Thursday, December 10, 2009
AUCKLAND FESTIVAL 2011
From the Artistic Director’s travel diary
In my office I have boxes of DVDs and CDs to watch and to hear – and more arriving each day. There has been a lot of travelling this year; seeing festivals in Edinburgh, Dublin, Tallin, Tbilisi, Montepellier and Paris; and meeting with artists to talk about the program for Auckland Festival 2011.
Along the way there have been some memorable experiences which have changed the way I think about performance – some of which I hope will do the same for audiences in Auckland in the future. At the studio of Legend Lin Dance Company in Taipei, as a guest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan), I was ushered into a rehearsal studio that was lit with candles and filled with incense where I sat cross-legged to watch part of an extraordinarily beautiful work called Miroirs de Vie (watch on YouTube) performed just for me. Afterwards we had a tea ceremony.
I saw a production of Faust from Romania at the Edinburgh Festival that was a riot of sound and sensation with a hundred people on stage; saw Helen Mirren in a production of Phaedra at the National Theatre in London; was a guest of the Tbilisi Theatre Festival in Georgia where, amongst the eight productions I saw in four hectic days, was Hamlet at the famous Rustaveli Theatre followed by Macbeth across town at the Tbilisi State Theatre. In my mind the night has become MacHamlet. The generous Georgian hospitality included a potent national drink called chacha that I would recommend (in moderation).
Most recently I spent a week in Buenos Aires (thanks to a free air ticket won at a tourism function for Argentina) and was introduced to the rich independent theatre scene in that city, in which there are over 250 theatres, many of them very small and intimate – one of which was in the house of its director.
Check out the Festival website for more - www.aucklandfestival.co.nz