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Julia Deans, Alice in Wonderland and Footnotes dance show - Kokomai continues to thrill and entertain us

Julia Deans sings Joni Mitchell - photo credit Pete Monk

Friday night we were privileged to witness a true & pure talent, Julia Deans & band "Both sides now" show,performing Joni Mitchell's songbook at Carterton events centre, another triumph for the Kokomai creative festival 2015. "This is not a tribute show, I'm not wearing a blonde wig.....or smoking a heap of cigarettes...it's just these guys & me with our interpretation of Joni's beautiful songs" says Julia as she eases into the set, a stellar performance which takes us back to the sixties with the incredibly poetic, political messages of these times penned so well by Joni....Julia & her band do justice to this iconic songstress & more.

Stand out songs "Help Me", "Blue" - "Woodstock" a highlight of the night as Julia showcased her perfect & strong soprano range. Closing to a standing ovation from the sell out crowd, we were fortunate to receive an encore - "River" & "Paint paradise". The entire show, directed by Shane Bosher a fluent, seamless, polished experience which you must see if you get the chance, we will definitely go back for more & hopeful of an album, these performers are world class.

Julia Deans & band perform at Carterton event centre - photo credit Pete Monk

The magical world of wonderland - in Martinborough!

The entrance to Wonderland - what lies down the rabbit hole?

Kokomai just keeps thrilling us with creative events popping up all over the Wairarapa, today we had a very important date in the Martinborough Square, transformed into wonderland to celebrate Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland turning 150 years old.

It couldn't have been more perfect, as we're sure the 200 plus children who entered the kingdom of Wonderland would agree. Games such as flamingo croquet, 3 legged race, magical pony rides where children won trophies while being cheered on by MC the Mad Hatter delighted us all.
The icing on the Wonderland cake the Alice characters, brilliantly played by Playing for Wellington actors. We got to rub shoulders with the March Hare, White rabbit, Queen & King of Hearts, Cheshire Cat, a chatty & very groovy caterpillar & the adorable dormouse who just would not wake up! What a fantastic way to introduce children to theatre as the Alice characters performed a superb "Mad Hatters tea party" show then inviting the children to partake in a magical feast!

See our pictures of the event here - Alice in Wonderland photos We are definitely keen to see more of this in Martinborough, huge thanks to Kokomai & Mitre10 for the organisation behind this.

Who is the real Alice? Find out at the Mad Hatters Tea Party!

Footnote New Zealand Dance 30Forward

Brydie Colquhoun flanked by Kosta Bogoievski, Lana Phillips & Adam Naughton in 30Forward - photo credit Footnote NZ Dance

Saturday night we saw Footnote New Zealand Dance perform 30Forward, a celebration of 30 years, NZ's longest -running contemporary dance company as part of their NZ tour. This celebration of the past, present & future had us on the edge of our seats, a privilege to witness, thought provoking with clever choreography perfectly portrayed by the dancers.
We were particularly impressed by the use of props, the box edging onto the stage had us wondering, then revealed a dancer within, cleverly used strobe lighting & special effects topped off the show in the second half.

Described as "high octane choreography by the Dom Post (review below) we encourage you to see this show as they tour the country.
30Forward Dom Post review

Footnote NZ Dance peforming Malia Johnston's FLIP PIVOT BOOM photo credit Footnote NZ Dance

Footnote New Zealand Dance performers - an outstanding show

Kokomai Creative Festival closes today & we are thrilled to have been part of it, bringing you just a taste of what's been showing around the region via our blogs. Huge thanks to the organisers of this festival which promises to become bigger & brighter as time goes on, we encourage you all to get behind this, support the arts in our region & participate in the many events & activities Kokomai brings to us all.
This years festival has been a credit to all involved,we look forward to many more.

Trish Higginson & Karina Hailwood Creative Directors
Martinborough Village
"Let us show you the magic of our town"

Copyright MV 2015
enquiries to karina@martinborough-village.co.nz