Christchurch 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?
A Bharatanatyam group performing a traditional South Indian dance, at Culture Galore 2012. Bharatanatyam is one of the Indian classical and traditional dance forms from South India.
Do you have any photographs of traditional Indian performances in Christchurch? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.
The Discovery Wall is a large interactive exhibition which allows several people to simultaneously explore images and stories of the history of the people and places of Christchurch. It is viewable on the ground floor of Tūranga, Central Library, 60 Cathedral Square, Christchurch, New Zealand. Images displayed on the Wall can also be found on the Discovery Wall website.
We are happy to announce the winner of the family pass to the Royal New Zealand Ballet production of the Nutcracker at the Isaac Theatre Royal! A huge congratulations to Alexander and Greta. The details on your entry were so well thought out and precisely executed. The moveable curtains on a mini-track and the LED lights along the stage line were an added extra. The detailed illustration on the paintings on the wall, the fireplace, the cut-out windows, tree etc are gorgeous. Thank you again – Enjoy the ballet!
Alexander and Greta’s winning entry (8 and 5 years old)
This was an extraordinarily difficult task to judge! All entries were outstanding, and we thank you all for sending through such special creations.
Highly Commended Entries
One prize was simply not enough, so we have rummaged around to find some extra prizes to gift a few of our Highly Commended entries. Each of these entries will receive a goodie bag.
Another piece of exciting news! See an exhibition of Nutcracker Dioramas
We are excited to be able to display the entries from our Nutcracker Diorama competition at Te Hāpua: Halswell Library from Friday 9 November to Tuesday 27 November. Come along and see these amazing creations including the winner and highly commended entries.
If you entered the competition and would like your artwork back immediately, and would prefer it not be in this exhibition, please contact Clare at LibraryEvents@ccc.govt.nz to organise pick up. We know how much wonderful work and effort went into making your creations – and we want to make sure they are kept safe.
KidsFest is full of winter holiday fun for kids in Christchurch and Canterbury. It runs from 7 to 21 July. KidsFest is always popular and many events book out quickly, so have a look and secure your spot! Tickets are on sale now!
Coolstuff will be visiting our libraries in the two weeks before KidsFest. Come along and say “Hi!” and be in to win some sweet prizes! Pick up a special KidsFest colouring sheet and a More FM Mata Riki Parade instruction sheet and you could win even MORE prizes! Free event, no bookings required.
Learn how to create and code your very own electronic instrument using Makey Makey and Scratch. You’ll learn how to build a musical instrument out of cardboard and make it come to life! No prior coding experience or electronics knowledge necessary.
Ages: 8–10 years
Get creative using Lego and discover the process of producing animated movies. Plan a story themed on being kind to our world, create a set and craft your own movie using stop motion photography.
Ages: 8–12 years
Minecraft Game Zone is a 3D gaming experience that involves creating your own virtual world and interacting with others online. To really enjoy this programme, you’ll need to have a basic understanding of Minecraft. Book in for a two hour session and play to your heart’s content.
Ages: 8–12 years
Minecraft is a virtual world where you can discover and create interesting worlds. This event takes it to the next level! Learn how to use graphic design tools to create your own paper 3D Minecraft character.
Ages: 7–10 years
Join the Julie Wylie Musical Play team at this interactive musical event for parents, grandparents, caregivers and children aged 2–4 years (younger and older children are welcome to attend). You’ll enjoy a range of musical play activities which promote singing, listening, moving and playing. Children and adults will have great fun together, as they respond musically with props such as the parachute, rainbow ring and organza. Look out for the Julie Wylie Musical Play rainbow flag!
Email email@example.com to book your space. Children $10 (babies who are not yet crawling, only $5) and caregivers $5.
The Big Chill at Linwood Park – Saturday 7 July 12pm
Kicking off KidsFest 2018 is The Big Chill in Linwood Park, full of wacky activities, skate boarding, bouncy castles, faeries and fury creatures.
More FM Mata Riki KidsFest Parade – Saturday 21 July, 4.30–6.30pm
The More FM Mata Riki KidsFest Parade starts in Cathedral Square. Join an exciting exploratory night time journey through central Christchurch from Cathedral Square to The Terraces around the Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct. Bring along your own creations, lanterns, wearable light art or torches. Mata Riki or Little Faces is connected with celebrating Māori New Year – the perfect match for the KidsFest Parade. Dress up warm.
