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Shaolin Kungfu Monks to WOW Wellington

15 Jul 2014

A recent Mayoral Delegation to China has been rewarded with a cultural gift for Wellington.

The iconic 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.

Public performances

Dressed in their traditional robes, the Shaolin Kungfu Monk Troupe will perform for unsuspecting lunchtime crowds in the inner city:

  • Wed 24 Sep, 1pm, Civic Square
  • Fri 26 Sep, 1pm, TSB Bank Arena
  • Sat 27 Sep, 1pm, Te Papa
  • Wed 1 Oct, 1pm, Midland Park
panda show
Shaolin Kungfu Monks to WOW Wellington

Tuesday 15 July 2014 

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 continues 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 kungfu 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 particular 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.

For further comment, please contact Malia Johnston WOW’s Creative Director & Principle Choreographer - 021 520 170

For further information, including releases and imagery from previous shows, please go to the online media room at or e-mail

EDITORIAL NOTE: Described as a rebellion against the mundane, the World of WearableArt™ Awards Show bends traditional perceptions of art and fashion by choreographing garments into a visceral extravaganza that dazzles the senses and lifts the spirit.

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