Art, Culture

NZ Festival 2016 brings a cultural feast

Leah Garcia Purves headed along for Thread to celebrate the Auckland Launch of the 2016 New Zealand Festival, with Artistic Director, Shelagh Magadza, to hear the exciting full programme, which marks the 30th anniversary of the Festival…

The Auckland NZ Festival media launch was held in a big office building. It was somewhat sterile compared to the subject matter.  The orange juice was great. The view from the 20th floor of the Lumley Centre is spectacular and I could see into someone’s top-floor apartment from there.

The three week long festival features a nice big mixture of artsy things – dance, theatre, theatre infused with dance, film and jazzy type music numbers plus some other art things.

Highlighted was the arrival of Tanztheatre Wuppertal Pina Bausch; the late Pina Bausch’s dance company. It’s their first time to perform here. I’m not a big dance person, but I briefly studied her in high school and it was fun, so take my slightly uncultured word for it – it’ll be real great.

Otari-Wilton Bush will host the summer season of For the Birds which is described as a walk-through art experience. This is good for kids too.

My personal pick? Cineastas, an Argentinian theatre piece based around the lives of film-makers. The set design is excitingly unique with a two-tier stage; Upstairs being the subtext and the downstairs being the actual story. So damn cool.

Anyway, to coin a cliche, there’s really something for the whole family. The Wellington waterfront will feature a eccentric people-powered fairground designed to make the adults work for the children’s fun, as is the theme of life I guess.

You don’t need to be rich to experience the festival either. There’s a wide range of free events too.

As usual, the festival’s variety spans a wide range of tastes, ages and budgets. It looks great. You should go. I’ll probably go. Don’t say hi to me. People make me nervous.

Leah Garcia-Purves

1st November 2015
Intro image: Big Bang NZ Festival Credit Matt Grace.


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