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Get amongst Summer and celebrate Christmas in Aotea Square

Get amongst Summer and celebrate Christmas in Aotea Square

THE EDGE presents
Unwrapping Christmas 2013
Bandstand Under the Stars, Concrete Theatre, Live at Lunch and Christmas Markets.

Monday 9 December - Saturday 21 December, Aotea Square, Auckland
(Monday - Friday Midday till 4pm. Friday and Saturday evenings from 5pm till 11pm)

Unwrapping Christmas returns to Aotea Square for a second year this December, with theatre, live music, and dancing as we celebrate all that is vibrant and exciting about a Southern Hemisphere Christmas. Unwrapping Christmas will put a spring in your step with its unique blend of free cultural and community experiences and entertainment for all Aucklanders over two weeks, in the lead up to Christmas.

Relax in a sunny deck chair and groove to live music, dance up a storm under the stars, enjoy outdoor circus and theatre and find the perfect holiday gifts in our Christmas markets to add to the excitement and anticipation that only December can bring.

“After the success of 2012, we had to bring it all back for 2013” says Festival Producer Sally Barnett “Last year the vibrancy and excitement in Aotea Square was fantastic. There was an amazing community spirit and enthusiasm for the programme especially our new addition of Bandstand Under The Stars. Hundreds of people danced the evening away in the Square, it was magical.”

Part of the joy of Unwrapping Christmas is the opportunity for Aucklanders to get involved. Whether it’s relaxing on a deck chair, joining in on a Ceilidh, playing giant Connect Four, or watching a performance. But if you actually want the chance to perform this year we have the return of the wonderful Tuba Christmas Founded in New York in 1974 it is a phenomenon that has captured the imagination of people around the world, playing in 186 cities worldwide. So if you play the Tuba or Euphonium come and get involved, the more the merrier. We also have recycled Christmas Trees in the Square and we need your help to get them looking beautiful.

“Unwrapping Christmas is all about the community. It’s about the joy and fun of summer and we want everyone to come and be part of it” says Sally Barnett “Aotea Square will be humming - this is Christmas Auckland style and it’s for you”.

The Bandstand is rolling out each Friday and Saturday night for everyone to dance the night away under the stars. Grab your friends, your dancing shoes and learn some new moves at Bandstand Under the Stars. With dance demonstrations a quick lesson and some live music you can groove on into the night and get a taste of Salsa, Swing, Ballroom and a traditional Celtic Ceilidh.

Concrete Theatre continues our tradition of taking theatre to the people with free performances by a fantastic line up of professional performers in the Square. This year we have three performances a night on Friday and Saturday evenings varying in length between 45 - 60mins running between 5 - 8pm so the audience can move between each show without missing out.

Join the circus with the spectacular Campground Chaos, be amazed by the energy and skill of NZ’s most outstanding percussionists with Strike Percussion, be transported by Northland Youth Theatre Company’s The Odyssey, and get physical with White Face Crew’s hilarious Double Derelicts.

Live at Lunch lets you get out of the office and warm into those lazy hazy summer days. Come down to the square, lax out in a deck chair and enjoy two hours of live music from 12 – 2pm, Monday 16 – Friday 20 December. Grab something tasty from the food stalls and play some table tennis in the sun.

For all those shopping nightmares the answer waits at the Christmas markets. There’s nothing more beautiful than an outdoor market full of Christmas treats to get you in the mood for St Nick and the Unwrapping Christmas markets are stocked full of beautiful goodies and treats made by crafty Aucklanders and local artisans.

Unwrapping Christmas is all about celebrating Auckland, Christmas and those lazy hazy summer days in the magical lead up to Christmas. Join the dancing, the music, and performance In Aotea Square, it’s all for you.


Bandstand Under the Stars
9 - 21 December, (Friday and Saturday nights) 8.00pm – 11.00pm
Aotea Square

Dance the night away at Bandstand Under the Stars on Friday and Saturday evenings. Learn some new moves or show off the ones you already have. Each weekend evening, whether it’s Salsa, Swing, a Celtic Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) or classic Ballroom, come and get your groove on with a live band. Bring your friends and family or take the chance to meet someone new, everyone is welcome no matter what your ability and it’s free to join in. There will be dance instructors on hand to show everyone the moves as well as plenty of room to freestyle, or just listen to the music. Grab a drink, a bite to eat and dance the night away in Aotea Square.

We even have stylists on site to help you glam up your hair and makeup in the style of the night.

