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International Arts Festival News


New Zealand International Arts Festival 27 February - 21 March 2004

WIN TICKETS TO DON BYRON SHOWING NOW: COOKIN' THE HUQIN QUARTET ELIZA CARTHY JOHN HEGLEY BLACK GRACE WRITERS AND READERS WEEK THE ELIXIR OF LOVE

Nau mai haere mai and welcome If you're eating out this week go Korean. Cookin' creates spicy rhythms with flavours that make hearts beat faster. Last night's opening audience was amazed. With their flashing knives, flying plates and kung fu dancing I'm surprised they finish each performance with all members in one piece!

Direct from a successful Australian season, Black Grace take the Festival stage tonight. It was touch and go for a while when their sets got stuck on the wharves and it looked like they would dance without them until late Tuesday night when David Inns assured us they would arrive in time.

My 16-year-old nephew Ben arrives from Tauranga this weekend. He likes to play rugby and thought Cookin' and Black Grace would be just his thing. He's also looking forward to The Overcoat, The Elixir of Love and The Prophet and a few days in the big smoke.

The Prophet has been years in the making and if you saw Waiora at the 1996 Festival you should not miss this latest work by Hone Kouka. Hone says: 'The gift that we all possess is potential, choice is what separates us and this simple premise is the heart of our story.' The play is about all of us, how we face life's ups and downs and the choices we make. If rehearsals are anything to go by The Prophet will be unforgettable.

Velocities 2 rocked. It's especially pleasing to see a successful performance that was initiated and produced by the Festival. Huge thanks to John Psathas whose music inspired the concept and to the artistic team Diana Cable, Hamish McKeich and composers David Long and David Downes.

We're at the halfway mark now and sometimes it can be a struggle keeping energy levels up. But I had eight hours sleep two nights ago and got my second wind. At the airport at 8am yesterday I was very chipper meeting jazz star Don Byron and his band. The Festival only comes every two years so take a berocca, eat a good meal and don't miss your chance to experience the world's best right here in Wellington.

Carla van Zon, Artistic Director David Inns, Chief Executive .......................................................................... ............................... COOKIN' Opened last night. 'It was hard to believe your eyes ... It was almost jaw-dropping ... Children, especially, will be enthralled for the full 90 minutes. You'll leave hungry for more.' Tom Cardy in today's Dominion Post http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=10&activity_id=14 .......................................................................... ................................ THE HUQIN QUARTET The Huqin (pronounced 'hoochin') Quartet are the only quartet in the world working solely with traditional Chinese instruments. Their recitals cover traditional and contemporary Chinese works as well as popular Western styles. Ilott Theatre, 6.30pm tonight. http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=14&activity_id=49 .......................................................................... ............................... ELIZA CARTHY 2003 Mercury Music Prize nominee Eliza Carthy brings her soulful take on traditional folk to the Heineken Festival Club. The intimacy of the small venue will offer a very special opportunity to one of the best-loved performers in Britain. Heineken Festival Club, 7.30pm tonight. http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=13&activity_id=56 .......................................................................... ................................ JOHN HEGLEY John Hegley's quirky poetic humour has filled numerous books and tickled audiences around the world. 'Like a good poem, you have to give British poet John Hegley time to sink in. His desert-dry delivery can be a challenge, but the rewards are worth it. The opening night audience lapped it up.' Tom Cardy in today's Dominion Post Heineken Festival Club, 9.30pm tonight. http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=13&activity_id=63 .......................................................................... ............................... BLACK GRACE Festival favourites Black Grace are back, direct from a triumphant tour of Australia. 'Energy, artistry and depth ... a tour-de-force.' The Listener Opera House, season opens 8pm tonight. http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=3&activity_id=94 .......................................................................... ............................... WRITERS AND READERS WEEK The New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week programme continues until Sunday. Witness some of the world's greatest literary minds in discussion with local writers and commentators. http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=15 .......................................................................... ............................... THE ELIXIR OF LOVE - FINAL SHOWS 'Amusing and entertaining, and this production is a highly competent presentation. The principals all perform admirably. Young Canadian soprana Rebecca Caine makes an appealing Adina, with naturalistic acting and a pretty voice ... her two suitors, Italians Riccardo Botta and Riccardo Novaro are stylish and idiomatic in everything they do. However, best of all is Paul Whelan as Dulcamara. What a polished performer he has become, and he makes something of a role that is usually hammed up - buffo style - and his voice is a most rounded instrument ... the rest play splendidly to the production's strengths. [The NZSO] is superbly managed under conductor Graeme Jenkins.' The Dominion Post, 8 March Next show Friday, 7.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre. Ends Saturday. http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=19 .......................................................................... ............................... WIN TICKETS TO DON BYRON New York clarinet maestro Don Byron brings to life the groovy jazz of classic cartoons in Bug Music for Juniors. Don and his sextet take you on a roller coaster ride through the magic of Duke Ellington, Raymond Scott and John Kirby. A great show by a jazz great which includes big screen cartoon and historical footage.

Don't be fooled by the title. Bug Music for Juniors will appeal to more experienced jazz tastes as well as opening doors to the world of jazz for younger audiences. http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=18&activity_id=20

Go in the draw to win double A-reserve tickets to Don Byron's Bug Music for Juniors at the Town Hall on Sunday afternoon. Simply reply to this email with the answer to the following question in the subject line.

Which legendary percussionist plays congas at Don Byron's Wellington concerts?

Entries close 12 noon, Friday 12 March. Please include your daytime phone number.

Conditions of entry: 1. Open to New Zealand residents except employees of New Zealand International Arts Festival and its sponsors. 2. The competition closes 12pm, 12 March 2004 and the winner will be notified by email. 3. The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 4. The prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. 5. Entries become the property of the New Zealand International Arts Festival and may be used for promotional purposes.

Congratulations to Amanda Bateman who won last week's prize of two A-reserve tickets to Foi.

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

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