New work pre­mieres at fes­ti­val

Havelock North Village Press - - News -

Har­courts Hawke’s Bay Arts Fes­ti­val is the only re­gional fes­ti­val in the coun­try to com­mis­sion new work as part of its agenda to show­case lo­cal ta­lent along­side na­tional and in­ter­na­tional artists.

Last year’s per­for­mance piece Con­tours of Heaven, with its lo­cal-rooted sto­ries, went on to win mul­ti­ple awards at the Auck­land Fringe Fes­ti­val.

This year, Hawke’s Bay theatre-maker Puti Lan­caster is work­ing with renowned per­for­mance-de­signer Owen McCarthy to de­velop a new, more am­bi­tious body of work, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with both lo­cal and na­tional cre­atives.

Free­dom is Be­hind My Breath will premiere at the Blyth Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre in late Oc­to­ber, and tells the liv­ing story of one lo­cal wha¯ nau — through their own words, voices and from mul­ti­ple per­spec­tives, draw­ing on mu­sic, move­ment and vis­ual art forms.

Lo­cal per­for­mance artists Champa Ma­ciel and So­phie Fol­lett are de­vis­ing a se­ries of thought-pro­vok­ing dance in­stal­la­tion works for the fes­ti­val, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with poet Sara Hirsch and sound creative Rosie Langabeer.

Their project, Meta, ex­plores the odd­i­ties of hu­man be­hav­iour and our cul­ture of voyeurism and self-cen­sor­ship.

“It will be a bit like watch­ing a live dis­play at the Na­tional His­tory Mu­seum,” Ma­ciel says.

Mar­got Pier­ard, best known for her big jazz sound, and guitarist and com­poser, Kurt Yates, are work­ing on fresh, orig­i­nal songs for their show, Canopy, the cul­mi­na­tion of a long-time col­lab­o­ra­tion. This will be a rare op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing dif­fer­ent, some­thing unique from these beloved Hawke’s Bay mu­si­cians; a spe­cial chance to be held within a deeply per­sonal body of work.

Mean­time, Hawke’s Bay opera vi­sion­ary Anna Pier­ard re­cently ar­rived back from a trip to Spain, where she’s been re­hears­ing with pi­anist Lorelle McNaughton and ac­claimed con­duc­tor and singer Jose Apari­cio for Cuen­tos de Es­pana (Sto­ries of Spain), an hour of ex­pres­sive Span­ish mu­sic.

She says “fes­ti­val au­di­ences will be en­rap­tured by the in­ten­sity and nuance of the quin­tes­sen­tial Span­ish tem­per­a­ment”, as the trio share works by beloved Span­ish com­posers, Grana­dos, Obradors, Falla, and oth­ers.

Pier­ard and Apari­cio are also work­ing with Project Prima Volta (PPV) on a ‘box of choco­lates’ style per­for­mance for the fes­ti­val, Scena, which will present au­di­ences with “a whole ar­ray of dif­fer­ent opera de­lights to share!”

These 30 ris­ing young stars from lo­cal high schools are among opera’s loud­est cham­pi­ons, recog­nis­ing the beau­ti­ful trans­for­ma­tion that they and their au­di­ences en­joy when step­ping into the world of opera.

In­cluded in the Hawke’s Bay Arts Fes­ti­val since its in­au­gu­ral year, PPV per­form sell-out shows to stand­ing ova­tions.

For the first time in Hawke’s Bay, Mo­tif Po­etry presents the for­mat tak­ing the world by storm. Po­etry Slam is a com­pet­i­tive, high-en­ergy po­etry show known for be­ing ac­ces­si­ble and great fun.

Ben Fa­gan, host and pro­ducer, is a lo­cal boy, hav­ing grown up in Hau­moana and Whakatu, and gone to school in Clive and Have­lock North.

He’s re­cently re­turned from a few years in Lon­don pro­duc­ing live po­etry events and just landed back on NZ shores this week af­ter the Ed­in­burgh fes­ti­val.

All the po­ets com­pet­ing in the slam will be Hawke’s Bay based, ev­ery word spo­ken in the Speigel­tent will be re­spond­ing, re­lat­ing, con­vers­ing with and con­fronting NZ ex­pe­ri­ences.

A po­etry slam is a slice of life, a dis­play of the thoughts and feel­ings of a hand­ful of lo­cal writ­ers.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion and book­ings, visit or the Hast­ings, Have­lock North or Napier i-SITEs.

Kurt Yates and Mar­got Pier­ard presentCanopy at the Spiegel­tent in Have­lock North on Oc­to­ber 27.

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