Musicians, poets, writers, dancers – the list goes on.
Artists of all kinds will descend on Wellington next year for the biennial New Zealand Festival of the Arts – and with the launch of the programme today, people can get a glimpse of what’s on offer.
Concerts for dogs, never-before-seen productions, whatever you’re after, there’ll be something for everyone, creative director Marnie Karmelita said.
Next year’s festival – which will run from February 21 to March 15 – will have a distinct flavour of performance each week as the three guest curators present their distinctive line-up of events alongside the festival programme.
Guest curator Lemi Ponifasio will open the festival with Chosen and Beloved, a live orchestral experience featuring his company MAU along with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
“It’s an event to mark the coming together of artists but for him too, it’s the marking of how our country has changed since the event in Christchurch,” Karmelita said.
Using Polish composer Gorecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs – music many people would recognise when they heard it, Karmelita said – Ponifasio had created something “powerful”.
Multi-faceted artist and guest curator Laurie Anderson brings a “gift to the dogs of Wellington” with her aptly named Concert For Dogs. The free event, to be held in Odlins Plaza, incorporates high-pitched sounds human ears can’t pick up.
Sprinkled throughout the festival are a number of free events, which include Into the Ocean, a nightly series of moving images projected along the waterfront.
The third guest curator, comedian Bret McKenzie, will be giving people an insight into creating a piece of theatre as he presents showings of his work in progress on The Weta Digital Season of the Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil.
McKenzie is collaborating with London’s National Theatre for the production, which is based on a George Saunders novella.
With such a range of events over the three weeks, Karmelita said asking her to pick her favourites was like asking her to choose between her children.
She did manage to single a few events out, including MÁM. As part of the first Made in Wellington residency, Irish choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan and his company Teaċ Daṁsa created the production over a six-week period in Wellington earlier this year.
“I’m so proud of it, it was really birthed here in Wellington,” Karmelita said, “They even picked up a young New Zealand dancer as one of the performers – Tyler Carney, an ex-Footnote dancer.”
* For a look at the full programme, visit the New Zealand Festival of the Arts website.