The Arts Are Back – Te Ahurei Toi O Tāmaki / Auckland Arts Festival Announces Programme For March 2022

Giant inflatable humanoids, Māori feminist cabaret,
Pasifika musical theatre, The Topp Twins, acoustic opera,
events for tamariki, a secular Requiem, His Holiness,
Unruly Tourists, kanikani and more. Te Ahurei Toi o
Tāmaki / Auckland Arts Festival
(AAF)
– with all the joy it brings – is
back.

The 2022 festival programme, announced today,
brings 80 individual events, including eight new
commissions, 14 world premieres, seven New Zealand premieres
and over 700 artists to Tāmaki Makaurau, and arts-lovers
back together, from 10 to 27 March
2022.

Artistic Director Shona
McCullagh MNZM
says, “Our festival is an
opportunity to celebrate creativity and expression of
culture and identity as people of Aotearoa, and to share
illuminating experiences together. After extended lockdowns
with far too much screen time and isolation, and in a
growing age of individualism, the arts are a vital portal to
expand our minds, connect and grow our understanding and
appreciation of each other and our
differences.

“With Truth as a
curatorial lens and theme for our 2022 Festival, we
acknowledge our many voices, many worlds and perspectives.
Artists are powerful antennae of societal dynamics and the
zeitgeist – the soothsayers and courageous truth tellers.
Our 2022 festival is a platform to uplift artists from all
over Aotearoa and beyond, creating a truly rich and diverse
offering for audiences to listen to, engage with,
participate in and, above all, enjoy,” McCullagh
says.

After a smash success at AAF 2021, The
Civic Club
returns in 2022 with a lineup of music,
comedy and cabaret that includes imugi ,
Hans.
and Teremoana Rapley; a
TRUTHBOMBS comedy series featuring
The Topp Twins, Pax Assadi
and James Nokise; opera performer
Deborah Wai Kapohe who returns with a fresh
look at the 19th century practice of self-accompanying
operatic arias with guitar; and global piano superstar
Josh Cohen playing his famous Radiohead
interpretations. Also at The Civic is the Festival’s major
cabaret extravaganza, Truth and
Lies
,
which features
aerialists, B-boys, burlesque and a live band
starring Brady Peeti.

The
Festival’s resplendent Town Hall music series sees
Whirimako Black perform alongside a group
of the country’s best Māori Jazz performers in
He Kōpara; Troy Kingi, Rio
Hemopo
, Dallas Tamaira and
L.A. Mitchell
pay homage to the soul legend in the
Bill Withers Social Club; global
dream pop superstars BROODS; a fusion of
deeply rich jazz riffs with rap vocals and a killer hip-hop
production with Tom Scott’s Avantdale Bowling
Club;
and a major classical concert that sees the
world premiere of Victoria Kelly’s new
secular Requiem as
well as Ruby Solly’s new composition for
taonga puoro and orchestra alongside opera stars
Simon O’Neill and Jane
Tankersley
, all featuring the Auckland
Philharmonia Orchestra.

Theatre works are
performed in te reo Māori, Mandarin and English. Trick of
the Light Theatre’s Lysander’s
Aunty
, in partnership with Auckland Theatre
Company and Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts, will
be a highlight. As will the hilarious, bilingual ‘Chinese
Spy Comedy’ Sky Duck from
Australian-based New Zealander Sam Wang.
Mitch Tawhi Thomas’ latest work,
Pakaru, is a gutsy portrayal of
whānau and motherhood produced by Tanea Heke (Witi’s
Wāhine)
; and Adelaide’s Patch Theatre Company, led by
lighting designer Geoff Cobham, brings a brilliant and
illuminating show for tamariki,
ZOOOM.

