Culture

Sacred spaces from Maori mythology

With high mountains, coloured lakes and huge Kauri forests, there are many natural wonders in New Zealand, all closely linked with the indigenous culture. The…

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Dance Review: Nederlands Dans Theater performs in Auckland

A feeling of anticipation in the theatre before the performance starts. Three dancers stand on the stage outside the curtain, their backs to the audience.…

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Dance Review: Artimus

Inspired by the Greek myth surrounding the goddess Artemis’s birth, Artimus is a high-energy, modern production signalling the direction of the relatively new dance company,…

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Mosaics and myths

The Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep, Turkey, is the largest mosaic museum in the world, and a wonder even for those who (unlike me) are…

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Cats love ruins

It's no secret that I love ancient sites. While exploring them, I discovered some furry friends who share my interest.

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The wonders of mainland Greece

Mainland Greece was wonderfully diverse. Our first stop was Thessaloniki, a fun, vibrant cities full of restaurants and cafes, shops and friendly people. We found…

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Post-colonialism and national identity

Building on what I have previously said, having grown up in South Africa and lived in New Zealand, I find post-colonialism fascinating. There are so…

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Gender roles and tourism

I thought I’d write a bit about gender and tourism, which is something I’ve been thinking about quite a lot over the past few months.…

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Mass tourism in Croatia

Tourism in Croatia annoyed me. Really annoyed me. We spent about six weeks in the former Yugoslavia, and most of that time was in Croatia.…

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Basilisks and culture shock in a South Tyrol village

In Trentino in Northern Italy, there were stories from the distant past telling of a basilisk living in the mountains, the young man that went to…

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The lingering effects of colonisation

Colonisation is difficult. Its residue still lingers. It’s something which sticks with people, which doesn’t leave. I look at New Zealand and South Africa, and…

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Book review: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Warning: there is the occasional spoiler Things Fall Apart is a simple story. It tells of a family in an Igbo village in Niger. It…

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Review: Cinderella

Sitting down to watch the Royal New Zealand Ballet's Cinderella, I find myself in a theatre filled with excited children. Many are dressed in tutus and…

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Kingkiller Chronicles 1 & 2

My rating: 4 of 5 stars I really enjoyed these, especially the first one. Recently I've found epic fantasy a bit tedious - they all…

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Book review: A Secret Atlas

A Secret Atlas by Michael A. Stackpole My rating: 2 of 5 stars I really struggled with this one. There were echoes of other books,…

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In the Night Garden

In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente My rating: 3 of 5 stars This was an usual book, certainly reminiscent of the Arabian Nights,…

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Book review: Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles My rating: 5 of 5 stars I was a bit unsure when I first picked up this book, but…

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The Eye of the World

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan My rating: 3 of 5 stars Despite being an avid fantasy reader, for some reason I had…

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Forms of expression

Last month, I posted a dance review of Footnote's Made in New Zealand. The first work, Trancelike Happiness, distinctly reminded me of the sci-fi novella by George R.R.…

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The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern My rating: 5 of 5 stars I first saw The Night Circus in the window of a bookshop. It caught…

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Footnote – Made in New Zealand

Footnote Dance is a Wellington based contemporary dance company, and last night I had the opportunity to see their short works programme Made in New Zealand…

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Peculiar children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs My rating: 2 of 5 stars 2.5 stars, really. This book intrigued me from the beginning…

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The Kingdom of Childhood

The Kingdom of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman My rating: 3 of 5 stars For me, this was 2.5 stars, but I rounded it up, mostly…

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NYC – Three Short Ballets from The Big Apple

There was some truly lovely dancing in NYC. Technically, I thought it was a cut above many of the previous performances I've seen from the Royal…

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Evenings at Five

Evenings at Five: A Novel and Five New Stories by Gail Godwin My rating: 5 of 5 stars I only read Evenings at Five; the…

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Black Grace – Verse 2

Black Grace's much anticipated production, Verse 2, is a dynamic and vibrant joining of Pacific and contemporary dance. Including excerpts from Verses and Gathering Clouds, as well…

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Y Chromosome

Y Chromosome is Tempo's annual all male, energetic, fast-paced production. With a variety show style format it is ultimately a celebration of male dancers, and effectively…

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Te Houhi – The People and the Land Are One

One of the highlights of the New Zealand festival for the Rugby World Cup, Te Houhi is intelligent, heartfelt and completely engrossing. The maturity of…

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Shine Lady

For someone like me, a dance performance about ancient goddesses is a must. It's a combination of two of my loves in life - dance…

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A special gift

To fully appreciate Beautiful Me, you need to relax back, and allow yourself to be lulled along by the performance. A good story should never…

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Dynamic, fast-paced performance

A dynamic, fast paced performance from the Black Grace UrbanYOUTHMovement, Who Are You? combines high energy dancing with social commentary to produce an enthralling work.…

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Sirens – Auckland Fringe Festival

Seventy-four swimmers gliding and twisting in a pool certainly makes for a mesmerising performance. Telling the story of the lovely, deadly water nymphs luring sailors…

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