Christchurch Arts Festival aims to 'feel international' by bringing world to city

French artist Olivier Grossetete will bring his temporary cardboard structure to the city for the Christchurch Arts ...
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French artist Olivier Grossetete will bring his temporary cardboard structure to the city for the Christchurch Arts Festival 2017.

The Christchurch Arts Festival is set to bring the world to New Zealand this year with talent descending on the city from Mexico, Denmark, China, Brazil, Ireland, Sweden and Germany.

Highlights of the festival, which runs from August 30 to September 17, include a new musical from That Bloody Woman co-creator Luke Di Somma, fantastical new buildings constructed from cardboard boxes by a French artist in just one day and a cabaret featuring Australian disco diva Marcia Hines.

The programme was launched in the Arts Centre's Great Hall on Monday evening.

Grossetete enlists the local community to build his fantastical structure out of cardboard boxes.
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Grossetete enlists the local community to build his fantastical structure out of cardboard boxes.

Festival director Craig Cooper said he wanted the festival to feel international and explore how Christchurch connects to the world.

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"This time I really wanted to look outwards," he said.

Physical theatre, comedy and cabaret will be on display in "Chef" at the Christchurch Arts Festival 2017.
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Physical theatre, comedy and cabaret will be on display in "Chef" at the Christchurch Arts Festival 2017.

"Christchurch is at a point where it needs to decide what a globally connected city looks like. There is a lot of international work this year."

French artist Olivier Grossetete​ will build a large and elaborate structure from cardboard boxes in Market Square in the Arts Centre on September 9. The artist enlists the local community to help build the structures.

Cooper said he was a perfect artist for Christchurch.

Disco diva Marcia Hines is part of the Christchurch Arts Festival 2017 line-up.
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Disco diva Marcia Hines is part of the Christchurch Arts Festival 2017 line-up.

"They are huge. They are not designed to last months. It is just a day. They can be quite experimental.

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"The following day it gets taken down. That is just as fun, if not more fun, for kids."

The festival will also feature the world premiere of Christchurch composer Di Somma's latest musical.

The Things Between Us is a "chamber musical" for four performers about the nature of modern relationships.

"I really wanted to do a follow up with Luke after the success of That Bloody Woman," Cooper said.

"He didn't want to write a follow up to That Bloody Woman. He didn't want to do Edmund Hillary and call it That Bloody Mountain or something like that."

The international acts include South Korean physical theatre show Chef, the Guangdong Modern Dance Company from China, Irish theatre company Fishamble, Cirqus Alfon from Sweden and German performer Sven Ratzke with his cabaret show about David Bowie.

Venues for the festival include the new performance venue at the YMCA on Hereford St, the Isaac Theatre Royal, the Great Hall and The Piano.

 - Stuff

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