Get on up and get on down at CubaDupa!

16 February 2015

CubaDupa is Wellington’s new, vibrant street festival revering the epic creative spirit of Cuba Street and the Wellington community.

The Beop

The Beop

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Over the weekend of 28th and 29th March 2015, Wellington’s most iconic street will be transformed to a magical interactive playground of delight, sound and taste.

The roads will become pedestrianised from Manners Street up to Karo Drive and between Taranaki and Victoria Streets (with the exception of Vivian Street) to beguile Cuba Street alive with a myriad of dance, music, theatre, live street art, carnival, circus, and street food.

In true Street Festival style the premise of CubaDupa is that the audience will help create the show. Midday Saturday, CubaDupa will kick off with a mass choir involving six different choirs starting from different areas of the festival site and processioning through the streets converging to come together to sing a piece especially created for CubaDupa.

Stages will be dotted around the site and throughout the day and evening performers will appear at various times on stages and on the street – forming many small processions and vignettes.

The Cuba Quarter is undeniably a home of eclectic tastes, with delightful flavours from around the world. Saturday 28th March the Street Food Festival offers over 60 food experiences - served on the street from restaurants, cafes, and bars who proudly call Cuba Street home. Sunday 29th March will be Dining in the Streets, turning Cuba St into a large outdoor café!

CubaDupa is six weeks away and we are proud to unveil these 10 exciting highlight events occurring 28th & 29th March – just a handful of the multitude to come!

1) Cuban Fusion Viva Cuba Street Party
Bringing Cuban flare to CubaDupa this year with Wellington’s Cuban salsa specialists Cuban Fusion and Cuban Quartet Calle Cuba, and their “Viva Cuba Street” Parties, which will include a free fun follow-me class that will teach you to dance like a Cuban, ending with a Cuban Conga flash mob… all the way up Cuba Street! Come dressed in Red & White – the more White the better – and come party like a Cuban! 

2) Osadia (Spain)
Osadia means to be daring or imprudent. The idea of this spectacular street theatre performance is to attract volunteers onto the stage to give them the makeover of their lives using lots of imagination, creativity, color and humor. Hair is not a necessity here; the artists only need a head on shoulders to work with!

3) Grand Opening
Barbarian Productions warmly welcomes you to their most ambitious project yet - 'Grand Opening'. This is a very special event in the Opera House, fit for the whole family. They've been rehearsing with dozens of performers from community groups around Wellington for this spectacular event. Barbarians have the keys to the Opera House and can't wait for you to join them!

4) Carnival Bloco
Wellington Batucada is delighted to bring the vibrant rhythms of 100 Brazilian samba drummers to CubaDupa. Joined by drummers and dancers from AKSamba (Auckland), Sambatron (Hamilton), Samba de Sol (Nelson) and Bay Batucada (Hawkes Bay). Get your dancing shoes on cos you’re gonna want to shake yer booty! You’ll find them on stage, on the streets, and jamming in Te Aro Park on both days – and on Sunday they’ll be coming together for a great big Carnival Finale to close the festival.

5) Mass Cuba Street Orchestra
Murray Hickman and Adam Page are creating a composition for a Mass Cuba Street Orchestra, including musicians from Strike, The Balkanistas, Niko Ne Zna, Richter City Rebels and Wellington Brass Band. The Mass Cuba Street Orchestra will be played in various street locations, as separate movements, and culminating in an epic grand finale.

6) Electric Swing Circus (UK / NZ)
The Electric Swing Circus is Birmingham based, with two ex-pat kiwis on lead vocals, it is a six-piece fusion of saucy 20′s swing and stomping electro beats. With an explosive sound that reverberates back through time, the ESC hotfoot their way through everything from breakbeat and house to reggae and dubstep, all with their own unique style of swing.

7) CubaKaleidoscope
A film, installation, dance event celebrating 100 years of dance in Cuba Street, students from Tarrant Dance Studio will bring colour, music and vibrancy from the building and connect it with the Cuba Quarter. At night projections will light up the façade of the Tarrant Dance Studio in Cuba Mall showing imagery of dancers throughout the history of the studio. “dance...colour...creativity...energy... ecology... and fun in Cuba Street." – Deirdre Tarrant

8) Electric Groove Rider
The very wacky and delightful Electric Groove Rider is a unique pedal powered mobile sound system toppling into Cuba Street with steam punk costumed, theatrical dancers.

9) Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys (Prince Edward Island, Canada)
Multi-award-winning Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys serve up old-time roots music in an exhilarating live show that instantly enamours audiences, with jaw-dropping stagecraft and showmanship. Whilst simultaneously playing the fiddle – and exhibiting an outright disregard for the physics of a double bass, this is an unforgettable live experience!

10) The Beop
The Beop are a band like no other. Performing with extra-ordinary instruments from the 7th dimension, they communicate their songs through time via a hi-tech physical structure that enables their transmogrification to bring electronic future-punk to the people of the 21st Century. After aeons of careful engineering rigorous testing at a secret location, the portal is ready for the imminent arrival of these joyful shamen. In anticipation of the event, the Beop Portal has been granted air traffic control clearance from Wellington Airport: “There will be some light activity over the Cuba Street precinct as the portal opens”, says spokesperson for the airport. “This is an exciting time for Wellington, witnessing the arrival of new modes of travel.”

As well as a multitude of artistic events CubaDupa is proud to be associated with incredibly creative sponsors and funders. We warmly acknowledge the spirit and energy of our Core Partner Wellington City Council, Foundation Partners Cato Brand Partners, Wellington International Airport, The Wellington Company, and MediaWorks , Innovation Partners Fronde,  Programme Partners Havana Coffee Works, and Westpac, Artist Support Museum Hotel, Media Partners Chilli and i-Site, Hospitality Partner CQ Hotel, and Funders Wellington Community Trust, Lion Foundation, and Infinity Trust.

CUBA STREET “a place that embraces diversity and steadfastly refuses to be boring.” - Grant Smithies, Sunday Star Times

CubaDupa Vision: To be the most extraordinary, participatory and creative inner-city celebration in NZ.
CubaDupa Mission: To create an iconic grassroots creative event for Wellington that is unique, accessible, interactive and sustainable with the potential to grow.