First Contact at New Zealand International Arts Festival 2012The New Zealand International Arts Festival opens tonight with a live event in conjuction with the launch of First Contact. It’s FREE, family friendly, and starts at 8:30pm outside Te Papa. There are visuals by Linechecker and music and dance from the Whitireia Performing Arts School, The Nomad, Horomona Horo, Rhombus in Dub and Rayjah45.

First Contact is part of the Visual Arts programme. Artist Michel Tuffery has been inspired by works inside Te Papa. He will be projecting his work onto the outside of Te Papa. Nice. You can download the soundtrack. Other Visual Arts exhibitions starting today are the The 4 Plinths Sculpture Project (outside Te Papa), Black in Fashion (Museum of Wellington City & Sea), The Obstinate Object  (City Gallery), and four solo exhibitions that offer different takes on documentary photography (Adam Art Gallery).

Wander past Waitangi Park earlier in the evening (6pm) and you’ll see Arcane.  Two performers clambering around a runaway set of wheels? Crazy. In a good way. They’re listed as part of the Theatre programme. Also opening tonight are internationals The Wild Bride  and The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane.  (Kiwi shows opening tomorrow –
Michael James Manaia, and Peninsula.)

For the Dance programme, Grupo Corpo from Brazil have two shows Parabelo and Onqotô to share with us.  In Music, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra combine with amazing opera talent to bring us Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms. Sadly there’s only one performance of this.

Oh, and I almost forgot the Festival Club. It’s back in the tent in Odlin’s Plaza on the Wellington waterfront. See you there!