Podcast – DANCEability

Speak Up Kōrerotia logoChristchurch City Libraries blog hosts a series of regular podcasts from New Zealand’s only specialist human rights radio show Speak up – Kōrerotia. This show is created by Sally Carlton.

Join Rodney Bell (internationally-renowned wheelchair dancer and founding member of Touch Compass), Lyn Cotton (Founder and Artistic Director of Jolt Dance Company) and Jo Casey (Regional Programmes Coordinator (Christchurch) at StarJam) in a beautiful and uplifting discussion on the benefits of dance and performance for people perceived as having disabilities.

Part I: Why do you do what you do?
Part II: The benefits of dance – health and wellbeing, social, identity
Part III: The benefits of performance for dancers and audience – visibility, confidence, self-worth; performance as a human right
Part IV: What would you like to see happen in NZ in terms of dance and disability?

Transcript – DANCEability

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Win tickets to the NZSO Prokofiev & Tchaikovsky concert

Music lovers, take note!

TPicture of music noteshe New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s 2018 season concludes with a concert featuring works by Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky at Horncastle Arena on Saturday 17 November.  The pieces being performed will be:

Hindemith – Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber
Prokofiev – Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63
Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

Symphonies no.5 & 6 Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilich, 1840-1893 Violin concertos Sonata for two violins Prokofiev, Sergey, 1891-1953 Cover of Symphonies Der Schwanendreher, etc Hindemith, Paul, 1895-1963

Paul Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber grew out of a request from choreographer and dancer Léonide Massine in 1940 for music for a ballet. While the project was shelved, the completed piece has since been adapted for ballet productions and is equally powerful as a standalone work.

Prokofiev’s rich and multi-layered Violin Concerto No. 2 was his last work written in Europe before his return to the Soviet Union. It makes full use of the instrument, with intoxicating contrasts in tone, colour, melody, and rhythm and is the perfect fit for the virtuosic skills of NZSO Concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppänen.

Inspired by his homeland, Tchaikovsky’s bold Fifth Symphony came 10 years after his Fourth and divided audiences at its premiere. It is bursting with unforgettable melodies and lush orchestration, making it one of the great works of the Romantic tradition. Under the baton of Maestro de Waart, the NZSO will perform it in all its glory.

We have 2 double passes to give away to library members. All you need to do is tell us which floor of Tūranga, the new central library, holds the music collection and fill out your details in the competition entry form. Entries close at 5pm on Sunday, 11 November and winners will be announced on our competitions page on  Monday 12 November.

Podcast – Food waste

Speak Up Kōrerotia logoChristchurch City Libraries blog hosts a series of regular podcasts from specialist human rights radio show Speak up – Kōrerotia. This show is created by Sally Carlton.

If food waste were a country, it would be the third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter after China and the United States. Added to this immense environmental impact is the social impact: How much food is thrown away that could be eaten?

Join our guests as they share statistics and information about the various ways in which they work to repurpose food waste and save it from landfill.

Guests:

Transcript – Food waste

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Cover of Waste: Uncovering the global food scandal Cover of The waste not want no cookbook Cover of Scrap wilt and weeds Cover of American wasteland Cover of Too good to waste Cover of Leftover gourmet Cover of Eat it up Cover of My zero-waste kitchen Cover of How to make and use compost Cover of This book stinks Cover of Making a meal of itCover of Waste free kitchen handbookCover of Food waste

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Competition: The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

Charming. Quirky. Nostalgic.

All words that have been used to describe Mary Ann Shaffer’s bestselling novel, The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. The historical WWII novel that Shaffer (a former librarian) wrote when her plans for a biography of Robert Falcon Scott’s widow, Kathleen Scott fell through, “Guernsey” was extremely popular when it was published ten years ago. An epistolary novel (one that is told through letters or other documents), it tells the tale of Guernsey island-life during German occupation and is filled with engaging characters. It’s very much a book for booklovers, capturing, as it does, the transformative magic of reading.

And now it’s a movie. Opening in New Zealand on 25 April, “Guernsey” the movie will be a must-see for fans of the book but also for those wishing Downton Abbey was still a going concern, with no less than four former Abbey-ers in the cast, including lead, Lily James.

