27 May 2016
New Zealand comedy, dance, kapa haka, theatre, literature, music and visual art will be taking over the medieval English city of Salisbury for the annual Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival.
The 16-day festival starting on 27 May includes more than 150 events over 16 days. This year the festival’s focus is New Zealand and is part of a four year themed journey around the cardinal points of the compass.
Festival director Toby Smith first saw New Zealand art works and performances when he attended the Edinburgh Festivals’ New Zealand Season in 2014. He subsequently visited New Zealand with Creative New Zealand’s international visitors programme Te Manu Ka Tau in 2015 to meet with a range of artists who are now contributing to this year’s festival.
“This year we look to New Zealand, a distant land defined by Maori culture and its fusion with European and contemporary Pacific island traditions,” said Mr Smith.
The Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival is a leading festival in the United Kingdom (UK) last year attracting 60,000 visitors from throughout the UK and Europe.
The festival is being opened with a Whakatūwhera at the Salisbury Cathedral Close featuring leading UK-based kapa haka group Ngāti Rānana. The group will perform before joining forces with the Festival Chorus to perform a mass waiata commissioned for the festival.
“It’s exciting to see an ongoing benefit for New Zealand and New Zealand artists from our original investment in NZ at Edinburgh season in 2014. Toby has selected from a broad range of artists and artforms to represent a unique insight into our culture for UK audiences,” said Creative New Zealand, Senior Manager for International, Cath Cardiff.
Performing at the festival will be a combination of UK-based and touring New Zealand artists. Creative New Zealand has contributed to the cost of flights and freight for some New Zealand-based artists through its International Presentation Fund ($90,336) while some other artists have received support through other funding programmes.
To further develop relationships and touring networks Creative New Zealand will also host a select group of UK presenters at performances over the closing weekend of the festival.
New Zealanders performing/presenting at the festival include:
- Corey Baker Dance – Kapa Haka Tale and A Massed Haka
- A programme of NZ film screenings including: Whale Rider, An Angel at my Table, Boy, The Dark Horse, In My Father’s Den, Abandoned, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, River Queen, Eagle vs Shark, The Piano
- Witi Ihimaera - novelist, short story writer, anthologist and librettist
- Fiona Farrell – novelist, short story writer and poet
- Modern Maori Quartet
- New Zealand String Quartet
- Benjamin Baker – violinist
- Jonathan Lemalu – bass baritone
- Bullet Heart Club – Daffodils
- Show Pony –Beards! Beards! Beards!
- Trick of the Light – The Bookbinder
- Thomas Monckton – The Pianist