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Carla's Korero 12/02/13

1 years ago

Carla and Gregg

Greetings to all lovers,


It's Valentine's Day this week and all thoughts turn to love. Love in all its guises.  And age is not a barrier. As a long-time married woman (it's our 28-year anniversary during the Festival), I love it when my husband Gregg surprises me. Often he forgets Valentine's Day, but then, without any reason, I get a surprise. It's not usually flowers, but normally a new shed, some exotic vegetable plant or a home-made eco friendly Japanese bath. And as I am away a lot coming home is always an adventure. Yet, when we met in August 1980, in Washington DC, who knew that life would turn out this way. Our joke is that Gregg hired me to be a hotel maid in a large hotel/hostel in Washington DC. He was the Manager and I was about to start my Masters at George Washington University. I had enough money for my fees but not enough to afford a flat so I got a job at the hotel because it seemed better than being a nanny. Gregg always jokes that that was the last time I cleaned toilets or vacuumed. So, give your loved one an adventure or a new experience - surprise them with something really different.


Gregg has seen a lot of the shows in the upcoming Festival so I am going to give you a couple of his choices, as well as some shows about love. We went together to The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart in Scotland. He loved being in a pub, the single malt whiskey (and, loving him, I gave him my glass as well), and the Gaelic music, but mostly he enjoyed the Robbie Burns tale of how an uptight woman, who doesn't have time for love, meets the devil. Strange comings and goings ensue…


I met Alice in Dublin. She was an older woman, like me, and still in love despite a few tribulations on the way. She loved Alice…and I Heart Alice Heart I is their story. It's a story of stolen kisses in supermarket aisles, getting old and stuck in one's ways, and of the beauty of still being in love after a long time - with wrinkles and tummys.  It is filled with Irish humour - the Alices always make me laugh.


In Rhinoceros in Love, a young zoo keeper falls in love with an unobtainable girl - a beautiful girl who looks like she has stepped out of a fashion plate. This 20-something story tells of young love, unrequited love. Set in Beijing today, we see that people are the same everywhere. Love is universal and so are all the things we go through in our twenties. Does he get the girl?  You will have to see the show to find out.


Gregg and I saw Groupe F's work for the first time at Chalons-sur-Saone in France in July 1994.  A magical night that was so totally unexpected.  I didn't even know that Gregg liked fireworks yet in this small historic French village we stood amazed, enthralled at the Birds of Fire. Their world premiere for Auckland Arts Festival will be even more amazing because Christophe Berthonneau, the Artistic Director, has always been one step ahead of every other fire and light company in creating work that takes your breath away. For The Breath of the Volcano expect the astonishing, all told with light - birds that fly, multi-coloured rainbows, volcanoes erupting - and experience man entering, and impacting, the natural world. The series of vignettes will be told through projection (word has it Auckland itself may be projected in 3D), fire puppets, LED light suits and, of course, pyrotechnics to blow your mind. Bring a picnic and a blanket and cuddle up under the stars - win the heart of someone you love, a child, a lover, a parent, an aunt, or the whole whanau, with this extraordinary event. Gregg and I are bringing our whole family.


And finally, on one night only, there is a very special event. A wonderful addition to the popular WHITE NIGHT (already a night to spend with someone you love in the city you love) is Carol Brown's performance installation work 1000 Lovers - based on Auckland's name, Tāmaki Makau Rau, which means 'Isthmus of one thousand lovers' or 'Tāmaki - the bride sought by a hundred suitors'. This fascinating performance journey invites audiences to follow a path from the sea (Silo Park) to the city. Pick up some headphones in advance to follow a guided itinerary or join in as a passer-by. Wander by arm-in-arm and you never know what you will experience.


With love,