Salsa under the Stars – Friday 13 December
Latinissimo Dance and Viva Latino with Banda Latina
Celtic Ceilidh under the Stars – Saturday 14 December
Twisty Willow
Ballroom under the Stars – Friday 20 December
Candy Lane Dancers with Queen City Big Band
Swing under the Stars – Saturday 21 December
Swing Out Central with Tuxedo Swing

Salsa under the Stars
Friday 13 December, 8.00pm - 11.00pm
Aotea Square

8.00pm to 9.00pm: Dance Demos and Salsa lesson with Latinissimo Dance
9.00pm to 11.00pm: Latin Dancing with a live music from Banda Latina and demonstrations by Viva Latino Salsa

Salsa under the Stars is fun, exciting and sensual! Join us for a Latin fiesta of dance!
Grab a drink, watch the dance, soak up the atmosphere and experience the magic of Latin America, with a free dance lesson, and stunning Latin dance demonstrations. Salsa under the Stars gives you the opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, and learn how to dance with demonstrations from Viva Latino and The Latinissmo Latin Dance Studios.

Celtic Ceilidh under the Stars
Saturday 14 December, 8.00pm - 11.00pm
Aotea Square

Traditional Scottish social dance under the stars with the music of Twisty Willow Celtic Band as part of a Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee). Ceilidh is a Gaelic word meaning an informal gathering for music and dancing. So, grab your partner or a stranger, and fling them round the Square! You don’t need any experience as all of the moves are explained and “called” while you dance. Bring the family or a group of mates and have fun learning as you dance to the lively, infectious beat of Celtic music.
Twisty Willow Celtic Band have been playing and calling these dances for Kiwis who have never danced them before for years.
Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Ballroom under the Stars
Friday 20 December, 8pm - 11pm
Aotea Square

8.00pm to 9.00pm: Ballroom lessons with the Candy Lane Dancing with the Stars dancers
9.00pm to 11.00pm: Ballroom dancing with music by Queen City Big Band also featuring demonstrations by Candy Lane Dancing with the Stars dancers.

Ballroom under the Stars is a dance spectacular not to be missed featuring lessons and demonstrations from Candy‘s professional dancers and live music from the Queen City Big Band. Even if you have never tried ballroom before, come down, give it a whirl and practice your twirl.
The Queen City Big Band is Auckland’s premier Big Band, comprising of some of Auckland’s finest musicians and vocalists. Playing a huge repertoire of fantastic music from the great swing era to funk, rock and jazz, this band is one not to be missed.

Swing under the Stars
Saturday 21 December, 8.00pm - 11.00pm
Aotea Square

8.00pm to 9.00pm: Swing lessons with Swing Out Central
9.00pm to 11.00pm: Swing Dancing with Tuxedo Swing also featuring demonstrations by Swing Out Central

Always wanted to give swing dancing a go? Swing Out Central are running a giant beginners swing lesson. Kick back and listen to the big band sounds of Tuxedo Swing playing all the classics from 1920s, 1930s and 1940’s big band era - a period when dancing was the most popular form of entertainment. Professional dancers will also be free styling to the sounds of the Tuxedo Swing big band and will finish the night off with a group performance. Swing Out Central is a Swing and Blues dance school in Auckland, specialising in swing style dances from the early 20th century.

Concrete Theatre
Monday 9 - Friday 13 December, 10.00am – 2.00pm
Friday 13 – Saturday 14 December, 5.00pm – 8.00pm
Friday 20 – Saturday 21 December, 5.00pm – 8.00pm

Watch jaw-dropping circus feats with Campground Chaos, be amazed by back flips and drum beats from Strike Percussion, be transported with a stunning retelling of Homer’s Odyssey, laugh yourself silly with Double Derelicts and swoon at the harmonious sounds of a Gospel Choir and the National Youth Theatre Company.

Friday 13 December
5.00pm – 5.45pm:White Face Crew
6.00pm – 6.45pm: Gospel Choir
7.00pm – 7.45pm: Fuse Circus
Saturday 14 December

4.00pm – 4.45pm: Fuse Circus
5.00pm – 5.45pm: White Face Crew
6.00pm – 6.45pm: Gospel Choir
7.00pm – 7.45pm: Fuse Circus
Friday 20 December
5.00pm – 5.45pm: White Face Crew
6.00pm – 6.45pm: Northland Youth Theatre Company
7.00pm – 7.45pm: Strike Percussion
Saturday 21 December
5.00pm – 5.45pm: White Face Crew
6.00pm – 6.45pm: Northland Youth Theatre Company
7.00pm – 7.45pm: Strike Percussion

Double Derelicts
White Face Crew & Betsy Mana Productions
Friday 13, Saturday 14, Friday 20, and Saturday 21 December, 5.00pm – 5.45pm
Aotea Square

Two colourful characters from the street go head to head in a comic encounter, using their charm and guile to get anything they can. In the pursuit of money, bananas and a shoe, sparks and the shoe will fly! When a man in a suit stumbles upon their turf, will his dark clouds engulf them or will these old enemies find a way to become friends? This is top notch physical theatre and dance from the clever little clowns at The White Face Crew, regulars at Random Acts since 2010. Choreographed by Justin Haiu and directed by Jarod Rawiri, Double Derelicts showcases the unique and spontaneous comedy The White Face Crew is famous for.

