DUBAI, 23 January 2022 – Featuring 30 talented young New Zealanders, as well as experienced performers, Voice of Youth – Wonderland, which takes place at Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre from 23-26 January, offers Expo 2020 Dubai visitors the chance to see the world through young eyes.
Directed by world-renowned creative force Parris Goebel, this fun and playful show created especially for Expo 2020, explores themes and issues relevant to young people everywhere.
Goebel, the creative director of the entertainment and cultural programme for New Zealand at Expo 2020 Dubai, was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to dance last year, and hosted Voice of Youth auditions for 16 to 18 year olds.
Parris Goebel said: “We had a great response to our auditions that were held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. There is so much incredible young talent in Aotearoa New Zealand, it was tough to select the final group. I know they are going to be a hit with audiences in Dubai.”
Singer Zoe Hunter, who went through the “nerve-wracking ” process, said singing acapella was the toughest part of the audition. This will be the 17-year-old’s biggest event so far. She began singing from a young age at church in her hometown, Christchurch and has gone on to release self-penned tunes on Spotify.
Zoe Hunter said: “We’ve all come from little old New Zealand, which is pretty much the other side of the world. I knew Voice of Youth was going to be big – which is why I wanted to be a part of it – but I had no idea it would be this big.”
Another 17-year-old dancer, Moana Davis from Hamilton, said helping to bring to life a vision that was such a long time in the making is “surreal”. Davis explained that Voice of Youth – Wonderland touches on important topics such as the negative impacts of technology, self-love and body image, friendship and unity, and confidence.
Moana Davis said: “Through the choreography and the movements, we are able to explore these themes and show the different emotions.”
Goebel, who has 1.7 million followers on Instagram, said she is excited to be giving her country’s youth a platform on a global stage: “It’s such a thrill for me. I can’t wait to see what inspiration they will take into their future performances from their time here at Expo 2020.”
Voice of Youth – Wonderland takes place at Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre from 23-25 January and Jubilee Park on 27 January at 1800 GST. Entry is free for all Expo 2020 ticket holders, but concert-goers are advised to arrive early