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Media Release

26 January 2015

A flock of new collaborations to welcome in the Year of the Sheep

Local and international acts to share the stage at the 2015 Wellington Chinese New Year Festival.

In a collaboration with the NZ Fringe Festival for the first time, the Chinese New Year Festival will bring international, national and local acts together to celebrate the Year of the Sheep.

There are several Chinese events featured in the NZ Fringe Festival Programme. The New Clothes for the New Year event, in its 11th year will run for the first time under the collaborative umbrella of the two events. This popular event brings together local designers and dancers to welcome in the New Year with a fusion of high street fashion and dynamic dance. 

Footnote New Zealand Dance is a significant part of Wellington's dance community, and their dance is a real reflection of NZ identity. This provides an ideal fit to showcase a merino collection by Mons Royale which Footnote will present in the show to welcome in the Year of the Sheep. Mandatory Menswear and Desiree feature on the catwalk for the first time and the event welcomes back Sophie Voon and Otago School of Design graduate Jessie Wong. Wong's YUMEI collection wowed fashionistas at Wellington Fashion Week when she took out the Supreme Light Leather Award and she has just returned from Shanghai where she was invited to show at Fashion Week.

The Shaanxi Little Plum Blossom Qinqiang Opera Arts Group from Xian in China will bring their first and only show to the TSB Bank Arena stage. Featuring acrobatics, martial arts and spectacular fire breathing, Qinqiang is considered the forefather of Chinese operas. The group has toured through Asia, Europe, Africa and North America, but this is their first trip to New Zealand, made possible via the signing of the MOU between WCC and the Ministry of Culture in Beijing.

"We are thrilled to host this group as our headline act for this year. It affirms the growing relationship between Beijing and Wellington and the importance place on the Festival by both cities," says Linda Lim, Programme Director for the Chinese New Year Festival.

NZ born Chinese playwright and Hutt Hospital paediatrician Renee Liang celebrates her status as a new Wellingtonian with the premiere of her new play Under the Same Moon at BATS Theatre. 

"I am thrilled to be leaving the big smoke of Auckland to celebrate Chinese New Year for the first time in Wellington and bring Under the Same Moon to the coolest little capital in the world" says Liang.

“One of our objectives is to provide a platform for our community to present their work and showcase their talent. Festival goers will not only be wowed by a spectacular programme of performances and shows but see that there is more to the Chinese culture than lion and dragon dancing!” says Lim.                                                        

A Youth Dance Collaboration project led by Deirdre Tarrant will bring together some of Wellington's young emerging dancers with their overseas counterparts to create a performance piece that will open the Festival programme. 

focuses on engaging young artists to draw on their experiences to create a work that responds to both diversity and universality of being part of a community, as seen through the eyes of creative youth from Asia and NZ. This work will be performed in both the ‘New Clothes for the New Year’ event and Festival Day stage programmes.

"The work which we have titled Sharing focuses on engaging young artists to draw on their experiences to create a dance work that responds to both the diversity and universality of being part of a community, as seen through the eyes of creative youth from Asia and NZ," says Tarrant. 

Sharing will be performed in both the New Clothes for the New Year event on Saturday 14 February and the next day to open the Festival Day stage programme.

"The universal language of dance will bring together Asian dancers from overseas with local dancers and will strengthen economic and cultural ties between NZ and Asia. We are excited to partner with Deirdre Tarrant on this wonderful initiative," says Lim.

Finally, through a partnership with the Confucius Institute and InkLink Art Studio, Discover Chinese New Year gave 300 plus students from Wellington schools an opportunity to participate in Chinese brush painting and calligraphy workshops. A selection of the artwork of students from these workshops will be exhibited at InkLink Studios from 3 - 13 February and in the Asian Market on Festival Day.

“Our 14th Festival promises to be the biggest and best yet, and has been made possible through the strong partnerships forged with these wonderful communities and organisations. Together is strength and we are proud that our Festival shows how communities are strengthened not from what they can achieve from working in isolation, but by the sum of their efforts in working together” says Lim.

For further information please contact:
Linda Lim
Programme Director – Chinese New Year Festival
Asian Events Trust
Phone: +64 27 4324269

A flock of new collaborations to welcome in the Year of the Sheep

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