From contemporary dance
to ballet, McCullagh has again pulled together a spectacular
dance programme which, this year, unites some of the best
dancers in the country and two men who have never danced
before. Untrained,
by globally renowned Australian choreographer
Lucy Guerin and restaged by NZ Arts
Laureate Ross McCormack
, presents two highly
skilled male contemporary dancers and two first-timers in a
show that is a brilliant experiment in masculinity and
courage. Melting Pot is a showcase
of short works by Freshmans Dance Crew and guest artists
which merges hip hop, street dance, spoken word and
contemporary dance. Michael Parmenter’s
sold-out 2021 event, The Full Moon Folk
Ball
returns and, due to extreme demand, has
been given a bigger venue in 2022 – the Auckland Town Hall.
Sarah Foster-Sproull’s choreography
features in two Festival works – the Royal New
Zealand Ballet’s
Venus Rising
and the highly anticipated world premiere of
Double Goer.

Kaihautū
Māori Ataahua Papa
says, “Our Toitū Te Reo
programme is again integrated into all aspects of the
festival with the aim of normalising te reo Māori and
ensuring it is seen and heard every day of our festival.
This year’s programme of Māori artists, from aged 10 to
60+, delivers waiata, dance, theatre, opera, cabaret, kapa
haka, comedy, and kōrero, and ensures Māori creatives are
supported under the mantle of
manaakitanga.”

Waiwhakaata – Reflections
in the Water
is a new Auckland Arts Festival
commission which combines contemporary dance, explosive and
innovative physical theatre, taonga puoro and kōrero tuku
iho to deliver a story of hope and reconnection starring
this year’s youngest performer – ten-year-old dancer
Lezharn Avia-Elliott.

AAF 2022 opens with
Tātou, Tātou E! – a massive, free,
sing-along. MC Pere Wihongi and musician
Maaka Pohatu will lead the Aotea Square
crowd in well-known waiata including ‘Pōkarekare Ana’,
‘Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi’, ‘E Pāpā Waiari’ and
Six60’s ‘Pepeha’.

Chief Executive David Inns
says, “We are in the business of live performance, joy,
connection, creativity and laughter – elements which have
been lost in many ways here in Tāmaki Makaurau in recent
months. We, along with our wider arts sector colleagues, are
in a time where support and sponsorship of the arts is more
important than ever. We are grateful for the tautoko from
all our 2022 sponsors and partners, whose support allows us
to continue creating this huge celebration of the arts that
our community looks forward to so much each
year.”

The festival’s 2022 whānau of supporters
and sponsors include Auckland Council, Creative New Zealand,
Colenso BBDO, Todd Corporation and Evans Randall, and NZME,
along with major funder Foundation North. Partnerships
include Auckland Live, Auckland Theatre Company, Auckland
Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal New Zealand Ballet, New
Zealand Opera, Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts,
Auckland War Memorial Museum, The New Zealand Dance Company,
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Te Pou Theatre and Silo
Theatre.

AAF 2022 runs from 10 to 27 March at venues
and locations across Tāmaki Makaurau, as well as some
online presentations of international work. Early Bird
discounts are available on most shows and events until
Thursday 6 Jan. More info below and at
www.aaf.co.nz.

 

Images:
Here
 

The
2022 Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki / Auckland Arts Festival
programme includes (in alphabetical
order):

A Stab in the Dark:
Sit back, and don’t relax, as this new play
from Nightsong, the creators of award-winning Te
Pō,
takes you on a wickedly funny, suspenseful, and
unpredictable ride. Starring Joel Toebeck, this is theatre
anyone would kill to
see.

Alatini:
The mega-hitmakers behind Sinarella and The Wizard
of Ōtāhuhu
reimagine Aladdin with signature
South Auckland flavour. A magical mash-up of a musical that
will make you laugh, warm your heart, and fill you with
pride.

Anthology of Truth: The
festival closes with a dynamic group of musicians and
vocalists delivering a collection of moving songs that make
you think, feel and groove.

Aro Music –
He Wai:
The whole whānau will enjoy the playful and interlocking
vocals of Emily and Charles of Aro in this collection of
waiata celebrating the marine life that live in the waters
off the coasts of this beautiful country, along with
award-nominated waiata about our native
birdlife.

ArteFact: How to Behave in a
Museum:
NZ Arts Laureate Ross McCormack has
drawn inspiration from the people who work at Auckland War
Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, from the visitor hosts
to the security team, to create this whimsical, world
premiere dance work.

