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.

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