Something for everyone in festival
Performing arts delight audiences
What a breathtaking fortnight of performing arts and ideas.
Harcourts Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival entertained, provoked and inspired local audiences and out-of-town visitors with a huge range of artistic offerings — over 60 shows, events and workshop sessions.
An enthusiastic audience came out in force to support the festival. The festival hub on the Village Green in Havelock North in particular was an oasis of fun and creativity that won the hearts and minds of many, with a tribe of staff in hats and tails welcoming the community into a village within a village.
The festival stretched across the region from Wairoa to Waipawa with too many highlights to mention, festival director Pitsch Leiser said.
“It has been delightful to see the large number of young people that have been able to engage with the festival this year through the many initiatives we fostered, including our Festival to Schools programme, workshops from The Nukes and Motif Poetry, our Ambassador programme, Festival of Youth. At this stage, we can say that over 10,000 young people from across the region participated in some way with the Festival!”
Two community events over Labour Weekend — White Night and Waiohiki Arts Village — enabled more than 5000 people to engage at no cost in the spirit of art in its many forms: visual art, dance performances, installations and laser projections. There really was something to capture the imagination of young and old in these accessible family-friendly events.
This year, we also had the privilege of premiering a number of new creative works during the Festival, from Delaney Davidson’s new show, Ship of Dreams, to local musicians Margot Pierard and Kurt Yates’ debut of Canopy, from Puti Lancaster and Owen McCarthy’s artistic theatre piece, Freedom is Behind My Breath to contemporary dance installation Meta, by Champa Maciel and Sophie Follett.
It takes many people and many different skills to make a festival happen, and Mr Leiser says it has been a joy to bring such diversity, connection and talent together in a real spirit of collaboration and community.
■ Rachel Chapman is Marketing Manager for the Harcourts Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival 2018.
Chloe Loftus’s tree-top performance was a highlight of the launch of the Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival in Havelock North.