Ata
Koia!:
Newly commissioned artworks woven from
the wind and stars, colours that slip from the horizon and
images that saturate our imagination. Artists from Aotearoa
and abroad exhibit at Te Tuhi.

Avantdale
Bowling Club
: “Irrelevant jazz from an island
nation off the coast of Antarctica” – Tom
Scott.

Bill Withers Social
Club:
A supergroup of top vocalists – Troy
Kingi, Rio Hemopo, and L.A. Mitchell and an all-star band
– perform an ode to a singer-songwriter whose stories of
love, hardship, friendship, and whānau have shaped a
generation of Aotearoa musicians and touched the
world.

BLKCITY presents:
The Diaspora: New
Zealand’s hottest African hip-hop supergroup brings
together some of the most respected names in the local
hip-hop scene, for a vibrant, positive expression of music
and identity.

BROODS: The 10-time
Aotearoa Music Awards-winning act who have amassed over one
billion streams, collaborated with Lorde and Tove Lo, toured
with HAIM and Taylor Swift, and performed at Coachella and
Lollapalooza, will take the stage.

Daughter
of a Housegirl:
A world premiere collection of
thoughtfully curated songs, more than 30 years in the
making, by self-described “Black Moana Sovereign
Storyteller”, Teremoana
Rapley.

Deafinitely True: Too
many people view deafness as a deficiency rather than a
separate linguistic context and worldview. This panel
discussion will be delivered entirely in New Zealand Sign
Language, and interpreted into spoken
English.

Declaration: A Pacific Feminist
Agenda:
Artists in this exhibition, curated by
Ane Tonga and showing at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki,
declare a new set of principles to form a Pacific feminist
agenda and map a feminist trajectory in contemporary
feminist art.

Double Goer: A
surreal work by New Zealand choreographer Sarah
Foster-Sproull which comprises visual art, intricate costume
design, a hand-painted set, and
puppetry.

Fantastic Planet: An
enormous installation of giant humanoids by artist Amanda
Parer will land in three locations across the
city.

Full Moon Folk Ball: A
sold-out highlight from the 2021 Festival, the social dance
event of the year – led by New Zealand dance legend Michael
Parmenter – returns. This time it’s in the Town
Hall.

He Kōpara: An evening
of sublime music to open the Festival with class and style.
One of the most distinctive soul singers in Aotearoa –
Whirimako Black – performs with Allana Goldsmith and Leon
Wharekura, directed by Dixon Nacey.

Home
Truths:
Join Jack Tame in conversation with
Whatitiri, Carmen Parahi, Barbara Dreaver and Patrick Gower
as they investigate how the media has come to terms with
their own attitudes and practices in order to discuss race
and racism.

I Want You to Act:
Join Jack Tame as he brings together politician
Chlöe Swarbrick, scientist Bronwyn Hayward and indigenous
activist Tiana Jakicevich to interrogate the status of our
global warming
response.

Ihirangaranga:
Taonga puoro, live music, spoken word, and real-time
painting in a multimedia performance that draws upon
cultural concepts to transport the audience to another
dimension.

imugi and Hans.:
Sensational duo imugi and buzzing Kiwi-Korean
rapper Hans. share the stage for a double-bill of silky
smooth electronic pop and laid-back, feel-good
hip-hop.

John Cohen
Radiohead for Solo
Piano
: Master of
improvisation, New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based pianist
Josh Cohen takes on legendary rock band Radiohead in this
live show of idiosyncratic covers from the group’s famous
back catalogue – interpretations that have gone viral on
YouTube with more than eight million views and
counting.

Jonathan Bree: The masked
maverick and co-founder of The Brunettes makes a rare
appearance in Tāmaki Makaurau, debuting new songs and crowd
favourites, before departing for a European
tour.

Kava Corner (Live) with
MELODOWNZ:
Gather around the tanoa with Poet, MC,
rapper and YouTube sensation MELODOWNZ as he welcomes you to
the circle with his online sensation Kava Corner live
on The Civic Club
stage.

Kōpū: The songs of
young wāhine Māori as they navigate this world, hairy
nipples first, in the footsteps of their naughty nannies
from the kāuta. A cheeky ballad of
show.

