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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

New Zealand Festival of the Arts Has Unveiled a Diverse Lineup for 2020

The 18th edition of the arts and culture festival will take place from 21 February to 15 March.
By Stephen Heard
November 07, 2019
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New Zealand Festival of the Arts Has Unveiled a Diverse Lineup for 2020

The 18th edition of the arts and culture festival will take place from 21 February to 15 March.
By Stephen Heard
November 07, 2019
  shares

The full lineup has now been revealed for New Zealand Festival of the Arts 2020. The 18th edition of the biennial arts and culture celebration returns from 21 February to 15 March, 2020 with a program of over 100 theatre, dance, music and visuals arts experiences across the capital.

Three artists have been selected as guest curators for 2020, each programming a different week of the festival. Radical theatre-maker Lemi Ponifasio has been tasked with the first week. The festival opens with Chosen and Beloved, a live orchestral experience featuring the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Lemi will also premiere theatrical work, سدقلا Jerusalem, inspired by Arabic poet Adonis and opera fans will be treated to Kopernikus performed by Grammy Award-winning Roomful of Teeth ensemble.

Highlights from Laurie Anderson's week two program include Here Comes the Ocean and The Calling, two concerts that will see the Grammy Award-winning musician perform on stage with long-time collaborators. Laurie is also presenting a new virtual reality experience in which audiences can fly To the Moon, a sonic installation featuring her late husband Lou Reed's guitars and amps, and a free concert for dogs.

In the final week, Academy Award-winning composer, musician and actor Bret McKenzie is offering audiences a chance to see how theatre is made. The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil is a work-in-progress showing of a new National Theatre show based on George Saunders' novella of the same name. In the music department he brings Aldous Harding, Weyes Blood and Purple Pilgrims, and a series of late-night gigs.

Creative Director Marnie Karmelita has also programmed a lineup of top international and New Zealand artists across the three weeks.  

Choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan's MÁM will present a strictly limited season; Black Ties, by Australia's ILBIJERRI Theatre Company and Te Rēhia Theatre Company, reimagines the popular wedding rom-com from a distinctly First Nations perspective; British spoken word artist Kate Tempest will perform a one-night-only gig; the 80-year-old Netherlands Chamber Choir will perform two programs conducted by Peter Dijkstra; plus Wellington's waterfront will light up with an array of large-scale moving-image artworks. The experience will change each week responding to the works of the guest curators.

New Zealand Festival of the Arts 2020 runs from 21 February to 15 March. For full lineup and to book tickets, visit festival.co.nz.

Image: Ros Kavanagh.

Published on November 07, 2019 by Stephen Heard

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