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Festival News - It's All Go Tomorrow

NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL
27 FEBRUARY - 21 MARCH 2004

In this issue

* WIN TICKETS TO GEOGRAPHICAL CURE
* DAWN CEREMONY - ALL WELCOME
* DRUM LEGEND JOINS DON BYRON'S BAND
* INDIAN HUMMER - MRIGYA
* TALKING WITH HUMOURBEASTS
* FESTIVAL VETERAN JANET RODDICK
* THE WINNING POEM FROM LAST WEEK'S COMPETITION

Roll up, roll up, nau mai haere mai, welcome

The curtain finally rises on Friday. The sun is shining and the good times are here. It's a time to celebrate being alive, being part of a wonderful community in one of the world's most fabulous cities and to experience arts from around the world, right here in Wellington.

Every venue in town is a hive of activity. The NZSO is rehearsing under the baton of Maestro Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Verona and Janet Roddick are hitting the high notes in Geographical Cure and everyone seems to be playing basketball. Many of the galleries opened their visual arts contributions over the weekend. Yesterday the National Ballet of Spain arrived, tonight 12 Angry Men hit town, while Gilberto Gil is about to step on the plane in Rio, the first flight on his long journey to New Zealand.

We've been lucky to attend a few rehearsals recently which certainly makes our job seem worthwhile. Incredible opera singer Riccardo Botta, who plays the hero Nemorino in the Elixir of Love, almost had us in tears when he sang 'La Furtiva Lagrima'. Half an hour earlier he'd had us laughing so loud that director Daniel Slater threatened to send us from the room. And then there was the moment in Geographical Cure, with Dan Adams singing 'Million Dollar View'. When actor Peter Rutherford looked at actress Janet Roddick we knew that she was his million dollar view. So beautiful!

Our hot picks for the first weekend? Everything! From The Best of the Fest comedy direct from the Edinburgh Festival to Gilberto Gil and big band livening up the waterfront with Bob Marley's reggae. Don't miss the photography exhibition at the Academy by India's Samar and Vijay Jodha and the extraordinary ceramics by Singaporean Iskandar Jalil.

Fill your days and nights with Festival madness and wind up at the Heineken Festival Club with your friends. The Club, open until 3am, is a fantastic place to meet people, have a drink and perhaps bump into an artist or two.

We begin our journey at 6.30am on Friday on the waterfront at Frank Kitts Park. Here the city joins the sea and New Zealand joins the rest of the world. Everyone is welcome to the dawn ceremony to help us celebrate the beginning of the 2004 Festival. Don't miss out - and tell your friends!

We're about to start our 24 day fun marathon, join us on the journey.

Carla van Zon, Artistic Director
David Inns, Chief Executive

DAWN OF A NEW FESTIVAL

On Friday at 6.30am we welcome in the 2004 Festival with a dawn ceremony at Frank Kitts Park. The ceremony will include a blessing from local kaumatua Sam Jackson on behalf of local iwi and a formal Maori welcome to artists and audiences in town for the Festival. Nau mai haere mai, all welcome.

DRUM LEGEND JOINS BYRON'S BAND

Puerto Rican conga maestro Giovanni Hidalgo has joined the line-up for Don Byron's Wellington appearances. The news will delight jazz percussion aficianados who will recognise Hidalgo's name as a past collaborator with such greats as Dizzie Gillespie, Art Blakey and Carlos Santana.

http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=9

TALKING WITH HUMOURBEASTS

Humourbeast, singular, to be honest. While Taika Cohen is overseas promoting his award-winning short film Two Cars One Night, we caught up with his partner in comedy crime Jemaine Clement. He explains how the Humourbeasts looked into a traditional Maori story and found a contemporary Maori comedy waiting to get out - The Untold Tales of Maui.

http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=9

LONG PLAYER

She's appeared in so many New Zealand International Arts Festivals that she's lost count. Multi-talented Festival veteran Janet Roddick talks about past years, her 2004 appearance in Geographical Cure and her secret involvement in the Lord of the Rings films.

http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=9

SPECIAL BLEND

Indian groovers Mrigya create a global fusion that needs to be heard to be believed and enjoyed to be understood. They talk to Randall Walker about their inspiration, their international success and the importance of dancing when you want to.

http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=9

NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL 27 FEBRUARY - 21 MARCH www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz


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