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Peter Rodgers – Beethoven’s Tenth (and the Journey which saved the World)

Green Hill Publishing, Australia, 2021

This is a wonderfully funny, wonderfully clever social-political satire that takes a swipe, albeit not a vicious one, at almost every aspect of contemporary life.

Former diplomat Peter Rodgers aimed to write a book with a laugh on every page, and he has succeeded. There is a serious intent and much research in this work, but the humour is what the reader carries away, demonstrating that a skilled hand has directed it.

Peter Rodgers visited Living Arts Canberra to talk about Beethoven’s Tenth
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The Elfkins – Baking a Difference – Film Review

Palace Electric and Hoyts cinemas from 14 January 2021
Family CG-animated feature, 78 min
Parental guidance recommended for younger children

The legendary HEINZELMÄNNCHEN of Cologne were gnomes secretly finishing craftmen’s work at night until they were ousted by a tailor’s malevolent wife 200 years ago.

Ever since then, the Heinzels have been hiding in a secret underground habitation where any contact with the upper world – and, most of all, with humans – is strictly forbidden. But one day, lively Heinzel girl Helvi decides that she cannot stand the restriction of this little world any longer.

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Folk Dance Canberra – Beginner World Dance Classes

Day and evening classes, from 3 February 2021
Folk Dance Canberra Hall
114 Maitland Street, Hackett ACT 2602
www.folkdancecanberra.org.au

With music from countries around the world, you can enjoy the travel currently not possible in real life by attending a class at Folk Dance Canberra. Classes are suitable for all ages and all levels of dance experience.

Folk Dance Canberra is a welcoming community providing physical and social well-being through world dance. No partner necessary (socially distanced Covid safe dancing).

  • Wednesday nights, 7.30 – 9.00 pm – phone Lesley on 6286 6401
  • Thursday mornings, 10.30 am – 12 noon – phone Rebecca on 0420 524 412
  • Cost: $10.50 per class (discount for term payment)
  • Email [email protected]

Image: Advanced class with participants from 16 to over 70, courtesy Folk Dance Canberra:

Joanna Beresford – Every Year I am Here

Atlas Productions, Australia, 2020

This debut novel set in Brisbane in the 1890s provides the perfect vehicle for an author with the twin passions of history and social justice.

Joanna Beresford chooses for her heroine Lilian, a young working class woman from an immigrant background, who is forced to fend for herself in the quest for education and improved social standing – and often merely to survive.

Barbie speaks to Joanna Beresford about Every year I am Here
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Jane Gerrish – Observe

Suki & Hugh Gallery 38A Gibraltar Street Bungendore, NSW
Saturday 13 February – Sunday 21 March 2021
Opening on 13 February 2021, 10am – 4pm

Observe is Sydney artist Jane Gerrish’s third solo show. In it she transports us to the glamourous Côte d’Azur of the 1920s and beyond, revealing captivating detail of the master Henri Matisse in his studios.

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Dreambuilders – Film Review

At Palace Electric, Dendy and Hoyts in Canberra from 7 January 2021
81 minutes, rated PG – Family

The premise of this originally Danish film (with American voicing) is that our dreams are a kind of sound stage managed by a group of benevolent creatures ensuring we wake in time to avert disaster.

The now rather common story line of a family blending with unlike children having to cope with a sudden unannounced coming together in a home setting, unprepared by previous meetings or outing, feels rather too derivative for my liking.

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FlashWrite Stories tell about Upper Lachlan life

Submissions welcome until 8 February 2021

The FlashWrite Project invites story submissions of a maximum of 1500 words that encapsulate local life experiences.

Stories related to the 2021 Gunning Arts Festival theme Rejuvenation are especially welcome.  Submissions can be lodged electronically or in hardcopy.

Full details on the project and how to submit stories can be found on the Gunning Arts Festival website: https://www.gunningartsfestival.com/activities/flashwrite-project/ .

A selection of the stories is being published online in the lead up to the 2021 Gunning Arts Festival and some will be selected to be performed and published in a booklet to be printed as part of the Festival.

The first FlashWrite stories are available for reading at website: https://www.gunningartsfestival.com/activities/flashwrite-stories/.

Gunning is a small rural town an hour north of Canberra and GAF hopes readers enjoy these short story insights into life in the region.

The FlashWrite project is sponsored by BJCE Australia’s Biala and Gullen Range Wind Farms and supported by an Upper Lachlan Cultural Funding Program grant.

The Upper Lachlan Cultural Funding Program is funded by the Upper Lachlan Shire Council.

Pamela Hart – The Charleston Scandal

Hachette, Australia, 2020

The Charleston Scandal is Pamela Hart’s 37th book, an absorbing and highly readable historical fiction that dives into the issue of class and privilege in British society in the 1920s, particularly in the royal and sub-royal echelons. It is also a delightful glimpse into the life of the theatre at that time.

Barbie talks to Pamela Hart about The Charleston Scandal
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Rocio Bonilla – Siblings

Quirky Kid, Australia, 2020

Siblings is a story told from two points of view and the book itself reflects this. Read from one end, the book is in the voice of the sister, while from the other end it is in the voice of the brother. The stories meet in the middle with the same dilemma.

Barbie speaks with Dr Kimberley O’Brien, Principal Child Psychologist at Quirky Kid Clinic.
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A Call to Spy – Film Review

Palace Electric Canberra
Preview 20 December 2020 at 4.10pm
Nationally from 26 December

Running Time: 123 minutes, rated M

This fictionalised historical drama from the 2020 British Film Festival is inspired by real events, though it takes the liberty of throwing together characters whose paths did not actually cross.  

It is the story of three little-known female heroes of WWII, engaged in Churchill’s ring of female spies, who came under the umbrella of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) Their mission was to conduct sabotage and build a resistance.

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Kate Carruthers and Michael Warner – The Fire and the Flood

X Gallery Bungendore until 8 February 2021
32 Gibraltar Street, Bungendore, NSW
Open Friday to Monday or by appointment, phone 6238 0550

It is clear that the 2019-20 bushfires were a deeply etched experience for both artists, who are residents of Braidwood, and yet there is a spare restraint in their work.

Barbie talks to Kate Carruthers and Michael Warner on site at X Gallery
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Dominic Knight – The 2020 Dictionary

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2020

Known to television audiences as one of the founders of The Chaser, Dominic Knight is also the author of The Strayan Dictionary, Strayapedia and Trumpedia.

The 2020 Dictionary continues his satirical analysis of Australian culture, this time through a set of wry definitions of and observations upon aspects of this extraordinary year.

Dominic Knight talks about The 2020 Dictionary
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2020 Australian Dance Awards Winners

The Australian Dance Awards were presented online on Tuesday 8 December, acknowledging achievements across 2018 and 2019 in 12 categories.

They celebrate the rich diversity and uniqueness of dance in Australia with national companies, performers and collaborating artists, dedicated studio, school and tertiary teachers, regional and remote artists, independents, youth and community dance groups.

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Pina Di Donato – Who Switched the Lights On?

The Kind Press, Australia, 2020

Pina Di Donato brings a lifetime of business and life learnings to her first book, a work that could loosely be described as a guide to living a satisfying, worthy and productive life.

Coming from an Italian background meant that Pina was framed by cultural traditions and expectations – ones that didn’t necessarily fit well with the person she was and is.

Pina Di Donato talks about Who Switched the Lights On?
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