The Auckland Arts Festival isn’t something you can easily ignore. The far-reaching celebration of all things art, performance and exhibition related is gearing up to smother our fair city (from 8th-26th March) with an endless number of cultural offerings — many of which you will have seen plastered up and touted around town. As wonderful as these more talked-about events will be, we’ve decided to scour the rest to bring you some of our more unassuming picks.
Mariachi with a twist
Who would have known that Mexicans have a thing for The Smith’s OG frontman, Morrissey? Well, they do. Enter Mexrrissey, a ‘six-piece super group’ whose talents have been carefully compiled by Mexico City DJ and producer Camilo Lara. Unfolding at the spiegel tent set to be erected in Aotea Square, the award-winning troupe will channel the English songwriter’s best hits, warping them into a vibrant repertoire of ranchera, mariachi and cha cha cha-themed interpretations with a whole lot of sass. Get tickets here.
Photojournalism at its finest
Enshrining two of the biggest names in photojournalism, Steve McCurry and world-renowned New Zealander Brian Brake, Picturing Asia: Double Take aims to juxtapose their respective styles in a study of complex narratives and stunning images at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery. The objective, naturally, is to stimulate a conversation about how Asia is ‘pictured’ within an old history of the exotic thanks to these two pros having put the region’s cultural richness in the spotlight. Free entry.
Bad boy theatre
Can you relate to the bad-boy way of life? Or, have a chronic problem with dating one too many? Then you’re already half-acquainted with Peer Gynt — the big dreaming lothario set to take the ASB Waterfront Theatre’s stage in a production by wunderkind playwright Eli Kent. With lust, fame and fortune driving the Peer Gynt [recycled] storyline — a classic originally written by Ibsen — we can’t wait to partake in this wild ride. Get tickets here.
An operatic world premiere
Inspired by the tale of the SS Ventnor which sank off the Hokianga coast and is a lost part of New Zealand history, The Bone Feeder is a new opera, beautifully written by poet and playwright Renee Liang and imaginatively scored by Gareth Farr. As an audience, you’ll be subjected to the mysteries, traumas and gifts of migration, home and belonging. Get tickets here.
Featuring Sergei Polunin, i.e. the star of the David LaChapelle-directed video that was Hozier’s Take Me to Church, we’re hotly anticipating the guest appearance of this ‘bad boy of ballet’ (yes, it’s a theme) in Natalia Osipova & Guests. Read more here.
Auckland Arts Festival