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Auckland Arts Festival 2013 – Start booking!

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Samantha Lee
Samantha Lee

What do you have planned for next year?

Say, around March?

If you’re in Auckland, I’d fully recommend checking out what’s on for the Auckland Arts Festival.

The Auckland Arts Festival is just that – an Arts Festival which celebrates the “Auckland” in us, supplemented by some amazing international acts. There are far too many acts to mention below but I’d check out the programme and see as many as possible – either for the “wow” factor or to try something new. Tickets will sell quickly so definitely recommend a “you’ve got to be in it to win it” approach.

The progression of Auckland from a maybe destination to a real consideration for touring acts has been fantastic to see over the last few years – the success of the recent addition to The Civic, Mary Poppins, as well as the line-up for the Auckland Arts Festival next year promises to put us firmly on the map for all things culture, theatre, dance and art.

The local acts in the festival  are many and varied – The Factory, New Zealand’s first-ever Pacific musical looks promising in both style and substance – and with music which will “rock your vaka.”

Dominion Road Stories from Auckland Theatre Company looks intriguing – there will be a collection of performances along Dominion Road 16-17 March “including the bowling club, bus stops and restaurants” – with a dance-hall inspired finale. I will definitely be there with my glad-rags on.

Speaking of glad-rags, Everything is Ka Pai looks to be a class act – this is a concert of 60’s and 70’s chart toppers from legends such as Howard Morrison and Billy T James. The lovely Maisey Rika and indomitable Annie Crummer, as well as the excellent Will Crummer and The Rarotongans will be there, to name a few. Can’t wait.

There are many community events involving the whole of the Auckland region – location and culture-wise. The Festival clearly celebrates both our diversity and the things that bind us – the things that make us Aucklanders and New Zealanders. One such event will be the Rosebank Art Walk, which will take place on Rosebank Road, Avondale on 23-24 March. If you prefer to walk alone, try en route - with the aid of an MP3 player and your mobile phone, you can walk the streets of Auckland to your own soundtrack – get in quick for tickets to this.

If you’ve ever wanted to be in a flash mob (and to be honest, who hasn’t) your chance at group-dance stardom has arrived in the form of the Thriller haka from Boy, which will be taught in workshops by the Atamira Dance Company at the Family Day/ Whānau Whānui event on the 24th of March – details will be available at in March.

White Night, when Auckland’s art galleries and museums open their doors from 6pm to midnight will also reappear next year.

Belgian dance-theatre masterpiece Babel (words) will be visiting – if the whole performance is anything like this trailer it’s likely I’ll die happy. “Awestruck”, “magical”, “majestically staged” are just a few words used to describe this performance.

More dance includes the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Made to Move – a triple bill of three brand new works, and Urban by Circolombia, a revolutionary circus experience you seriously have to see to believe.

Loath as I am to use the phrase “starts with a bang” I’m going to anyway, because the Auckland Arts Festival is really going to - with Groupe F, who are going to premiere The Breath of the Volcano (specially created for Auckland) at the Domain. Watch the trailer – I’m telling you now, every Guy Fawkes after this is going to be a “myeh” event.

Close on the heels of Mary Poppins comes another theatre hit – the West End’s Owain Arthur stars in an exclusive, very limited season of One Man, Two Guvnors. Do not miss out.

It is evident from the programme that a huge amount of effort has gone in to delivering a sixth Auckland Arts Festival that everyone can be part of –the passion of the organisers and supporters for this endeavour is clear- these things don’t happen without a lot of late nights!

I’m looking forward to attending these events as an Aucklander, a Kiwi – and as someone that loves a bloody good Festival.

What:   Auckland Arts Festival 2013

When:  6-24 March 2013

Why:     All the cool kids are doing it

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