State of the Arts

The Sunday-Star-Times weekly wrap of the arts and entertainment.

Auckland Lantern Festival has moved from Albert Park to the Domain.

Auckland Lantern Festival has moved from Albert Park to the Domain.

New Year venue

Second Hand Rose, one of Beijing's biggest alternative rock bands,  are among the  international stars at the 2016 Auckland Lantern Festival, in the Auckland Domain, from February 18 to 21. New Zealand's largest festival of Chinese culture, the Auckland Lantern Festival, is moving from its previous Albert Park location to Auckland Domain. Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) presents the festival in partnership with Asia New Zealand Foundation.  "The Auckland Domain is a spectacular location," says Ateed's Vivien Bridgwater.  "Moving the festival there keeps this popular festival in the heart of Auckland. We are excited that some of China's top performers will be appearing at the first festival in the new location."

Dusty tribute

There may well be a minute's silence when Tami Neilson, Bella Kalolo and Anna Coddington pay tribute to the iconic Dusty Springfield in the Spiegeltent at the Auckland Arts Festival in March. The first of four night – March 2 – is the day Springfield died in 1999. The trio will work under the direction of Steph Brown (Lips), who is working with a five-piece band and putting her own spin and unique flavour on Springfield's.  "I am spoiled for choice," says Nielson about what she's most looking forward to.  "Dusty is a huge vocal hero of mine and Bella and Anna both make me laugh until I can barely breathe." Dust To Dusky runs March 2-5.

Taika a hit

Taika Waititi, who is working on the script for the upcoming Disney animated movie Moana, has had a rousing reception for his new movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople.   Based on the best-selling book Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump, the movie  tells the story of Ricky (Julian Dennison, pictured), a defiant young city kid who finds himself on the run with his foster uncle (Sam Neill) in the wild New Zealand bush. "We knew we had something special with Sam and Julian and were happy the audience felt the same way,"  says Waititi  off the back of a sell-out international premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie is released in New Zealand on March 31.

Dear Hillary

Geoff Pinfield or performer Arthur Meek's theatre piece Hillary Clinton/Young Lover premiered in New York last year.  Hillary didn't turn up.  'We have tried to reach Hillary by love letter, email, and tweet,' says Meek. "When all that failed we published and sent her a copy of The Young Lover Activity Guide  (available to the public $15 signed, $20 unsigned). It features a particularly romantic acrostic poem based on her name, but so far she hasn't acknowledged receipt. Then, I turned up at her campaign offices in Brooklyn with a bunch of flowers. I was escorted off the premises but the flowers were lodged with reception. We send her a filmed copy of every show. We are ready and willing to prove our amorous point to Hillary anywhere and at any time. We figure that the onus is on us to go to her – she doesn't seem the type of person who would raze a village in order to take a child." Hillary Clinton / Young Lover is on at Circa Theatre until February 20.  

Edited by Mike Alexander

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 - Sunday Star Times

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