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International acts drum up excitement at Lantern Festival

Media release

14 January 2014

International acts drum up excitement at Auckland Lantern Festival

China’s most legendary rock band and a drumming troupe performing on ancient war drums are two of the international headline acts at this year’s Auckland Lantern Festival.

The event, held from 13 to 16 February across two Auckland venues, celebrates the Chinese New Year and is one of the biggest and most popular cultural festivals in Auckland.

Rock band Tang Dynasty gained cult status in China in the 1990s with its fusion of western metal and traditional Chinese sounds. The group’s hour-long concerts on Friday, Saturday and Sundaynights will wrap up the main stage performances at Albert Park from 14 to 16 February.

Shanghai Jiangzhou Drum Troupe is one of the foremost drumming groups in China and has turned a 5000 year old musical tradition into a sparkling modern stage act. They will give three performances each night, beginning in the early evening so those with young families can also enjoy the spectacle.

A third international act, The Butterfly Troupe, will also perform three shows a night. The all-girl band dance and play what is known as ’silk and bamboo music’ – referring to the materials that were traditionally used to make string and wind instruments in China.

Auckland Lantern Festival is organised by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) in partnership with Asia New Zealand Foundation.

ATEED General Manager Destination and Marketing Rachael Carroll says it’s exciting that this year’s festival-goers will be treated to some of the top performance groups in China.

“We have created a programme this year that is one of wonderful contrasts, from high energy rock bands to relaxing wind instruments, and acts that use ancient traditions to ultra-modern technologies,” says Ms Carroll.

“We are excited and honoured that Aucklanders will be able to experience this calibre of Chinese culture at our celebrations. The Shanghai Jiangzhou Drum Troupe has been acknowledged by UNESCO with World Intangible Cultural Heritage status, reflecting the importance of traditional drumming to Chinese culture.”

Asia New Zealand Foundation works with the Chinese Ministry of Culture to find and sponsor the very best performing groups in China, who are flown here with the support of Cathay Pacific.

The foundation is also bringing over a traditional kitemaker from China’s kite capital, Weifang. Kites were invented in China 2000 years ago and Guo Hongli will demonstrate the techniques of creating kites that not only look beautiful but also fly well.

Auckland Lantern Festival runs from 13 to 16 February, with a Lantern only evening on Thursday 13 February at Albert Park in central Auckland, and from 14 to 16 February at Queens Wharf on Auckland’s waterfront.

More information about the festival and international performers can be found at aucklandnz.com/lantern.

Ends

Editors notes:

We acknowledge the support of principal sponsor ASB and other sponsors and supporters including Lotto New Zealand, Tip Top, HKETO (Hong Kong Economic and Trade office), Chinese Ministry of Culture, Cathay Pacific, COSCO, Barfoot & Thompson, China Travel Service, New Zealand Chinese Herald, Classic Hits, Fairfax Media and SKYKIWI.

Tang Dynasty is visiting New Zealand courtesy of the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Cathay Pacific. The Shanghai Jiangzhou Drum Troupe is visiting New Zealand with the support of the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Culture, the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Cathay Pacific. Butterfly Troupe is visiting New Zealand with support from the Chinese Ministry of Culture, the Zhejiang Provincial Government and Cathay Pacific. Guo Hongli is visiting New Zealand with support from Cathay Pacific.

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