Labyrinth: Artists Erica
Duthie and Struan Ashby install a beautifully detailed
Labyrinth in an outdoor space for families to
enjoy.

Legacy Vogue Ball: Featuring
the leading exponents of the vogue ballroom movement, this
is a spectacle of fashion, wild choreography and outrageous
attitude.

Live Live Cinema:
Night of the Living Dead:
George Romero’s 1968 cult classic like you’ve never
experienced it before: live and in the flesh – two actors
perform just about everything you see and hear with a new
original score by Leon
Radojkovic.

Lontalius: Spend an
intimate evening with the talented Wellington
singer-songwriter also known as Eddie
Johnston

Lysander’s
Aunty
: Trick of the Light have
done it again. Retaining the madness and magic of the
original A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this humorous
re-work in partnership with Auckland Theatre Company and
Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts is a riotous clash
of youth and middle age, of urban and rural identity, of
conformity and rebellion…all played out in the NZ
bush.

Mark Work: Spanning the fields
of contemporary jewellery, architecture, design and
painting, Mark Work features six artists whose work
communicates across form and
discipline.

Melting Pot: A
showcase of short works by Freshmans Dance Crew plus guest
choreographers, musicians, designers and spoken word artists
which merges hip hop / street dance, contemporary dance,
physical theatre, haka and pacific movement with a
soundtrack of chart toppers, throwbacks and
originals.

Notes for Tomorrow: An
exhibition at Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery
conceived by Independent Curators International (ICI)
featuring artworks selected by 30 curators based in 25
countries.

Pakaru: A gutsy
portrayal of whānau and motherhood, Mitch Tawhi Thomas’s
multi award-winning play is rooted in heartfelt comedy,
brutal honesty, and the enduring human
spirit.

Requiem: A brilliant
concert with the APO that will touch the soul and lift the
spirit. It comprises the world premiere of a rare orchestral
and choral work of great beauty and power by Victoria Kelly,
the exquisite voices of Simon O’Neill and Jayne
Tankersley, and a new composition for taonga puoro and
orchestra by Ruby
Solly.

Serenades by
Deborah Wai Kapohe:
Acclaimed soprano Deborah Wai
Kapohe returns with a fresh look at the 19th century
practice of self-accompanying operatic arias with guitar,
along with Broadway hits, waiata reo Māori, and well-known
pop songs.

Siva Afi Festival: Watch
the night light up with performers of this traditional,
exhilarating Samoan art form as they showcase their talents
and compete for glory.

Someplace Else: A
Travel Archive:
Through accumulated travel
ephemera and intimate drawings, this long-running project by
Louise Stevenson, exhibited at Corban Estate Arts Centre,
grapples with poignant shifts in time, culture, and
geo-political landscapes.

Skyduck: A
Chinese Spy Comedy:
Top Gun meets 007 with a
J-Pop soundtrack! A brilliant bilingual solo show, written
by and starring Sam Wang, which blends lo-fi and high-tech,
AV, puppets, musical numbers and a dizzying array of
transforming and handmade gadgets.

Smoke
and Mirrors
: With this new
project – a major solo show – artist John Reynolds mixes
rainwater with acrylics, gallows humour with dead
seriousness, and ponders “are we there
yet?”.

Spoken Walls – A City in
Verse:
Taking inspiration from the Slogans of
‘68 revolution and Phantom Billstickers founder Jim
Wilson’s Poems on Posters, Action Education will
work with groups of young poets from the four corners of
Tāmaki to encourage them to express a positive message of
their truth.

Super Special Disability
Roadshow:
What’s it like to be disabled in 2022?
Laugh, cry, and laugh again, in this must-watch singing
extravaganza from Disability-led Scotland theatre company,
Birds of Paradise.

Tātou, Tātou
E!:
A massive sing-along in Aotea Square to
open the festival. MC Pere Wihongi and musician Maaka Pohatu
will lead the crowd in well-known waiata including ‘Pō
Karekare Ana’, ‘Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi’, and ‘E Pāpā
Waiari’, alongside a new playlist.

