Auckland Arts Festival 2015: White Night

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Auckland Arts Festival’s iconic event, White Night, is back in 2015 – and it’s bigger than ever before!


Last Festival’s White Night drew an estimated 22,000 visits to 81 locations across 14 suburbs Auckland-wide. This year, on March 14, more than 100 venues and locations from Devonport to Otara, Titirangi to the CBD, boast free visual art, dance, music, poetry, and video events from 6pm until the clock strikes 12.

Whether you’re keen to traverse all around town on the free buses, or simply feel like meandering down to your neighbourhood hub for a look at what’s on offer, White Night 2015’s brand new web app, available athttp://whitenight.aaf.co.nz/, is your new best friend. It enables you to view venues, times and filter events according to your interests so you don’t miss out!

Auckland Arts Festival 2015 artistic director, Carla van Zon, says this year’s event in particular celebrates the diversity, as well as the artistic flavour, in and around New Zealand’s largest city.

“White Night 2015 includes performances within a broad range of linguistic and cultural contexts, including Māori, New Zealand European, Indian, Fijian, Samoan, Japanese, Solomon Islands and more. It’s an incredible snapshot, not just of the arts scene in Auckland, but of the cultural landscape as well,” says van Zon.

Particular highlights include the return of White Night 2013 favourites, NZ Trio, to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki – their stunning concerts last Festival were so popular they had to schedule in an extra performance on the night – as well as the gallery’s opening of ground-breaking pop artist Billy Apple’s exhibition, Billy Apple®: The artist has to live like everybody else.

The Alternative Resources exhibition at the Central City Library will see fine arts students transform every interior floor of the building, as well as the mobile library and the concrete walls of the St James Theatre.

New Zealand Maritime Museum will host a unique performance by Indian theatre company Prayas, while Java Dance Company starts the night off harbourside with a flourish on the museum’s pontoons.
Like what you see? Then tag along for a free bus ride from the CBD to Mangere Arts Centre Ngā Tohu o Uenuku – withJava Dance Company performing on the bus the entire way – before stepping out for the presentation of a collaborative work of street art by former US Black Panther Party minister of culture, Emory Douglas, and members of Auckland youth arts organisation Ngā Rangatahi Toa.

Bodyphonics dancers and music students from the University of Auckland will perform in public spaces around the city. This enchanting contingent of emerging performing artists will be popping up all over town, connecting attendees with different venues and leaving a trail of delight in their wake. Meanwhile, Manukau Institute of Technology Creative Writing students will be on the move, recording and sharing their wordy snapshots as the witching hour looms.

Dancer and Arts Laureate Louise Potiki-Bryant will be joined by clay artist Paerau Corneal and musician Paddy Free at Q Theatre Loft in the CBD for three performances of KIRI, a compelling and beautifully crafted work bringing to life the creation of Hine-ahu-one. Two of these performances will be broadcast live onto the screen in the TimeOut Festival Garden in Aotea Square.

Also set to open in the TimeOut Festival Garden on White Night is the mesmerising #entity255, an interactive digital mandala formed in response to search terms entered by the public. This digital version of an ancient symbol will evoke a “living” organism, absorbing and emitting energy and responding to its surroundings.

Down at Silo Park, Auckland Museum will take White Night outside the museum walls this year, presenting Fijian performance artists Vou. The company’s mesmerising dance work will be projected onto Silo 7 while spoken word artists transport the audience to another, haunting realm. Afterwards, audiences will be able to browse visual art works by New Zealand-based artists including Bic Runga, Boh Runga, Serj Tankian, Shannon Novak and Mardo El-Noor, located inside the silos themselves.

Out west, McCrae Way in New Lynn Town Centre will be transformed thanks to an experimental marching band and the radiant, glowing sculptural installation by artists Sara Hughes, Gregor Kregar and architect Davor Popadich, while the beautiful new Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in Titirangi will be open late offering exhibitions and talks by artists and curators.

Central suburbs Parnell and Remuera will erupt into life with events, performances and exhibitions being held at and around more than 40 locations, including galleries, cafes, libraries, shops and the footpaths that connect them. The North Shore won’t miss out either, with exciting events being held in both Northcote and Devonport!

Visit www.aucklandfestival.co.nz for a full list of venues, times and to make full use of the new White Night web app. While you’re there, be sure to take a look at some of the fabulous events happening throughout the month of March as part of Auckland Arts Festival 2015.

For White Night images and image credits, please visit the White Night Dropbox folder, available here.

Finally, don’t forget to follow Auckland Arts Festival 2015 White Night on Twitter at @WhiteNightAKL

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