Press Release – WOW Awards
A recent Mayoral Delegation to China has been rewarded with a cultural gift for Wellington. The Shaolin Kungfu Monk Troupe will arrive in the city this spring, to perform for more than 50,000 people attending the World of WearableArt™ Awards Shows during WOW’s three-week season in September and October.
The Mayoral Delegation travelled to China in May and in while in Beijing, the Mayor of Wellington, Celia Wade-Brown signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Vice-Minister of Culture for China, Mr Ding Wei.
“Securing the Shaolin Kungfu Monk Troupe for Wellington is a terrific cultural outcome from our recent China delegation,” says Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, who met the Vice Minister for Culture in May.
“We are delighted to welcome one of China’s iconic cultural groups to the Events Capital as part of WOW, one of New Zealand’s premium cultural events that continue to amaze and surprise audiences each year,” says Mayor Wade-Brown.
WOW’s Creative Director, Malia Johnston, says the 15 monks will perform during the closing section of the WOW show, which has been choreographed and themed to celebrate the Kingdoms of the East.
“They bring a very specific skill set and philosophy of performance,” said Malia. “I’m excited to see how the relationship with other performers will develop as we rehearse.”
The Shaolin Monastery is the most famous temple in China, renowned for its kung fu fighting monks, who display amazing feats of strength, flexibility, and pain-endurance.
“The Shaolin monks have created a world-wide reputation as the ultimate Buddhist warriors, so this is a truly special opportunity for our WOW audiences to experience one of the best cultural performances in the world.”
While other troupes of Shaolin Monks have visited New Zealand, this will be a first-time visit by this troupe.
Last year more than 47,000 people came to a WOW show, with 71.6% of those people coming from outside of Wellington, and this year the season has been extended to cover a third weekend, meaning that 8,000 additional tickets are available.