Breath­tak­ing lineup of acts

The New Zealand Herald - - NEWS -

A head of pro­gram­ming at Syd­ney Opera House for 13 years, Manawatu-born Jonathan Biel­ski, has drawn on in­ter­na­tional con­tacts to bring sev­eral largescale exhibitions and events to New Zealand.

In the vis­ual arts, Man­i­festo, an Aus­tralian-Ger­man film in­stal­la­tion with ac­tor Cate Blanchett in dif­fer­ent roles, will play at Auck­land Art Gallery.

Biel­ski has per­suaded the English Na­tional Bal­let to bring its pro­duc­tion of Giselle out of Bri­tain for the first time. It will be an en­tree to the fes­ti­val, play­ing at the Aotea Cen­tre’s ASB The­atre on March 1-4.

Renowned Cana­dian the­atremaker Robert Lep­age also re­turns. His Far Side of the Moon, with a sound­track by Lau­rie An­der­son, makes its Auck­land de­but while Ger­man com­poser Max Richter’s eight-hour-con­cert, Sleep, where the au­di­ence spends the night lis­ten­ing to 31 un­in­ter­rupted pieces of clas­si­cal and elec­tronic mu­sic, comes south.

Sleep is part of The Richter Res­i­dency, a tril­ogy of the com­poser’s works in the fes­ti­val. It also com­prises Re­com­posed, his adap­ta­tion of Vi­valdi’s Four Sea­sons, which will be per­formed by the APO, and a work­shop with local stu­dents.

The fes­ti­val has al­ready an­nounced the Bri­tish tour­ing pro­duc­tion of Ge­orge Or­well’s 1984 will run for its du­ra­tion.

Biel­ski has also en­sured local acts and artists are well rep­re­sented.

NZ’s first Kiwi/Sri Lankan the­atre-maker Ahi Karuna­ha­ran’s Tea is de­scribed as a jour­ney into a tea plan­ta­tion and the sto­ries in its land­scape; artist Tif­fany Singh, one of the re­cip­i­ents of a 2017 Arts Foun­da­tion New Gen­er­a­tion award, will de­sign the set.

Play­wright Hone Kouka’s new­est work, Bless the Child, looks at the con­se­quences of vi­o­lence against chil­dren and will be per­formed at the Auck­land fes­ti­val and the NZ Fes­ti­val in Welling­ton.

Fem­i­nist the­atre-mak­ers Eleanor Bishop and Ju­lia Croft con­tinue to ex­plore the im­pact of the male gaze on fe­male sex­u­al­ity in their lat­est show, Body Double.

On Satur­day, the Week­end Her­ald an­nounced The Naked Samoans Do Magic, which brings to­gether the com­edy troupe be­hind Sione’s Wedding and bro’Town and Welling­ton the­atre com­pany The Conch, for “The Nakeds’” 20th an­niver­sary.

Dance fans will be pleased by chore­og­ra­pher Michael Par­menter’s first full con­tem­po­rary dance work in a decade, Or­phEus - a dance opera, and the Royal NZ Bal­let’s The Pi­ano — The Bal­let, a dance ver­sion of the clas­sic NZ film.

The fes­ti­val com­mem­o­rates the late Mahi­narangi Tocker, a champion of Maori mu­sic, gay rights and men­tal health who wrote more than 1000 songs. Anika Moa, An­nie Crum­mer, Shona Liang, Na­dia Reid and Emma Paki are among those per­form­ing a se­lec­tion of Tocker’s songs in Love Me As I Am. Moa also tours her fam­ily show Chop Chop Hiyaa!

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