CoCA Create! Printing Workshops
Work together and dye, paint, print, and create a large colourful installation of ribbons in response to Tiffany Singh’s Om Mani Padme Hum at CoCA.
Ages: 5 to 13
Cost: $10 Caregiver optional (but required for under 8 year olds) (free) Book online, phone 366 7261 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 10 to Thursday 12 July 11am to 12.30pm
CoCA Create! Cardboard Construction
This workshop will involve a large scale communal project where kids will learn manipulation and fastening techniques with cardboard craft architecture.
Ages: 5 to 13
Cost: $10 Caregiver optional (but required for under 8 year olds) (free) Book online, phone 366 7261 or email email@example.com
Tuesday 17 to Thursday 19 July 11am to 12.30pm
Info from CoCA curator Jen:
Our KidsFest events are in response to Tiffany Singh’s exhibition, A Collective Voice, which consists of two major recent installations of hers reconfigured for CoCA. Gaby Montejo is running two workshops in response to the two works! The ribbon printing workshop is in response to OM MANI PADME HUM, a work consisting of over 1500 metres of colourful silk ribbon hanging from our walls, creating an immersive experience, and the cardboard construction workshop responds to the themes of storytelling and citybuilding in Journey of a Million Miles, which collects and shares stories of migration to New Zealand. Both of the works are really socially conscious and encourage empathy and compassion, so we’re aiming for the workshops to reflect that.
SCAPE Public Art – Bubbles Painting
Come and experience the fun and quirky artwork Conduct Cumulus in the South Quad at the Arts Centre. We’ll explore the artwork by walking around it and experiencing it together, then move into The Common Room to create a unique bubble painting. Gold coin donation appreciated.
Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 July; Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 July
10.30 am to 11.30am; and 1pm to 2pm
Christchurch Art Gallery – The Moon and Crawling Colour
We read Jimmy and Jane and the Tale of the Yellow Moon, a humorous story about moon-dwelling Lunatrons and what happens when colour comes into their world. Then make your own raised painting using salt and dye and see how it morphs into an amazing array of colours and patterns.
Ages: 5 to 7
Cost: $8 Caregiver required (free)
Bookings essential. Book online, phone 941 7382 or email Lana.Coles@ccc.govt.nz
Monday 9 to Friday 13 July 11am to 12pm
Monday 16 to Friday 20 July 11am to 12pm
Christchurch Art Gallery – Rama Tuna – KidsFest Paper Lantern Workshops
The Rama Tuna lesson is led by Māori artist Piri Cowie, and will focus on the cultural significance of Tuna from Ngai Tahu and Māori perspective. We will be creating paper lanterns that may be used in the MoreFM Mata Riki KidsFest Parade.
Ages: 8 to 13
Cost: FREE! Children only
Thursday 12 July 3pm to 4.30pm
Friday 13 July 3pm to 4.30pm
Christchurch Art Gallery – Clay World
You’ll adore rolling, squeezing, twirling and pulling clay to sculpt animals, make jewellery, create dinosaur fossils or simply let your imagination run riot and create something unique!
Caregiver optional (free)* (but required for under 8 year olds).
Bookings recommended, Book online, phone 941 7382 or email Lana.Coles@ccc.govt.nz
Monday 9 to Friday 13 July 1pm to 2.15pm
Monday 16 to Friday 20 July 1pm to 2.15pm
Galactic night at the Museum
The Museum is changing up their annual Explorer night at the Museum. We go most years, it is busy and fun romping around the Museum on a cold winter night. This July, join in the Galactic Night at the Museum.
Calling all space invaders, star trekkers and aliens. Explore a galaxy, not so far away, in an astronomical after-hours adventure at the Museum. Dress up as your favourite space character or creature and follow the clues to unscramble some amazing space facts. You could win a prize! Koha appreciated. Free and no bookings required.
Tuesday 10 July 6pm to 8pm
Thursday 12 July 6pm to 8pm
Tuesday 17 July 6pm to 8pm
Thursday 19 July 6pm to 8pm
The Christchurch Brick Show – Saturday and Sunday 14 and 15 July
Fun for all the family – amazing LEGO displays to admire, hands-on play areas, and more. Don’t miss out on this amazing LEGO exhibition. Enthusiasts and collectors alike will display their designs, collections and contraptions. Children will also have the chance to get hands-on with a fun LEGO play area.
