Impressive acts for Village Green
The Village Green hosts the Spiegeltent and an impressive lineup of national and international performers over the 14 days of the Harcourts Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival.
Mikelangelo drops in from Australia, back by popular demand after he schmoozed audiences in 2016, this time with his alter ego, the Balkan Elvis, and a wild tale to tell. Accompanied by members of Niko Ne Zna, Wellington’s Balkan brass gypsy band, the King’s hits are reimagined as lilting waltzes and barnstorming Balkan wedding polkas in this part rock ‘n’ roll musical mashup. Elvis hasn’t been this much outrageous fun since 1956 — uproarious, uplifting and dead sexy.
Over from Hungary Bandart Productions bring Ann-Droid and are touring New Zealand, including Nelson and Dunedin festivals, Hawke’s Bay audiences will have the unique opportunity to enjoy this innovative work for children.
This story is a 21st century version of Pinocchio that overwrites obsolete conventions to inspire adventure, creativity and courage in all, regardless of gender. It is a quirky, spellbinding, interactive show combines theatre and timeless storytelling with the latest in digital technologies to conjure a magical world. Before the eyes of the audience, drawn animation comes to life as performers move together with projected visuals to create an enchanting 3D movie experience.
Ann-droid tells the story of a playful inventor, Alfred, and his creation, Ann, a curious robot girl. Given one task — to collect and bring home the lost creatures — Ann undertakes a wonderful journey on the ground, in the air and underwater, where she faces challenges which ultimately help her discover what is most important in life.
Charismatic Melbournebased Japanese duo, George and Noriko, break all the rules, with a sound unlike anything you’ve heard before. Lightning-fast blues licks and the percussive sounds of the traditional shamisen (Japanese banjo) morph into a kind of bluegrass hard country blues with a Japanese twist. Colourful, arresting, these two are an absolute blast.
Alongside this international flavour is the best of New Zealand work and one work that promises to keep tongues wagging for a long time after the show is In Flagrante. Aucklandbased In Flagrante premiered at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival in 2013 to rave reviews and effervescent audience reaction.
“Knives out choreography complemented by killer designs — an hour of beauty, politics and down-and-dirty fun.” Fringe Review, UK
It brings to the table an ever evolving and unique fusion of contemporary-dance influenced, hyper-sexualised and deeply comedic vignettes that mock patriarchy in fiendish and extremely original ways. In Flagrante deals up lonely North Korean traffic girls, wet nurse fetishes and steam punk super heroines, a show that doubles down on female sexual empowerment with an uncompromising satiric eye.
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Mikelangelo gives Elvis an almighty transfusion and an East Bloc incarnation.