New Zealand celebrates biggest Expo month yet with calendar of cultural happenings

 New Zealand celebrates biggest Expo month yet with calendar of cultural happenings

DUBAI, 06 October 2021. New Zealand Pavilion , Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Suneesh Sudhakaran/Expo 2020 Dubai)

The New Zealand Pavilion is set to celebrate its biggest month yet at Expo 2020 Dubai, revealing a stellar line-up of music, dance and culinary events throughout January. The action-packed cultural calendar runs from 13 January and culminates with New Zealand’s National Day celebrations on 31 January, including a special performance by one of the nation’s top-selling live bands, Six60.

Guided by its Expo theme ‘Care for People and Place’, New Zealand’s January cultural showcase celebrates the breadth and variety of the country’s creative talent. Throughout the month, Expo visitors can join culinary events hosted by leading New Zealand chefs and enjoy a diverse range of performances by some of its most celebrated singers, dancers, and artists, as well as a specially curated production from the future of New Zealand’s performing arts.

Commenting on the upcoming events, Clayton Kimpton, New Zealand’s Commissioner-General to Expo 2020 Dubai said: “This month’s calendar of cultural happenings at Expo 2020 Dubai is a prime opportunity for Aotearoa New Zealand to demonstrate our creativity and innovative spirit on a global stage. We look forward to welcoming visitors to join us in marking our National Day on 31 January and celebrate our country’s creativity, showing how care and hospitality are part of New Zealand’s rich culture.

“The diverse line-up of events planned for our National Day celebration will give Expo 2020 visitors a deeper understanding of who we are and put the spotlight on our arts and creative sector, which contributes $10.98 billion to our Gross Domestic Product,” he added.

Taste New Zealand, a culinary showcase of the nation’s food and beverage offering, will kick off the programme from 13-31 January. The three-week event is being led by celebrated visiting Chefs Sid Sahrawat, and Kārena and Kasey Bird, as well as New Zealander Jesse Blake, head chef at homegrown restaurant LOWE, who are all set to showcase their gastronomic skills and spotlight New Zealand’s array of premium, delicious ingredients.

From 23-31 January, New Zealand will host a modern, urban and youth-focused line-up of performances. Curated by Parris Goebel, creative director of the entertainment and cultural programme for New Zealand at Expo 2020, and one of New Zealand’s most internationally successful entertainers, the programme will appeal to entertainment seekers of all ages.

Parris, a New Zealand Samoan choreographer and global creative force, has become a renowned figure in pop culture around the world, having worked with the likes of Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Janet Jackson, and Nicki Minaj. As part of New Zealand’s January showcase, she has created, directed and produced a show, exclusively for Expo 2020 Dubai, called ‘Wonderland’ that will amplify the voices of young New Zealanders.

“It has been such a privilege to be part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Expo journey and to showcase our unique entertainment and culture to the world through our amazing talent. From mesmerising Kapa Haka performances, world-renowned dance crews, to dynamic street art installations and live music – there really is something for everyone. We’re also bringing a special show called ‘Wonderland’ which has been created especially for Expo and will celebrate the power of our next generation of performers.”

The full line-up of New Zealand’s January shows and activities include: Wonderland (23-26 January): Directed by Parris Goebel, ‘Wonderland’ will feature young New Zealand talent aged 16 – 18 handpicked by Parris and her team through live auditions conducted in 2021. Exploring the multi-faceted feelings and scenes which define one’s “Voice of Youth” this powerful show explores themes and issues relevant to young people around the world today.

-Timings: 23 & 24 January 6-8pm. Location: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre.

-25 January 6-8pm. Location: Jubilee Stage.

-26 January 7-8:30pm. Location: Jubilee Stage.

Live Street Art (27-31 January): Visitors can check out the work of street artists as they create a 20-metre mural. Well-known New Zealand DJ, Sir-Vere will be hyping up the vibe to encourage passers-by to stop and enjoy the artists at work.

Timings:10am-2pm and 5-7pm. Location: Al Forsan Park.

The Royal Family Dance Crew (31 January – 2 February): Gold medallists and internationally renowned hip-hop mega dance team, the Royal Family Dance Crew will represent New Zealand with its refreshing, engaging interpretation of dance moves – a show not to be missed! Timings: 31 January 7:30-9pm and 1 & 2 February 7.30-9pm Location: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre.

Six60 (31 January): New Zealand’s top-selling band, and the first in the world to perform live to stadium audiences since the start Covid pandemic, Six60 is the headline concert during New Zealand’s National Day celebrations. The band sold over 190,000 tickets on their tour in 2020, making them the highest-selling band in the world.

Timings: 9.30-11pm Location: Jubilee Stage.

Sol3 Mio (31 January & 2 February): Multi-platinum New Zealand singer Moses Mackay of Sol3 Mio and Ludwig Treviranus are set to wow Expo 2020 audiences with their take on operatic music with a pop twist.

Timings: 6:00-6:45pm Location: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre.

Ngati Ranana Kapa Haka Performance (31 January – 2 February): Ngāti Rānana will delight, entertain and educate crowds about New Zealand’s Māori culture and Te Ao Māori, the Māori world with their kapa haka performances at Expo 2020’s Earth Stage. Ngāti Rānana is a community group, based in London, United Kingdom that has been performing and exchanging culture since 1958.

Timings: 31 January 2:30-3pm & 6:30-7pm and 1 & 2 February 4:30-5pm & 6:30-7pm Location: Earth Stage.


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