Lily James as writer Juliet Ashton in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society movie. Image supplied.

If you’d like to read (or re-read) the book as well as see the movie we’ve got the competition for you! For your chance to win one of five double passes to the film and a paperback copy of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society answer our question about epistolary novels and enter your details in the entry form. Entries close 29 April and are open to Christchurch City Libraries members and winners will be announced on Monday 30 April.

Many thanks to StudioCanal for supplying the prize for this competition.

Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival

4 – 8 March 2015, hosted by the Waitaha rohe at Hagley Park (North), Christchurch. Kia Rōnaki The Maori Performing Arts

Every two years, Te Matatini organises the Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival, where top kapa haka teams from New Zealand and Australia compete for the honour of being crowned the best of the best.

The Festival started in 1972 and is now the world’s largest celebration of Māori traditional performing arts, attracting over 30,000 performers, supporters and visitors.

Over four days audiences experience the best Māori performing arts in the world, from the harmonies of dynamic group singing to the graceful movements of women performing the poi and the ferocity of the male haka.

The Festival is a whānau friendly, smoke, alcohol and drug free event.  It is an opportunity for all people, regardless of culture, background or age to come together, to share and celebrate.

While the main focus is Kapa Haka , the Festival also celebrates Māori culture and cuisine.  Visitors can enjoy a range of retail and food stalls, art and craft exhibitions and other entertainment activities.

Day 1 – Pōwhiri b The Girls in the Kapahaka y the Tangata Whenua.

All Kapa Haka performers, supporters, dignitaries and visitors are welcomed by the local hosts.

Days 2, 3 and 4 – Pool Rounds (Te Ihu, Te Haumi, Te Kei).

Kapa Haka teams are required to perform six disciplines within their performance piece – whakaeke (a choreographed entry), mōteatea (traditional chant), poi (light ball swung on the end of a rope), waiata-ā-ringa (action song), haka and whakawātea (exit).  They must perfect every discipline in a polished 25-minute performance.

Each performance is judged against set criteria, by expert judges, appointed from around New Zealand.

Taonga (trophies) are awarded to the team with the highest score in the seven compulsory (aggregate) categ Waiata mai 35 Maori songs Leathem, Kare Rapata ories (the six disciplines mentioned and the seventh category, Te Reo Maori – the use and clarity of the Maori language). Further taonga are awarded across non compulsory (non-aggregate) categories such as Kaitātaki Wahine (Best Female Leader), Kaitātaki Tāne (Best Male Leader) and Kākahu (Costume).

The top three teams with the highest combined marks in their competition pool will compete in the Competition Finals.

Day 5 – The Finals (Te Whakarae)

The finalists are judged anew to determine third, second and the new Toa Whakaihuwaka – overall winner of the competition.

More information:

Underground Overground Archaeology display

There’s lots of rubbish on display at South Library!

Well, once upon a time, some of it may have been rubbish. Now, however, the broken crockery, old bottles, fragmented clay pipes and fragmented porcelain dolls are important clues to historic lives in Christchurch.

Demolition of buildings built prior to 1900 requires an archaeological survey and sign-off as a requirement under the Historic Places Act. Consequently, archaeologists from Underground Overground Archaeology have been finding lots of interesting artefacts that show us how people lived in Christchurch – back when Europeans were relatively recent immigrants to this country.
Underground Overground Archaeology displayUnderground Overground Archaeology display

The display is at South Library, 66 Colombo Street, Beckenham at least until mid March.

Beth Clayton
South Library

Resistance is fertile

GardeningI first came across the phrase “guerrilla gardening” while trawling through the thousands of gardening-related websites available to be Googled. Now Richard Reynolds, initiator of http://www.guerrillagardening.org has written a book On guerrilla gardening: a handbook for gardening without boundaries.

Reynolds defines guerrilla gardening as “the illicit cultivation of someone else’s land”. Guerrilla gardeners see a waste patch of ground – an empty building site, for example – and plant it with flowers or crops. Often this activity is undertaken in the dead of night, on “raids”, so as to evade the eyes of authority or the legal owners of the land.

