New Zealand International Arts Festival - Press release
Two of the five $50,000 Laureate Awards, presented by the Arts Foundation last night, went to New Zealand International Arts Festival artists.
Internationally renowned choreographer and director Lemi Ponifasio, whose extraordinary work Birds with Skymirrors has its New Zealand premiere at the 2012 New Zealand International Arts Festival, received a $50,000 Laureate Award at the Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand Arts Awards, presented by the Arts Foundation in Auckland last night.
Respected musician and singer Whirimako Black, who performs her powerful songs and stories for Walk a Mile in My Shoes at the 2012 Festival, was also honoured with a $50,000 Laureate Award.
“We congratulate the Arts Foundation for their tremendous support and fitting acknowledgement of New Zealand artists,” says 2012 New Zealand International Arts Festival Artistic Director, Lissa Twomey.
“We are thrilled that Lemi Ponifasio has been honoured in New Zealand especially at this time following his international tour of Birds with Skymirrors, which returns home for its New Zealand premiere at the 2012 Festival.
“We are also proud to present another arts Laureate, Whirimako Black, in the international collaboration, Walk a Mile in My Shoes, with Maisey Rika and Australian and Papua New Guinean indigenous artists.’’
Whirimako Black has built up a loyal jazz and blues fan base with her distinctive sound and her use of traditional Māori musical forms and Te Reo Māori. She has performed throughout Aotearoa, Europe and Australia over the past decade.
Hailed by the French newspaper Le Figaro as one of the greats of modern dance, alongside the legendary Pina Bausch and Merce Cunningham, Lemi Ponifasio’s company, Mau, has performed in more than 20 countries.
Read more about Lemi Ponifasio and Birds with Skymirrors
Read more about Whirimako Black and Walk A Mile In My Shoes