Te Kai a
te Rangatira:
A day of festivity with te reo Māori
– an artform in itself – at its centre. Includes a
high-powered panel discussion, workshops, Māori arts and
crafts market, kai, and more. Taking the opportunity to
salute the indigenous language of Aotearoa, this event will
be delivered entirely in te reo Māori.

The
Dalai Lama’s Inner World:
For the first time,
songs from the Dalai Lama’s debut album will be performed
live as an immersive sensory experience incorporating
recordings of His Holiness, lush visuals by Tiffany Singh,
and an expansive nine-piece band.

The
Mixtape – Live:
RNZ’s Music 101 host
Charlotte Ryan presents a very special Sunday evening
listening party and kōrero with Grammy-winning composer and
musician Bret McKenzie (Flight of the
Conchords).

The Seasons:
Dancers from inclusive dance company Jolt join together with
musicians of the Chamber Music NZ, lead by acclaimed
violinist Martin Riseley, create an energetic and evocative
performance set to Max Richter’s stunning
Recomposed.

The Unruly
Tourists:
In a tale from living memory, a flock
of badly-behaved tourists spread a trail of rubbish and fuel
a national obsession. A genre-defying comedy opera that will
spark conversation long after the curtain goes
down.

to fashion: dressing
Aotearoa
: Twelve distinctive individuals,
including poet Tayi Tibble, mental health advocate Sir John
Kirwan, and K’ Road chronicler Six have fashioned their
personal appearance in a way that expresses their identity
for these vibrant life-size portraits by award-winning
photographer Edith Amituanai.

Truth Bombs
Comedy Series:
To celebrate 40 years as performers,
the Topp Twins will share the stories behind some of their
iconic songs that became the soundtrack to New Zealand’s
protest movement of the 1980s, in The Topp Twins
– the Art of Protest.
Pax
Assadi (Comedy – The Essential
Service?
) and James Nokise (Auckland
Sux
) will also deliver their
truths.

Truth & Lies:
Cabaret that dances through the light and shadows of naked
truth, bare-faced lies, and the complexity of everything in
between. Aerialists and acrobats will challenge you to take
flying leaps of faith and suspend your
beliefs.

Truth Spoken Truth Heard:
A courageous kōrero provides a dose of rongoā
for your hinengaro and ngākau on International Race
Relations Day.

TRUTHMACHINE:
An intimate, playful and intriguing theatre experience for
adventurous audience members which uses real biometric
sensors and live voting systems.

Two Truths
and a Lie
: Emerging artists
respond to the current atmosphere of misinformation and
mistrust. In equal parts light-hearted and ominous, this
exhibition recognises the multiverse we live in, in which
conflicting truths seemingly
coexist.

United for Truth: An
interactive, meaningful and participatory art installation
lead by Gisborne-based artist Adel Salmanzadeh and created
by the community from natural material found on two Auckland
beaches.

Untrained: An
irreverent and humorous theatrical exploration created by
highly respected choreographer Lucy Guerin, lead in Aotearoa
by Arts Laureate Ross McCormack and performed by two highly
skilled male dancers alongside two who have no movement
training at all.

Venus Rising:
The Royal New Zealand Ballet performs three extraordinary
works by three formidable female choreographers in a
generous, glorious celebration of
ballet.

Waiwhakaata – Reflections in the
Water:
Contemporary dance, explosive and
innovative physical theatre, taonga puoro, and kōrero tuku
iho combine to bring us this story of hope and
reconnection.

Waves &
Lines:
An evening of powerful, deeply felt
music, featuring soprano, electronics, and chamber ensemble,
inspired by a tradition of Afghan women’s folk poetry by
Hamilton-born, New York-based composer Gemma
Peacocke.

Wild Once More:
Co-curated by Robbie Handcock and Christopher Ulutupu, this
exhibition explores moving-image practices from a group of
queer artists working in
Aotearoa.

ZOOOM: Combining old
school whimsy with state of the art technology, ZOOOM from
Adelaide’s Patch Theatre Company is the enchanting story
of a child who is unable to sleep and befriends a lost
star.

© Scoop Media

 

Source: Einnews

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