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Free Events Galore at the NZIAF 2010

Free Events Galore at the New Zealand International Arts Festival in 2010

The New Zealand International Arts Festival opens on 26 February with the first of an extensive selection of free events in its 2010 programme.

On the Festival’s opening night, a live relay of the Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 will appear on a giant screen in Civic Square outside the Michael Fowler Centre where the performance, featuring the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under the baton of world-renowned Vladimir Ashkenazy, is being staged.

Mahler’s Symphony No.8 will feature 450 performers, including eight international stars of the opera world, and five major New Zealand choirs.

“Throughout the Festival programme there is around 50 free events from outdoor performances to films, exhibitions, art talks and, in the New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week, the Once Upon A Deadline writing marathon, designed so that everyone can enjoy their Festival,” says Lissa Twomey, Artistic Director for the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

Art Talks are a series of conversations with national and international artists that will be held in the City Gallery Adam Auditorium. They include a rare opportunity to meet renowned conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy, and hear from the members of the cast of T.E.O.R.E.M.A.T. from Warsaw and their trail-blazing director Grzegorz Jarzyna.

The Festival’s continuous Chamber Music Weekend on 6 and 7 March at the Wellington Town Hall and Ilott Theatre also includes a number of free events.

New Zealand Composer David Downes’ computer-generated visual music Generation and Noise; organ recitals, and preconcert talks by Roger Smith about the legacy of Shostakovich and the Borodin Quartet as well as New Zealand composer Ross Harris and poet Vincent O’Sullivan talking about their latest collaboration The Abiding Tides.

There are also free screenings of Stockhausen: Helicopter String Quartet, Breath of Wind sound and video work by Phil Dadson featuring the Levin Brass Band performing airborne in hot air balloons, and the Music in the Eye exhibition of graphic scores by New Zealand composers.

Street Theatre superstars, Royal de Luxe bring their store front magic to central Wellington with Revolt of the Mannequins. For nine days 10 shop windows will be the set for the lives of 40 mannequins as their stories unfold every day and change in the dark of every night. The mannequins are so life-like they even have finger prints. Gold Partners: New Zealand Post Group, TV3, Clemenger BBDO, Pacific Blue. Funders: Absolutely Positively Wellington, Creative New Zealand

Compagnie Beau Geste give dance performances of Transports Exceptionnels at Waitangi Park – a funny and touchingly romantic dance duet between male dancer Philippe Priasso and a mechanical digger.


Visual Arts are free at galleries in Wellington City and the Wellington region in an extensive variety of exhibitions from pioneer video artist Bill Viola to a rare collection of Frances Hodgkins’ work from the late 19th century, held in various private collections on the Kapiti Coast.

During the New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week, Once Upon A Deadline returns. New Zealand’s only writing marathon is for six writers armed with laptops that follow a mystery course through Wellington city racing against the clock, before an hour with an editor, and the finale Read-Off in the Wellington Town Hall. 2008 Once Upon A Deadline champion David Geary will defend his title at the Read-Off.

In 2010, the Festival launches a special accessible ticketing initiative called Tix for Twenty. At 12.30pm every day during the Festival 10 tickets will be sold for $20 each for almost every show at a box office set up in Midland Park.

“The Festival is committed to providing the widest possible experiences for the broadest possible audiences and free events and Tix for Twenty are a great way to bring New Zealanders together with the highest quality of art and artists,” says Twomey.


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