Festival of Cultures agreat start to March
I was born during the Year of the Rooster and so the Festival of Cultures from March 3-5 holds a particular fascination for me.
A lantern festival is a highlight of this year’s event and, as I’m told I resemble a Rhode Island Red in slumber, I’ll love the parade. It will process through The Square on Friday, March 3 from 7pm, with a newly created lantern leading it.
Lanterns from previous years also feature along with lanterns made by the public. Free lantern making workshops are being held prior to the event in the former Public Trust office in the Central Library building. I’m happy to be a model.
Saturday is the busiest day of the festival and showcases the World Food, Craft and Music Fair from 10am to 4pm in The Square. There’ll be more than 80 cultural food and craft stalls and the event stage will deliver a wide range of music and dance. Highlights are Matiu Te Huki, Clube de Coro – Bryn van Vliet and Romulo Castro.
Then on Sunday Te Manawa hosts a multi-cultural fashion show and wearable arts while the Te Rerenga Puppet Show and the Gamelan Padhang Moncar concert and workshop will perform at The Globe.
The Festival of Cultures is one of our longest standing community events and is unique to Palmerston North. It’s for everyone, especially for those born in the Year of the Rooster.
A week later The Globe again hosts something very different. Featured as a "once in a lifetime" event, pre-eminent New Zealand pianist, Michael Houstoun, will perform all of J.S. Bach’s 48 preludes and fugues in two concerts on March 11 and 12 at 2.30pm.
Performances of the complete set of preludes and fugues are rare and Michael’s epic concerts could be a first for New Zealand. They’ve attracted interest from the lower half of the North Island.
While Bach is often regarded as a serious composer, the underlying theme of The 48 is radiant joy. Michael will perform on The Globe’s Steinway Grand, an instrument only invented in Bach’s lifetime and one he seldom played. Most of his music was composed for the harpsichord and organ but he’d have loved to write for Steinways of today.
A month later Michael is playing Bach again but this time it’s a big band version. Rodger Fox has brought to New Zealand a unique arrangement of Bach’s Piano Concerto in D Minor – one of his few compositions for keyboard - and this "first for New Zealand" will be performed at The Globe on April 22 and 23 when Michael, Rodger and his big band collaborate.
The season for musicals also begins next month. Blood
Brothers, featuring the impressive Val Andrew as Mrs Johnstone, starts its season on March 2 and runs through to March 18 at The Auditorium. It’s a dramatic musical and centres around Mrs Johnstone who adopts out one of her twins (Eddie) at birth and retains Mickey, the other twin. The relationship between them all leads to a dramatic conclusion. The hit movie and musical
Footloose is being performed by Palmerston North Boys’ High and Girls’ High at the Speirs Centre from March 16 – 25. It’s the story of Ren McCormack and his mum who relocate from Chicago to America’s rural south and encounter repressive people and repressive social structures. It’s a theme that most young people encounter in their lifetime but, in
Footloose, they seek to make a change.
With School Dance at Centrepoint, it will be a busy time for theatre goers. It could be the Year of the Roster in the Year of the Rooster.
The event stage on Saturday will have continuous cultural entertainment including international and nationally renowned artists.