“…infuses every movement and expression with truth, wonder and magic. It is simply astounding to behold.” - Theatreview

Auckland Gospel Choir
Friday 13 and Saturday 14 December, 6.00pm – 6.45pm
Aotea Square
Get into the spirit of summer and Christmas and listen to the beautiful sounds of Auckland Gospel Choir in the Square.

Campground Chaos
Fuse Circus
Monday 9 to Friday 13 December, 1.00pm
Friday 13 December, 7.00pm, Saturday 14 December 4.00pm and 7.00pm
Aotea Square

Campground Chaos is a fast, funny and irreverent look at Kiwi Culture, complete with rope swings and flying picnic tables – circus equipment like you’ve never imagined before! Pull up a deck chair and enjoy this special all ages show, full of spectacular circus performance, physical theatre and 100% New Zealand music. Working at the intersection of contemporary circus, theatre and dance, Fuse Circus creates live performances on stage and in the air – taking audiences to new worlds where anything is possible.

“…a group cleverly lacing dazzling accomplishment in the air…true theatre…” - Theatreview

The Odyssey
Northland Youth Theatre
Friday 20, Saturday 21 December, 6.00pm
Aotea Square

I long to reach my home and see the day of my return. It is my never failing wish.
-Homer, The Odyssey

An expansive cast of young performers from Auckland and Northland burst onto Aotea square in an epic outdoor visual feast of eclectic story-telling, song, chorus, vehicles, and voices, to bring you a fresh and surprising retelling of Homer’s Odyssey. Audiences will be plunged into a world of angry gods and lustrous goddesses as Odysseus struggles home from the Trojan War.

Expect NYT’s trademark menagerie of youth, joy, surprise and carnival to provide a unique evening of excitement and intrigue. It’s a story about getting stuck, trying to get home, looking for your parents and meeting your destiny. It’s packed with seductive sirens, many faced beasts, one eyed monsters, capricious gods, shipwrecks, prophecies, battles, muses, feasting, bicycles and BBQs. It’s going to be an Odyssey.

“Energetic, inventive and humorous” - The New Zealand Herald

Strike Percussion
Friday 20, Saturday 21 December, 7.00pm
Aotea Square

Exploring elements of our heritage, our rhythms, our environment, and our elements, Strike are New Zealand’s most outstanding percussionists. For Unwrapping Christmas, Strike has incorporated repertoire from previous shows, including In The Cube, Elemental and Cubed for a special stand alone show performance. They lead audiences on a breathtaking journey of sound manipulation, choreography, rhythmic intricacy and invention, introducing a broad range of modern rhythms.

Musical Theatre
National Youth Theatre Company
Monday 9 to Friday 13 December 10.15am – 12.10 pm
Aotea Square

The cast and creative team of the National Youth Theatre Company create and perform a brand new, original song with students from our Schools programme live in Aotea Square.
National Youth Theatre Company is an Auckland based theatrical training company dedicated to providing professionally supported musical theatre experiences to anyone aged 7 – 21.

Live at Lunch
Monday 16 - Friday 20 December 12 noon to 2pm
Aotea Square

Your favourite lunch break in the sun returns for a second year. Pick up a snack from our delicious food stalls and lounge in a deck chair or under a beach umbrella while listening to some live tunes by local Kiwi artists. We’re even bringing out the giant games of Connect 4 and Jenga again so you can really relax!

Monday 16 December - The Valiant Boys
Tuesday 17 December - Malcolm Lakatani
Wednesday 18 December – Pae Tonga Soundz
Thursday 19 December - Tuba Christmas
Friday 20 December - Soul Samba Circus

Friday 13 – Saturday 14 December 5.00pm – 10.00pm
Friday 20 – Saturday 21 December 5.00pm – 10.00pm

If you need a stocking stuffer or a special gift, this market by Auckland’s crafty folk and local artisans could just be the place to add something unique to your Christmas shopping with local boutique designers, artists, vintage sellers and food outlets. A market full of handmade delights and Christmassy treats for the whole family. Each maker has been hand chosen for their unique products, careful execution and what we think a Christmas market should be all about. With a bright range of home wares, jewellery, clothing, prints and more, there will be something for everyone.

The Reclaimed Christmas Forest
Monday 9 – Saturday 21 December, lights on till Midnight

Recyclable plastic bottles are transformed into a sparkling forest, featuring an amazing seven metre tall Christmas Tree.


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