Kia ora. We need your input to help plan exciting programmes at Tūranga. Tell us the programmes you would be most interested in attending and what times would suit you best. This survey will take about 5 minutes to complete.
Tūranga will be nearly 10,000 square metres in size, making it the largest public library in the South Island. It is part of a network of 19 community libraries, as well as a mobile library and a digital library. In 2017, the Christchurch City Libraries network hosted 3.7 million visits and issued almost 4.5 million items.
Lily Dekker has had a difficult start to life. Wrenched from idyllic surroundings by a cataclysmic car crash, her family “dissolve(d) like sugar in iced tea”.
She is forced, at eight years old, to start life again with her aunt and uncle; one of whom is less than affectionate, the other overly so.
Dance, and an unexpected ally provide her means of escape to Las Vegas, where she reinvents herself; becoming gorgeous Ruby Wilde, a Las Vegas showgirl.
All the Beautiful Girls addresses difficult themes of loss, abuse, self-harm, love and friendship. Around these ideas, Church creates a contemplation of life, sprinkled with deep understanding and philosophy:
A soft rain began to fall, dotting the windshield with drops that ran until they randomly joined each other. Is that what people did too? Lily wondered. Fall and drift until they collided with one another, the way the Aviator had collided with her ten years ago? p.56.
Set in the 1960s, the story exists in a whimsical time when everyone smoked, colour TV was a novelty (in-room phones!), and we had TV dinners before we had microwaves.
A star-studded sixties cast from Sammy Davis Jnr, Dylan to Dinah Shore, parade through the pages of Ruby’s colourful and often disastrous life. Filled with thrills, spills and glitter, Church uses the setting of Las Vegas to dig deeper into the politics of the time – racial equality, women’s rights, wealth and Vietnam to name a few.
Las Vegas is a fantasy world; a plastic bubble protected from world issues, trapped in time:
“For the first time, she realised that Vietnam cast no shadows beneath the lights of Vegas; there were no flag-shrouded caskets, no hollowed, haunted eyes of returning soldiers anywhere near the casinos. How efficiently Las Vegas seemed to be able to keep hippies away from the Strip, where they might hurt business. … She’d been living in la-la land for too long.” p.174.
Will Ruby find her way back to the real world? Would it bore her if she did?
I loved Lily/Ruby’s wee tips on makeup and fashion, and really warmed to her as a character. Elizabeth J. Church writes beautifully (I also found myself dancing in the stacks).
If you have never been to Las Vegas, let this book will take you there. Or maybe these ones…
Canterbury Japan Day is an annual event organised by The Japanese Society of Canterbury with the aim of sharing authentic Japanese culture with Cantabrians. In 2018 it will take place from 9.30am to 4.30pm on Sunday 4 March at Riccarton Park, 165 Racecourse Road.
The theme this year is the Japanese Summer. The venue will be filled with decorations relating to Tanabata – The Summer Star Festival. There will be stalls, indoor events, an anime cosplay cafe and outdoor events.
The inaugural Canterbury Japan Day was held on 11 March 2012 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Japanese Society of Canterbury and the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Japan. It also marked the anniversary of the 2011 East Japan earthquake and tsunami.
Do you like kimchi? How much do you know about Korea and your Korean neighbours? It’s time to meet and experience Korean culture!
Korean Day 한국의 날 When – Saturday 2 December 2017, 11am to 3pm,
Where – Cathedral Square
The Korean Society in Christchurch will be hosting Korean Day 2017. This event showcases traditional and modern Korean culture. There will be a variety of Korean foods stalls, as well as Korean traditional floor activities going on during performances. The main performers will be coming from Korea – the international Youth Arts Troupe. They will show us not only traditional performance but also the fantastic art of B-boying. There are also going to be plenty of other events offered to fill you up and provide a breathtaking cultural experience.
Enjoy a variety of Korean dishes and floor activities! Bring your family and friends.
Korean Day Gala Show – part of Korean Day
When – Sunday 7pm 3rd December, 2017
Where – North city Church
Mango Languages – Mango is an online language learning system that can help you learn a variety of selected languages. It also contains instructions on how to learn English if Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian or Spanish is your first language.
