auckland's inaugural Fringe Festival. Highlights of Red Square's Festival Club include worldwide sensations Tim Minchin, the outrageous toast of the international music and comedy scene, and French/Irish singer Camille O'Sullivan, who brings her repertoire of Nick Cave, Jacques Brel, Tom Waits and more to Auckland after 5 star sell-out seasons in Sydney, New York and around the UK.

The 2009 Festival will be the second time Auckland Festival has curated a significant visual arts programme. International art stars such as Isaac Julien, Paola Pivi, Ray Lee and The Little Artists will sit alongside some of New Zealand's best contemporary artists, including the Artbus. A passenger bus transformed by Sara Hughes into the Auckland Festival Artbus, which will take the Festival onto the city streets, transporting passengers around Auckland during the Festival and for several months afterwards.

Auckland Festival 2009 will also see the return of early evening chamber music series, Music At Twilight, a popular initiative of the 2007 Festival. Dubbed 'an hour of quality time,' Music At Twilight will be presented in the Baptist Tabernacle. The popular Arts & Minds series is another returning Festival success; a programme of forums, workshops, master classes and seminars involving local and international artists.

The programme for Auckland Festival 2009 is available to the public from 13 November, 2008. Tickets go on sale on 19 November, after a preferential booking period for Friends of the Festival. For the most up-to-date information, visit www.aucklandfestival.co.nz.  

12/11/08

 

 

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Auckland Arts Festival

13 Nov 2008

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