After Berlin there is a show or two to see in Pilzn in the Czech Republic then another in Graz, Austria. This is the time to explore so many of the possibilities for our 2009 program.
Earlier this year, David went to the United States and Canada...
Hawaii. What an interesting place. Where else, but in Honolulu, on Waikiki Beach, could you wear your bathers and jandals into a Gucci shop and not feel under-dressed? On Maui, the director of the Polynesian Arts Centre introduced me to legendary ukulele player, Jake Shimabukuro. Check it out! He's incredible. (Note from Bookman Beattie - be sure to have a look at this You Tube clip)
Despite the obvious talent in Hawaii, I left concluding that the epicentre of Pacific arts development is definitely in Auckland.
In New York I managed to find a ticket to the acclaimed Broadway production, Spring Awakening. Who would have thought that a story of teenage angst by the 19th century German writer, Frank Wedekind in which someone commits suicide, a girl dies from a backyard abortion and the main character is sent to Reform School could be turned into a toe-tapping musical? That's entertainment! I believe that plans are afoot for an Australasian production sometime next year.
I noticed a new trend in dance in Montreal. It's called 'When the Music Starts, Get Your Gear Off!'. Two of the three dance programmes I saw were big on nudity. Will it spread to the rest of the world?
Meanwhile back here in New Zealand...
A new partnership has been formed with The Arts Regional Trust and the ASB Community Trust to develop and encourage the production of ambitious, risky and exciting work from New Zealand and Pacific artists. The Watch This Space programme will be encouraging local artists to explore new concepts and ideas that might be of interest to New Zealand's festivals and to festivals across the Tasman and further abroad. It's a truly exciting initiative and there are great hopes that some jewels will come out of it.
We'll be letting you know about other new developments with the Auckland Festival as they are confirmed. Thank you sincerely for your commitment to the programme, it wouldn't happen without you.