OverDrive – Free downloadable eBook and eAudiobook collection.OverDrive includes a number of eBooks in Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Tagalog.
PressReader – gives you same-day access to more than 2,000 newspapers and over 500 magazines from around the world. Each newspaper and magazine displays as a full page in traditional format and layout, and includes complete editorial content, graphics and advertising. Over 60 languages are represented.
Ever wanted to know more about classical Indian dance? Rema and Simon explain some of the philosophy and history behind Bharatanatyam ahead of a performance by local group Revathi Performing Arts.
Revathi Performing Arts
The purpose of Revathi Performing Arts is to encourage people to know that these dance routines can be practiced as an exercise for body conditioning, mental alertness, and building stamina. People from all walks of life come to learn and share the experience of being part of this classical Indian dance movement. Initially their performances, held at the end of the year, were largely for family and friends, in order to show case developing talent. Their first public performance was held in 2015. Their upcoming performance Mayuram – which celebrates Murugan (also known as Kārttikēya), the son of the Hindu god Śiva and his wife, Parvati – takes place on 5 August.
Dancing for the gods: the South Indian dance tradition
Bharatanatyam is one of the Indian classical and traditional dance forms from South India. It has its origins in sadir, the traditional dances performed by devadasis, young women who were ceremoniously married to the deity of a temple to which they had been dedicated as children. Such was the respect in which devadasis were held that kings were known to gift them grants of land. Two classical dramatists from the 2nd century have been credited with compiling the theory behind the dance form; Nandikeśvara, who wrote Abhinaya Darpaṇa (Mirror of Gestures), and Bharata Muni, who wrote Nāṭyaśāstra (Treatise on Dramatic Art).
Underlying these works was the concept of rasa, that dance should be means for the individual to transport themselves into a spiritual realm. This illustrative performance is portrayed by a dancer with excellent footwork, impressive gestures and facial expressions accompanied by song. A Bharatanatyam performance includes synchronized movement of eyes, neck, hands (mudras) and feet to depict various moods and expressions. The dancer must remember the whole song, and the associated rhythmic steps and moves, which need a higher level of concentration and coordination.
There are three forms of dance:
Nritta – Dance which is purely without expressions or emotion.
Nritya – Dance where emotion and expressions are conveyed through the use of hasta mudras (hand gestures, of which there can be up to fifty-five) and abhinaya (facial expressions).
Natyam – Dance which is included into a dramatic performance.
Decline and revival
The classical dances of the devadasis were brought by performers to the Thanjavur court in South India. Here, many artists, dramatists and musicians vied for the patronage of the kings. Among such dramatists to receive this patronage were the Thanjavur Quartet, four brothers who synthesised the various sadir dances in the early 19th century. However, the annexation of former South Indian kingdoms by the British in the latter half of the 19th century led to a loss of patronage for many of these dancers and dramatists.
Further damage was done to the dance tradition by Victorian notions of morality, which were being spread by missionaries. This colonial criticism was adopted by some prominent Indians who had received a Western education and led to the tradition losing its social acceptability. The criticism continued into the 1930s, with social reformer and women’s rights activist, Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy (1886-1968) launching a campaign against it. However, she was countered by Krishna E. Iyer (1897-1968), a lawyer, artist and political activist, who recognised the important role India’s dance traditions played in the movement to reassert Indian culture and independence. He argued against the colonial misinterpretations of the devadasi tradition and is often credited with forming the name by which the dance tradition is now known, Bharatanatyam.
Iyer was aided in his formulation of Bharatanatyam by Rukmini Devi Arundale (1904-1986), a young Brahmin who had rebelled against her upbringing by not only learning Western forms of dance, but also by marrying an Englishman. In 1935, she attended a performance of a form of dance known as Pandanallur, which has been formulated by the teacher Meenakshisundaram Pillai (1869–1964), who was himself a descendant of one of the brothers from the Thanjavur Quartet. From Pillai, Rukmini learned the forms of dance which had once been performed in the Thanjavur court, and later that year she performed at the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of the Theosophical Society. In the following year, she established the Kalakshetra Foundation, an organisation dedicated to the revival of Bharatanatyam and its worldwide propagation.
If you wish to experience this dance, which has its origins in the temples and royal courts of South India, then come to Mayuram, from 7pm to 9pm at Cashmere High School Performing Arts Centre. For tickets and details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org