Octagon event hopes to reach great heights

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Wuthering fun . . . Practising their Kate Bush-inspired poses for Saturday's Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever event in the Octagon are (back, from left) Roslyn McLean, Katie Molloy, Mandy Mayhem-Bullock, Elsa May, Lee Mayhem-Bullock, (centre) Kaitrin McMullan, (front) Sara Williamson, Hannah Rouse, and Vita Mayhem-Bullock (3). PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

A sea of red dresses will flood into the Octagon this Saturday for Dunedin’s inaugural commemoration of “The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever”.

Organised by Waitati resident Mandy Mayhem-Bullock, the light-hearted community event will make Dunedin one of 36 cities world-wide taking part.

Founded in the United Kingdom in 2013, by a group called Shambush!, The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever aims to “re-create” the famous music video for Kate Bush’s 1978 song Wuthering Heights.

Since then, the event has grown in popularity, attracting hundreds of red dress-wearing enthusiasts to dance to the song at dozens of cities around the globe.

Ms Mayhem-Bullock said Saturday’s public gathering, open to people of all ages, genders and abilities, would be the first time Dunedin had marked The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever.

Wellington had taken part in the global event in the past, and this year there would be events in Auckland and Napier too.

“We believe we could be the southern-most city in the world to take part, and we would love to break Berlin’s 2016 record of 300 people,” Ms Mayhem-Bullock said.

“It would also be great if we could get enough support to make this an annual event.

“We want women, men and children to come and join us – it’s all about fun.”

People interested in taking part in The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever are invited to don a red dress (or at least red clothing) and assemble in the Octagon at noon on Saturday.

After a couple of “run-through” rehearsals, led by dance teacher Hannah Rouse, who has learned the moves in the Kate Bush Wuthering Heightsmusic video, the mass dance performance will officially start at 12.30pm.

There will also be people scattered through the crowd who have learned the moves associated with the song and who can be followed by others.

Keen dancers are also urged to look at the Wuthering Heightsvideo online and do some practice at home before Saturday’s community event.

Dunedin’s commemoration of The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever will also launch the Dunedin event group HeartCore, which plans to host regular music, performance and cultural events in the Octagon.