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Manukau City Council Brings Local Flavour

November 8 2005

Manukau City Council Brings Local Flavour To Ellerslie Flower Show

In a first for Ellerslie Flower Show, a vibrant Cultural Performance Garden will spring into bloom next week, produced by Manukau City Council.

Set against a backdrop of a professionally designed garden, a whole host of performers will take to the stage to entertain the thousands of visitors expected to descend on Ellerslie Flower Show.

The Manukau City Cultural Performance Garden will showcase an eclectic mix of native and subtropical plants from around the Pacific basin and the garden will be bought to life with a variety of local performers to suit every niche, from Cook Island performers to opera singers, Indian drummers to hip hop artists and a Kapa Haka children's group. Show visitors will be spoilt for cultural choice!

Community interaction in the display garden is paramount to infusing the exhibit with local flavour and enthusiasm, creating a showcase of talents for both the local community and visitors to enjoy. Among the line-up of brilliant performers will be Soifua, one of New Zealand's newest and hottest cultural-tourism entertainers. Based in Manukau, Soifua specialises in professional presentations of Polynesian culture in the form of visual arts, performing arts, music and song.

As host city of the Show, Manukau City has had significant involvement with Ellerslie Flower Show since its relocation to the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens in 1998. The Cultural Performance Garden provides an amazing platform on which to showcase local talent. The garden will also be eligible for entry to the prestigious line-up of awards some of New Zealand's best designers are competing for at the Show.

Laura Grant, Manukau City Council Project Manager for Event Sponsorship says the Cultural Performance Garden is an exciting new initiative for the Council's involvement with the Show.

"Ellerslie Flower Show is a spectacular event and to be able to create a performance garden that showcases our local people and culture is just fantastic," says Grant.

Among the other performers delighting visitors at the Show will be Phillipine Impulse Dancers, Gina Sanders, Kohanga Reo, Valley Voices and City Morris Dancers.

The Phillipine Impulse Dancers will perform four different acts. Phillipine dance is characterised by a mix of Spanish and Phillipine-style steps, with brightly coloured traditional Phillipine style costumes incorporating flowers or floral designs. The performances will combine dances of grace and balance, North African, Spanish and Pacific influences, along with a National dance of the Phillipines involving the children of the group.

Opera singer Gina Sanders will also perform at the Show, bringing her incredible Soprano talents to the stage. The Auckland-based international soprano and teacher has performed locally with New Zealand Opera companies and also around the world, from Rome to London to Tokyo.

The Valley Voices, Gina Sanders' champion choir led by Sanders, has a repertoire that extends from classical to jazz and sacred to contemporary. Visitors to the Show will be treated to a performance from the entire choir, along with two solo performances.

The local culture of Manukau City will infuse the Cultural Performance Garden, with the presence of Te Kupenga Kohanga Reo. Based in Otara, the group includes children aged between six months and five years old, whose daily routines are instilled with Maori language and values. Te Kupenga Kohanga Reo will perform Kapa Haka at the Cultural Performance Garden - a musical spectacle that is sure to fascinate and delight!

Fans of the All Blacks will be delighted by the presence of Nick Afoa - a familiar face from his singing of the National Anthem at Eden Park!

And for something a little different, the City of Auckland Morris Dancers will perform, to add a touch of the culture of England to this diverse mix of entertainment.

After the Show, the spectacular Manukau City Cultural Performance Garden will be relocated to a permanent home at Pou Kapua in Manukau City for all to visit and enjoy.

Ellerslie Flower Show generates a significant amount of financial growth for the local economy, with $12million generated from the 2001 Show, along with 87 full time jobs and 47 per cent of visitors from outside the City.

Look out for the final schedule of performances on the Ellerslie Flower Show website at www.ellerslieflowershow.co.nz


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