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14 Days Until Festival Fever Grips Christchurch

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Immediate Release

Wednesday July 6, 2005

14 Days Until Festival Fever Grips Christchurch City

In 14 days the curtain will rise on the 6th biennial Christchurch Arts Festival, “Applaud” 2005. And with its biggest programme to date, organisers hope festival fever will be the city’s next winter epidemic.

As Christchurch dons it’s festival colours in the days leading up to the festival the anticipation will be palpable.

The excitement and tension of festival and construction deadlines collide just days out from the festival with the official opening of the newly refurbished Isaac Theatre Royal taking place on Monday the 18th, just two days out from first night of Canadian cirque show Nomade.

On festival eve the construction of temporary venues will also be completed. Located in the foyer of the Christchurch Art Gallery, the juxtaposition of classic Coney Island side show The Tiny Top against the chic glass façade of the gallery, typifies the cheerful way the festival changes the familiar face of the city. And at Victoria Square festival icon the TV One Pavilion will in place. Home to top international jazz acts including Micheline Van Hautem, Alec Dankworth and Jukka Perko, as well as Australia's mad cabaret Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen, the TV One Pavilion is the vibrant social hub of the festival.

Day 1 of 19 Days in the City

Prime Minister Helen Clark will declare the 6th biennial Christchurch Arts Festival officially open at the Remaking the Elements and Atea exhibitions launch in the CoCA gallery. And 19 days of top arts events will begin.

The theme of grand theatres being redressed is continued with the Repertory Theatre being made over in festival colours. Opening with a Canadian landscape for Lauchie, Liza and Rory, before transforming to become the Coromandel for The Bach and closing with Europe’s World War I battlefields for King & Country, the theatre season is the boldest in the festival’s 12 year history.

At the heart of Christchurch's cultural precinct is the Christchurch Art Gallery. In cargo containers on the forecourt Animation Substation is a showcase of ‘cyberian’ wonders, curated by Malcom Turner of the Melbourne International Animation Festival.

The world's number one gospel choir the Soweto Gospel Choir and the cool face of Cuban jazz Omar Sosa inject some equatorial warmth into the Christchurch Town Hall auditorium as part of the music programme.

The closing night gala concert Timeless Land is an orchestral-multimedia event that pays tribute to the majesty of the South Island and the island’s cultural heritage; a fitting way to cap off 19 days of spirit lifting culture in the South.

For full festival details, visit the “Applaud” Christchurch Arts Festival 2005 website, www.artsfestival.co.nz, or collect a copy of the quirky purple programme from outlets around the country or by phoning 0800 ARTS 05.

ENDS

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