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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SPACifically PACific Polyfest Canterbury 2018

This Saturday I’ll be heading down to the former residential Red Zone in Dallington (on the corner of New Brighton Road & Locksley Ave) with my kids in tow, picnic, rug and chairs for the biggest annual specifically Pacific event this side of the Cook Strait. Saturday will see 730-odd performers from 19 secondary schools from Nelson College all the way down to Ashburton College take the stage to showcase the hours of hard work they have put in to refining every last movement and note.

Polyfest 2018 school performance times

This event has grown from strength to strength in the past few years with the hard work of some very dedicated teachers, parents, volunteers and agencies. The Pasifika population holds the youngest median age in the diverse populations of New Zealand, so it is best fitting that our Pasifika youth celebrate this on stage.

For a taste of what to expect you can view videos of performances from previous Polyfests on YouTube.

Make your way down to the red zone and expect to have your senses assaulted as you witness the graceful movement, rhythmic drums, enticing scent of warm coconut buns and chop suey, and the “chee-hoo!” of Pasifika celebration. Check out the performance order to make sure that you don’t miss out on your favourite group!

Find out more

Jan-Hai Te Ratana
South Learning Centre

The Gig Guide: August 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Comedy

Dance

Kids

Music

Theatre

Other

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: July 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Comedy

Dance

Kids

Music

Other

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: June 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Comedy

Dance

Kids

Music

Theatre

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: May to July 2016

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Music

Kidscover of Mister Maker Let's make more

Comedy

Dance

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

Pressured Viewing

Woman of the year publicity photo
Publicity photograph for the film Woman of the Year, featuring its stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Wikimedia Commons.

Once upon a time there was ‘The Movie’. I’ve never tried to work out how many hours I’ve spent watching them (the hours lost that can never be regained), but as a child/stroppy teenager I would slump down in a chair on a Saturday afternoon at around 3pm to watch the Saturday afternoon matinee.

It would greatly annoy my Dad (extra kudos for me playing the bolshy ‘teen’ card), as he had just purchased his first Colour television set and there I was making a mockery of it all by watching Black and White 1930s and 1940s classics.

Eventually a mockery of a compromise was reached – the kids got the old telly and bickered and argued between themselves for viewing rights whilst the ‘Head of the Household’ watched uninterrupted colourful sport…

Still from His girl Friday
Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in the 1940 film His Girl Friday. Wikimedia Commons

Edith Head fashion, sumptuous sets, orchestrated Busby Berkeley choreographed extravanzas all in Black and White!! Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Norma Shearer, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Van Heflin, John Wayne, Rosalind Russell, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn (I could continue ad nauseam but will give you all a break!). It was fantastic.

Fast forward countless years and we have, yet again, ‘The Movie’ – normally taken out of the library for one week. No problem, you would think – given my amazing ability of yesteryear, I could watch the one film countless times – but NO!! Invariably I receive the email gently reminding me that the DVD has to be returned to the library in the next 2/3 days and panic ensues as I haven’t even had time to read the synopsis on the back of the DVD cover.

The number of films and TV series I have had to return without even inserting them into the DVD machine… But now, especially with regard to a TV series, I have a longer time frame to play with:

Two Whole Weeks!!

Until very recently I was watching TV series on DVD such as the Danish production of The Bridge, Shetland, Parade’s End, and Desperate Romantics under immense pressure – two or three episodes a night so that I could return them, haggard and red-eyed, back to the shelves having gone through 3, 4 or even sometimes 5 DVDs in the set.

Times they are a-changing… I’ve even been known to watch in Colour.

Body Festival 2015

The Body Festival is Christchurch’s annual event of dance and physical theatre. This year it runs from 25 September to 11 October. Participation is an important part of the festival which gives everyone an excuse to give it a go and get their body moving!

As always this year’s event offers a broad range of dance workshops and beginners’ classes as well as performances and exhibitions.

The opening night event, No Lights No Lycra was energising (and sweaty) with the kind of upbeat playlist sure to get a body moving, but there are plenty of other opportunities to “trip the light fantastic”.

Dance o mat, 2012
Dance o mat, 2012, Flickr CCL-2012-03-21-IMG_0499

Don’t miss these highlights of the festival –

Speed dancing at TedX
If you’re not sure what kind of dance style suits, you can try out a range of them in quick succession at the Dance-O-Mat.
Library leotards
Body Festival 2008, Flickr CCL-2013-01-15-DSC09707
Retro Aerobics
Flash back to the 1980s and “feel the burn” with this homage to the workout videos of Jane Fonda. Bring your legwarmers and leotards!
Outstanding Feet
A celebration of the diversity of dancing talent sourced from the high schools of Canterbury.
A day of hip hop
Watch a dance movie and become inspired before you join in on one of the hip hop workshops, or all three of them: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Feeling inspired and want to know more?

… and the peasants rejoiced…*

Dancers in redAnyone who has anything to do with professional dancing knows that it requires extraordinary levels of physical fitness, control and dedication to make it as graceful and seemingly effortless as they do.

I’ve loved the ballet ever since my Mum took me to a Southern Ballet production of Stravinsky’s The Firebird as a six year old and pestered her into lessons. It still grabs me in a way that no other live performance does, surely a combination of the setting, music and movement, so I’m thrilled to be going along to the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s production of Midsummer Night’s Dream later this week.

I know the story well enough of course, it being based on one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, but I am not at all familiar with the music by Felix Mendelssohn. According to liner notes for one recording found in the libraries’ Classical Music Library eResource (see below) the music was composed to be incidental music for a performance of the play in 1843.

Find out more about this production via their twitter feed.

More Ballet resources

Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear


* blog title is a bad ’90s TV show reference for which I apologise.

Culture Galore – Just Glorious

UPDATE: Culture Galore has been cancelled. A Community Recreation Advisor reports the park is too sodden to allow vehicle access and vehicles could also cause major damage to the fields which are used for soccer over the winter.photo of Culture Galore

Culture Galore is almost here again, with the annual festival being held on Saturday March 8, 12-4pm. I love this free Christchurch City Council event. It has grown over the years from a few food stalls to a great afternoon out for the family.

It’s a wonderful bringing together of the large variety of cultural groups in our fair city, and you can listen to music, watch dances from over twenty groups and eat tasty food from around the world. There are also crafts and other items to buy from around the globe.

There are also workshops throughout the afternoon, where you can learn anything from dancing from Macedonia, TaiChi and Morris Dancing – bells and hankies  included. These photographs of past Culture Galore events from our Flickr will give you more than a taste of what could be on offer.

I also love that is a suburban event, nestled in Ray Blank Park, the well ‘treed’ Ilam park on Maidstone Road. Most of the year it’s home to dog walkers, soccer teams and a good many cricket games (I know, I’ve watched a few), but for an afternoon in March it explodes with the colours, sights and sounds and smells of the United Nations.

As an aside, and shameless plug, be there before 12.40pm, and you’ll also get to see a great world music choir, Women in Harmony perform some songs on the stage, and there will be at least two Christchurch City Librarians in amongst the group – I wonder if you will be able to pick them? No, we won’t be wearing a twinset and pearls!