This is not mere anarchy, however. As Renolds explains in his book, illicit gardening has a history and a philiosophy, and uses the tactics of guerrilla warfare to make our built environments more beautiful and useful spaces.

If Johnny Appleseed was one of your childhood heroes, this book will strike a chord. Visit the website too – it’s full of photos of people doing naughty things with plants on traffic islands.

See our gardening pages for more information.

No ordinary son

Hone Tuwhare, 1922 – 2008

I can hear you
making small holes
in the silence
rain

If I were deaf
the pores of my skin
would open to you
and shut

And I
should know you
by the lick of you
if I were blind

from Rain

http://www.honetuwhare.co.nz/

Image: At the Wairoa Maori Writers & Artists Hui, 1973.
Photo: John Miller

Our page on Hone Tuwhare

Qiu Xiaolong

Last week the Chinese government executed Zheng Xiaoyu, the head of their State Food and Drug Administration for taking bribes to approve substandard medicines, including antibiotics blamed for at least 10 deaths. This has come amidst widespread scandals over the safety of Chinese export products covering everything from pet food contaminated with melamine to toxic toothpaste. According to a recent article in Newsweek virtually every product category is affected.

I have been following this with particular interest because I have just finished reading the first three detective novels by Qiu Xiaolong, which are set in modern Shanghai. These give an intriguing insight into life in modern China and the government’s attempts to curb corruption.

Inspector Chen started his career as a student of English literature and a poet. Originally destined for the foreign service he was rejected at the last minute because of a politically incorrect relation and assigned a job in the police. He has attained his rank due to the patronage of his boss, whose role is solely political. Each case he is allocated involves a delicate balancing act, as he attempts to intuit whether he is really supposed to investigate the politically sensitive cases he is allocated, or if finding the real culprit will bring his career to a sudden halt. Does the government really want to expose corruption or does it just want a scapegoat? The answers make for absorbing reading.

Links:

(posting from Bernice)

An evening with Richard E. Grant – Chaired by Te Radar

Christchurch City Libraries won a free ticket to this event from the British Council – we gifted it to this anonymous poster – here are their thoughts

The queue formed early, headed by ladies of ‘a certain age’ (myself amongst them), most bemoaning the lack of allocated seating. However, it was enjoyable sharing one’s anticipation with a stranger who soon became a friend, or at least someone very pleasant to sit with and chat to. The young Chinese usher asked “Is he famous?” – she sat in on the session and had a better idea by the end of it.

The lower level of the ASB Theatre was quickly filled with the circle taking the overspill of the audience. My companion and her husband chose the middle of the 4th row, so we had an excellent view.

Radar: “It all began in Swaziland…” Richard: “It sounds like an obituary!”

But the self-confessed ‘Swaziboy’ (we now have the key to his passwords, luggage tags, email and psyche), from a background that sounded like “equatorial Ealing” according to Radar, entertained the audience for the next hour. In the course of a conversation that covered the actor’s career, but not linearly, he made us laugh till the tears came, read from his book “The Wah-wah diaries”, with acting, and also gave us much to ponder on – how for an actor life is lived between low self-esteem and a big ego – wanting to be noticed, but feeling like a fraud, constantly going through auditions where “the humiliation never stops” .

The questions posed by the audience elicited some kind and thoughtful remarks, while Richard himself was shocked and surprised to take a question from Mr Shirley from Swaziland, who knew his parents and remembered the School production of “Equus”, as well as hearing from the man who had been in Intelligence and who hailed from Manzini – not too far from Richard’s town, Mbabane – and from a woman whose family circumstances in Zimbabwe were similar to Richard’s own. The world is a small enough place, but one hopes that ghosts don’t haunt the poor man in Sydney.

Radar impressed Richard by not having notes, but his ‘winging it’ allowed to audience to feel part of a conversation, rather than an interview or performance. The well-worn anecdotes, with which we have become very familiar over the past weeks’ media interviews, were told differently or just touched on, rather than dwelt on.

As we left, I heard someone ask “and who is Te Radar? Is he famous?”

Thanks to Christchurch City Libraries and the British Council for an experience I am so pleased not to have missed. Now I have to buy the book.