Free community events to fill Wānaka CBD

Mar 31, 2023

Tomorrow, Saturday 1st April, the Wānaka Festival of Colour 2023 take the arts out and into the Wānaka CBD for the Wānaka New World Community Day. A fantastic programme of free events is planned for the whole community, with circus performers, local dancers and singers, community choirs and roaming comedians.

The Compliment Cycle will be roaming the streets - part bike, part typewriter, part whirlwind-of-positivity. This spectacle-on-wheels will be cruising around Wānaka, typing up your compliments on the spot. All compliments are written on the built-in typewriter on a bike with bright lights, high arches, big stripes and swinging orbs. You won’t be able to miss it; get complimenting!

The United Dance Crew will be performing outside Kai Whakapai at 2:30pm on Saturday

The United Dance Crew, founded in 2016, will showcase two dances as a group before a soloist takes centre stage to close off the dance element of the Community Day.

The United Dance Crew practise together as part of Mint Charitable Trust’s weekly programme. Led by Mint Programme Coordinator Lizette Hart and with the support of MAC students and core members of Mint’s volunteer family, Tasmin Murphy and Mikayla Duncan, seven dancers will perform two works this Saturday. One is a collaboration, the first of its kind, with the Mint musicians, the second a hip hop performance. Rounding the day off will be Chloe Wigg, performing a solo dance.

Members of the Mint Creative Hub, run by Lia Burton, have been working on a project over the summer to create bunting and decorations for the street theatre, repurposing and giving a new life to the flags from former Festivals. With sustainability a core focus of the Festival, having the flags taking on a new look in the year of a Festival rebrand is wonderful to see, while carrying through a familiar motif from years gone by.

The United Dance Crew will be performing outside Kai Whakapai at 2:30pm

Completing a trilogy of Wānaka Festival of Colour performances by local dance schools is Surface Tension, a work that will be performed by young dancers on the new marina. In 2021, Centralpoint dancers performed Cross The Line, a collaboration with local skateboarders, at the Wānaka skatepark while in 2019, Bullock Creek was the stage for Live:Stream, a literally immersive experience for Wānaka’s dance students.

This new piece, created by Creative Director, Emma Vickers and Centralpoint choreographers, Briony Martin (also Centralpoint’s founder) and Nina Fischer, is inspired by the connection between air and water. With a cast of thirty dancers, Surface Tension explores how the mauri, the spiritual essence of these elements, themselves have a “dance”.

The name of the work reflects the fragility of the balance that exists between the two, the way in which their tension can be broken with a sudden change in the wind’s direction, breaking the surface and whipping the water into a frenzy of waves and ripples. Surface Tension will be performed at the Wānaka Marina ramp at 11am & 1pm

Bands from Mount Aspiring College will be playing outside Kai Whakapai from 11am-12:15pm. Enjoy the sounds of some of the colleges emerging talent including Feed The System, a four piece rock band; Vaguely Instrumental, three senior multi-instrumentalists and Spoken, a two piece electronic pop band that placed in the top 20 bands in last year’s Smokefree Rockquest.

Jim & Barb’s Relationship Advice Bureau will be open for business on the Pacific Crystal Palace Lawn from 11am - 1pm. As this Melbourne couple celebrates their 50th wedding anniversary, they will share with anyone who cares to listen the secrets of their successful and utterly dysfunctional partnership. Join them for a cup of tea and a biscuit, you can ask questions and they will give you relationship advice. They have no training, qualifications or experience - what could possibly go wrong?!

There's so much more on offer over the course of the day:

  • Qampi Philippine Cultural Dance Group outside Kai Whakapai at 1pm
  • Biggest Little Circus, with juggling and aerial acrobatics, will perform at the Dinosaur Park at 10am & 2pm
  • Wānaka Ukulele Orchestra are just a few of other the acts you will see in and around town. 

Wrap up warm, if the last few days have been anything to go by and make a day of it. 

Main image (Supplied): The Biggest Little Circus will perform at the Dinosaur Park at 10am & 2pm tomorrow.

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