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Comic ballet to feature in world Buskers Festival

Media Release – December 30

Comic ballet choreographed for Anna Pavlova to feature in world Buskers Festival

A comic ballet choreographed for famous ballerina Anna Pavlova in 1905 will feature in the World Buskers Festival at Christchurch in January.

Australian acrobat Judith Lanigan will perform a ballet “divertissement” called The Dying Swan at the 11-day festival starting on January 15.

``It was choreographed in 1905 for ballerina Anna Pavlova by Michel Fokine to the music of Saint Saen’s La Cygne. a cello solo,’’ Lanigan said.

``I decided that tragedy and hula hoops were an interesting combination, great potential for comedy. By the end when the swan dies I am using 20 hula hoops.

``From what people say after having seen the show, they are moved by the combination of beauty and ridiculousness.

``I haven’t performed this show in New Zealand before. I want to make people laugh, to distract them from their lives,’’ she said.

Lanigan is currently working in a winter circus show in a theatre in Barcelona.
She has performed at festivals in Switzerland , France, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Spain , Sweden , Finland ,Belgium, Australia and she studied hula hoops in Russia.

Twenty-four acts by 34 artists from around the planet make up the strongest line up ever seen for the 10th annual festival.

The festival’s 300 street and stage shows will inject fun into the centre of Christchurch from January 15 to 26. The event will be a major drawcard for overseas tourists and New Zealand holidaymakers.

Today festival director Jodi Wright said the Christchurch Polytechnic (CPIT) World Buskers Festival was the largest street performance festival in Australasia.

``Each year we receive more than 100 applications from international acts seeking to perform in the festival,’’ she said today.

More than 180,000 people watched the 2002 festival – up 20 percent from last year. The growth has been staggering as just 8000 people saw the first festival in 1994. Ms Wright said the Christchurch City Council’s annual resident survey in March found the Buskers event one of the most popular among the city’s people. One of the most unusual acts in January will be Planet Banana- a comedy duo from Brazil and the USA.

Other feature performances will come from the Dutch acrobatic balancing duo Amar, the Russian circus-trained acrobatic comedians Coexistence and the juggling comedy duo The Individuals and the American dancing duo Blackstreet Boyz.

A post festival education expo featuring tutors and performers from the CPIT’s school of circo arts and the festival will be staged at the Christchurch Town Hall on January 28.

Ends

Media advisory: For further information, please contact Jodi Wright, World Buskers Festival organiser Ph: 03 377 2365

Kip Brook, Word of Mouth Media NZ Ph: 03 374 5426


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