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The Launching - March 16, 17 And 18

On March 16, 17, and 18 Aucklanders will be treated to a free performance at Aotea Square, called THE LAUNCHING. The Square will be flooded with water to become PONDS.EDGE and from this watery stage Aucklanders will enjoy performances from Che Fu, the Auckland Philharmonia and top Kapa Haka teams. The second half of THE LAUNCHING will preview excerpts from SO FAR, an operatic work-in-progress from Mike Mizrahi's Inside Out Theatre and composer Gareth Farr - based on the works of James K Baxter.


Welcome to "THE LAUNCHING"

A taste of what's in store for the Auckland Festival
Auckland's Aotea Square is to be flooded to become PONDS.EDGE

On the weekend of March 16, Aotea Square will be flooded to become PONDS.EDGE: a watery stage from which the City's finest actors, singers, musicians and dancers will entertain Aucklanders in a free performance over three evenings.

Called THE LAUNCHING, the performance marks the journey towards the Auckland Festival, a premiere arts and cultural event to be held in 2003.

The first half of THE LAUNCHING will feature Auckland's top Kapa Haka teams, the Auckland Philharmonia and Black Grace Company. The second half will preview excerpts of SO FAR, an operatic work-in-progress from Mike Mizrahi's Inside Out Theatre and composer Gareth Farr.

SO FAR is a long-term project that the Festival hopes to premiere on a site-specific location in 2003. The contemporary opera is inspired by the poetry of James K Baxter and will feature performances from the Auckland Philharmonia and Viva Voce, along with Helen Medlyn, Deborah Wai Kapohe, Carmel Carroll, Stephen Lovett, Elizabeth Hawthorne and Michael Morrissey.

Margi Mellsop, Project Manager for the Auckland Festival, says THE LAUNCHING from PONDS.EDGE is a taste of what's in store at the 2003 Auckland Festival.

"The Auckland Festival is aimed at celebrating Auckland's distinct and unique characteristics - its vibrancy and youth, its Pacificstyle and the geography and oceans that surround it," she says.

"For THE LAUNCHING we've brought together some incredible talent and Aucklanders will have the opportunity to come along and enjoy an evening of exceptional entertainment."

Margi Mellsop says that people had talked about flooding the square for years and that the Auckland Festival was exactly the right reason to do it.

The Festival Trust aims to create PONDS.EDGE for every festival. The hope is that PONDS.EDGE becomes a central place for people to draw sustenance from, meet friends, watch a free water-based performance, then go on and watch a Festival show in one of the many excellent venues that surround it.

Audiences can gain entry to THE LAUNCHING by picking up a free wristband from any Ticketek and Westfield Shopping Town from March 3 to March 18. Seating blocks will be erected at the front of Aotea Centre for those wishing to secure a degree of comfort and sight lines. These can be purchased from Ticketek for $25.00.

THE LAUNCHING, PONDS.EDGE Aotea Square Auckland
March 16,17,18, 2001
PONDS.EDGE will be open at 7.30pm. THE LAUNCHING commences at 8.30pm and ends at 10.15pm.

www.aucklandfestival.co.nz

EVENT DETAILS
The Programme

Friday March 16 Gala Night

8.30pm A speech of welcome to the Square from the Mayor
8.35pm Kapa Haka comprising teams from throughout the Auckland region.
8.45pm Orchestral Piece: "Landfall in an Unknown Sea" by Douglas Lilburn; Poem by Alan Curnow.
8.55pm Black Grace
9.00pm Che Fu, and the Auckland Philharmonia
9.15pm Interval
9.30pm "SO FAR" an Operatic Work in progress by Inside Out Theatre and Gareth Farr
10.10pm The Prime Minister The Right Honourable Helen Clark officially launches The Festival

SATURDAY 17 March & SUNDAY 18 March

8.35 pm Kapa Haka comprising teams from throughout the Auckland region.
8.45pm Orchestral Piece: "Landfall in an Unknown Sea" by Douglas Lilburn;
Poem by Alan Curnow.
9.00pm Che Fu and the Auckland Philharmonia
9.15pm Interval
9.30pm "So Far" an Operatic Work in progress by Inside Out Theatre and Gareth Farr
10.15pm Ends

TICKETS
FREE TICKETS
You will need a Festival wristband to get into PONDS.EDGE. These can be secured FREE from any Ticketek or Westfield Shopping Town outlet from March 3 to March 18. You can book these bands via the phone or Internet (www.ticketek.com) - this form of booking will incur a $6.00 charge. There may be passes available from the site on the day of the event, if capacity has not been reached beforehand. Our media partners - Newstalk ZB and The Herald, will keep you updated on wristband availability in the days just prior to the event.
TICKETED AREA
For those wishing to secure a degree of comfort and sightlines, there will be a limited number of Seating blocks erected at the front of the Aotea Centre. You can purchase tickets for these seated areas from Ticketek for $25.00 (plus any applicable charges) from February 28.
SIGHTLINES. - Sightlines from certain sections of the Square and its surrounds will not be clear. We will endeavour to overcome this by placing two screens in strategic areas.

TIMETABLE
PONDS.EDGE will open at 7.30pm - the entire square will be closed for up to an hour beforehand. The Launching will start at 8.30pm and end just after 10.15pm.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
The Playhouse Bar will be open for pre and after show dinner and drinks from 6.00pm each night.
PARKING
Please arrive early to secure a reasonable car park. If you are purchasing a ticket to the seated areas, you may pre-purchase a park in the Civic Car Park for $10.00. Please request when booking. Subject to availability.

PONDS.EDGE:

THE DETAILS
Flooding Aotea Square is something that has been talked of for years - THE LAUNCHING will see this finally happen - if only for a short time.

The good news is that the Festival Trust aims to create PONDS.EDGE for every festival. The hope is that PONDS.EDGE becomes a central place for people to draw sustenance from, meet friends, watch a free water-based performance, then on go and watch a Festival show in one of the many excellent venues that surround it.

Ponds.edge is being created by Warwick Henderson of Fabric Shelters, with Jon Verryt designing the set pieces.

The lining and construction has been certified by an engineer to ensure all standards are met.
During the day the pond will have a fence surrounding it to ensure public safety - it will also be patrolled by security guards 24 hours a day.
Ponds.edge will be lined with a 2500 square metre pool liner (to stop any leaking).
It will require 540 cubic metres of water to fill it.
The square has a 720mm fall from its highest point to its lowest point - meaning that at its deepest end the water will be 600mm - and will flow to nothing at its lowest end.
„Y It will take one hour to fill and four hours to empty
„Y The show total power draws 300 amps of 3-phase power.
„Y A 40 tonne crane will be used to fly people and objects.

ENDS

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