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When Def Jam meets The Literatti . . . Growl: An International Collaboration Like No Other
Chicago-based Def Jam poet and member of the American National Slam Team Nikki Patin is heading to New Zealand to be part of The Literatti’s Auckland Fringe Festival show, Growl, on 7 March 2009.
The Literatti have been fusing poetry with performance, music and visual art since 2006. Growl sees the performance poetry troupe working with a member of the very group that inspired The Literatti’s formation back in 2005, the Def Jam Poets.
Using various technology-based resources The Literatti and Patin are collaborating across countries to create a show that intermingles both parties’ work and voices with NZ music by Just the Tikit and live cello by Fiona Holding. They will have one intensive week to rehearse together in person before the show, when Patin arrives on NZ shores in late February. Growl kicks off Patin’s three week Phat Grrrl Revolution tour which takes her all the way from Auckland to Dunedin and is supported by Gravity Coffee.
Interestingly the project came about through a comment posted by The Literatti’s creative director on one of Patin’s video clips on Youtube: ‘you simply must come and perform in New Zealand’. This message was followed by another from Patin: ‘I’m booking tour dates as we speak and would love to come to NZ.’
In just a few short weeks Growl was born, with both Patin and The Literatti excited about the prospect of not just doing a show together but creating a true fusion of the two styles - Patin performing Literatti-written pieces and The Literatti performing Patin’s pieces.
“This will be an excellent opportunity for us to learn from someone who has been part of the most recognised performance poetry project in the world. It also gives us a chance to show that performance poetry in NZ is alive and well and just as dynamic as it is in the States. Who knows where that could lead?” says GROWL Creative Director Miriam Barr.
The Auckland Fringe Festival runs from 27 February to 22 March 2009. For more information visit www.aucklandfringe.org.nz
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