Curated and developed by Parris Goebel, one of New Zealand’s most internationally successful entertainers, the country’s Entertainment and Cultural Programme at Expo 2020 Dubai will showcase its talent, creativity and diversity.

Parris Goebel is a New Zealand Samoan shaping pop music around the world, having worked with the likes of Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Janet Jackson, and Nicki Minaj. She brings together a vibrant line-up of performances that will be modern, contemporary, urban and youth focused.

Guided by the nation’s theme of Care for People and Place, the programme includes a diverse range of New Zealand talent from dancers and singers to artists and cultural performers with a particular emphasis on those with Maori and Pasifika roots.

“I want to show the breadth and variety of our creative talent to the world. I’ve picked a selection of established artists alongside up and coming youth, singers, dancers and street artists – it’s a very intentional mix to showcase a modern and diverse Aotearoa New Zealand. Of course, there will be some of our amazing kapa haka performers coming to Dubai to wow visitors, which I’m sure people are looking forward to,” said Parris Goebel, New Zealand choreographer and creative director.

Visitors can expect a line-up of performances that showcase sounds of Aotearoa New Zealand, which are not often heard across the globe.

“I also wanted to focus on talents that people might not be so familiar with, such as Maori and Pacific Island performers. Some of these artists I grew up listening to, and I’m grateful to them for paving the way for my own success. We are very lucky that New Zealand has many artists who are internationally recognised, and I wanted to use the global platform of Expo 2020 Dubai to enhance and boost this,” Goebel continued.

Discussing the importance of the youth talent in the programme, Parris said: “When our youth are given a platform to express themselves, they really shine. This is an amazing opportunity to show the world our heart, resilience, love for our land, love for our people and love for our youth.”

During the six-month event, New Zealand will celebrate diversity with a vibrant line-up of shows and activities that include:

• Kapa Haka: Maori performing arts is an indigenous cultural icon, unique to Aotearoa. It represents a significant contribution to New Zealand's national identity and how New Zealanders are represented and viewed internationally – a powerful platform for creating meaningful connections within communities, other nations and people. Several Kapa Haka performances will be held throughout the Expo period, and visitors will be able to experience a range of compositions, from chants, choral singing, and graceful action songs. All will showcase New Zealand’s history, the power of the TeReo Maori (the Maori language), the power of music and the absolute wairua of teao Maori (soul and spirit of the Maori world).

• Sounds of Aotearoa: Music is a huge part of New Zealand’s culture, and at Expo this will be showcased through an eclectic mix of the nation’s sounds including:

Six60 – New Zealand’s top selling band, who were the first in the world to perform live to stadium audiences since the start Covid pandemic. They sold over 190,000 tickets on their tour, making them the highest selling band in the world last year.

Kimbra–a New Zealand singer, songwriter, record producer, actress and model who mixes pop with R&B, jazz and rock musical elements. Kimbra is one of only three New Zealanders to win a Grammy after scooping Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for her collaboration with Gotye on Somebody That I Used to Know.

Sol3 Mio – a New Zealand musical trio consisting of Moses Mackay, Pene Pati and Amitai Pati, all of Samoan descent and classically trained - Moses as a baritone, and the Pati brothers as operatic tenors.

Sammy Johnson- aka Sammy J embraces his Maori heritage to create positive and uplifting music. Blending island reggae, soul and jazz vibes with heartfelt lyrics, Sammy's sound is exhilarating and intoxicating.

Annie Crummer – a New Zealand pop singer and songwriter of Cook Islands descent who has seen success in both a solo career and as part of several musical groups.

• Voice of Youth: Directed by Parris Goebel, the Voice of Youth show will feature young New Zealand talent aged 16 to18 including Tone6, an Auckland-based rangatahi group, handpicked by Parris and her team through live auditions conducted earlier this year.

• Live Street Art: Visitors can check out the work of street artists including Charles and Janine Williams, Gary Yong and Otis Frizzell, live in action from 28 -31 January 2022, culminating on New Zealand’s National Day - 31st January 2022.Well-known New Zealand DJ, Sir-Vere will be creating a street festival experience and encourage passers-by to stop and enjoy watching the artists at work.

• The Royal Family: Gold medallist and internationally renowned hip-hop mega dance team, the Royal Family Dance Crew will represent New Zealand with its refreshing, engaging interpretation of dance moves - a show not to be missed!

• A full day schedule of special celebrations will also take place on New Zealand’s National Day (31st January 2022), and will include Six60, in the special line-up.

Access to the Entertainment and Cultural Programme events is included with Expo 2020 tickets, a statement said. – TradeArabia News Service

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