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Vietnamese Circus, NZ Drama, Michael Parmenter & More

Vietnamese Circus, New Zealand Drama, Michael Parmenter & More


Auckland Arts Festival has announced further shows coming to Tāmaki Makaurau in March.

Auckland’s biggest Festival and Wellington’s New Zealand Festival are partnering again to bring audiences in the culture-loving cities five remarkable productions from Aotearoa and abroad.

The exhilarating, one-of-a-kind circus for the whole family À Làng Ph tells the story of village and city life in Vietnam with astounding acrobatics and astonishing props, including towering bamboo. In this international hit, French–Vietnamese company Nouveau Cirque du Vietnam performs to a live ash up of serene South Vietnamese music and buoyant contemporary hip hop.

Us/Them is a powerful piece of physical and narrative theatre, which thoughtfully and beautifully presents a “grown up yet playful”, child’s-eye-view of the horrific 2004 siege of a Beslan school by Chechen separatists. Directed by Dutch director Carly Wijs, this theatrical treasure had audiences, which included children, at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival calling it “haunting”, “remarkable” and “unforgettable.”

Hone Kouka and Tawata Production’s new work, Bless the Child will play at Q Theatre. An urban thriller and unflinching social commentary, Bless the Child scrutinizes the tragic issue of violence against children in contemporary New Zealand society and tells the story through an eloquent Māori lens, and with a stellar cast.

New Zealand dance superstar Michael Parmenter will choreograph the brilliant New Zealand Dance Company in the world premiere of a new dance opera, OrphEus. Parmenter has drawn on a ravishing Early Music score, including Rameau and Charpentier, to create the epic dance work, which also comprises theatre and live music, including Grammy Award-winning American tenor Aaron Sheehan, baroque ensemble Latitude 37 and special guests.

Other-worldly singing sensation Cécile McLorin Salvant brings her towering repertoire of jazz standards and songs from her latest album, Dreams and Daggers, to New Zealand for the very first time. Set to dazzle audiences with her miraculous voice, McLorin Salvant, at merely 28-years-old, has been described by the New York Times as “the finest jazz singer to emerge in the last decade.”

The Auckland Arts Festival and NZ Festival will also both present the Royal New Zealand Ballet production of The Piano: the ballet, playing 5-10 March at the ASB Theatre in the Aotea Arts Quarter.

Of the shows presented in association with New Zealand Festival, Auckland Arts Festival’s new Artistic Director Jonathan Bielski says, “Positive partnerships and collaborations can help arts organisations bring more wonderful work to arts lovers across Aotearoa than might otherwise have been possible. We are delighted that, because of our relationship with the NZ Festival, Aucklanders can enjoy these five brilliant and diverse shows at our Festival in March.”

Also in the 2018 Festival programme is the masters of vocal harmony, The King’s Singers with Voices New Zealand. These polished, British entertainers, with their “voices of spun gold” (BBC Music Magazine), will sing a mix of music; ancient and contemporary, classical and popular. They will be joined on stage by our internationally renowned choir Voices New Zealand.

The Chamber Music New Zealand concert of Anderson and Roe Piano Duo is also in the 2018 Auckland Arts Festival programme. Exploding genre boundaries, pianists Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe have performed together since they were students at The Juilliard School. Championing great music - whether classical, jazz or pop - Anderson and Roe are as much at home with Mozart as they are with Daft Punk.

Finally, there are other major events in the 2018 Auckland Arts Festival programme that have previously been announced (but are not going to Wellington).

The first is English National Ballet’s stunning new production of Giselle, choreographed by dance megastar Akram Khan. This spectacular, large scale show brings its team of nearly 100 cast and creatives to New Zealand exclusively for the Auckland Arts Festival and there are already ticket sales from people living in Australia as a result.

The second is the dynamic, sharply political theatrical adaptation of George Orwell’s cautionary classic, 1984, which comes to Auckland on the back of its smash-hit run across the world. Presented in partnership with Auckland Theatre Company this radical and much-lauded production is set in a world where an invasive government keeps a malevolently watchful eye on its citizens.

The full Auckland Arts Festival 2018 programme will be announced on Tuesday 31 October.


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