Canterbury Tales carnival thrills thousands in Chch
Canterbury Tales carnival thrills thousands in Christchurch city centre
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Free Theatre's puppets for Canterbury Tales, Festival of Transitional Architecture 2013. Images: Jonny Knopp
Last night Cathedral Square and the surrounding streets hummed with eager crowds, bringing excitement and life to the city’s heart. The Christchurch public reclaimed the city centre for the Festival of Transitional Architecture’s (FESTA) headline event, Free Theatre’s Canterbury Tales carnival and procession.
Thousands of people converged to participate in the city-within-a- city created by a night of lights, movements and animation. Puppets as high as buildings, masked performers, installations, soundscapes, light shows and a night market combined to transform Christchurch’s former Red Zone.
The procession of dancing friars, the Wife of Bath and other colourful puppets based on characters from Chaucer’sCanterbury Tales made its way from the Bridge of Remembrance into the Square, where a waiata and fanfare greeted them and the public under a gate of light.
Free Theatre’s incredible performance was received with amazement and surprise. Students from across Australasia created a cityscape of lights and installations that included one suspended from a thirty-metre high crane, a storm of blue-lit tarpaulin on Worcester Bridge and intricate light designs.
FESTA organisers wish to thank Free Theatre, all the students, local businesses and performances groups for their months of work leading into this large-scale event and extravaganza. They would also like to thank the public for dressing up, turning out in force to support the festival and engaging with the city of Christchurch at night.
The Festival of Transitional Architecture finishes today (Monday 28 October) with a day of workshops, talks, puppet interaction and a film. Things kick off with two very different building activities. At the CPSA building on the CPIT campus from 9am, the public can join experienced volunteers to assemble a Wikihouse – a ‘printed’ plywood kit house, while at the Agropolis site on 154 High St they can participate in building a shed from earth materials.
From 11am PlaceMakers Riccarton invites the public to meet the puppets in the square and maybe even have a go at handling these amazing constructions and RAD Bikes hosts their last FESTA workshop at 165 Gloucester St from 2-5pm.
Monday’s programme includes several talks, with one on community-supported agriculture at the Agropolis site (154 High St) at 3pm and others on two of Christchurch’s iconic pieces of transitional architecture: at 1pm at the Pallet Pavilion the design team speaks about the project, while at 3.30pm the Arcades Project team gives a talk on this series of dramatic arches.
Finally, FESTA closes out with an outdoor screening of Urbanized at the Pallet Pavilion at 8.30pm.
For more information, updates and the full programme listing, please visit www.festa.org.nz.