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Canberra’s best coverage of local arts news plus reviews, including dining, film, theatre, music, visual arts and dance

Arts / ‘Quirky’ self-portraits win art prize

FIVE ‘quirky’ self-portraits presented in matchboxes have won the 2014 Capital Chemist Art Award, it was announced at Tuggeranong Arts Centre today, Saturday ,  by Peter Downing, group business manager for Capital Chemist. Braddon artist Thomas Arthur Buckland’s unusual portraits have been made from recycled cardboard, depicting a mood for every day of the week. […]

Chopin to die for: Japanese pianist wins competition

A BRILLIANT 25-year-old pianist from Japan was presented with the $25,000 first prize in the Australian International Chopin Piano Competition held in Llewellyn Hall yesterday. The prize was presented to Kotaro Nagano by Mrs Jeannie Pratt on behalf of the Pratt Foundation, which had sponsored the award. “We think of Canberra as a political capital […]

Review / ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ (MA) **

IN Robert Rodriguez’s violent, angry filming of Frank Miller’s cartoon strip fantasy views of the underbelly of American society, this city sleeps by day and wakes after sunset. Power, lust, greed, hatred and ultra-violence resume scattering their nefarious influences among men who know not how to contribute to healing society’s illnesses and women whose bodies […]

Review / ‘We Are The Best’ (MA) ****

IN Swedish filmmaker Moodysson’s dramatisation of a cartoon strip by his wife, schoolgirls Bobo and Klara, soon to start climbing puberty’s upward slope, want to become a punk band but neither has any musical skill. They have devised pejorative lyrics listing their reasons for loathing sport. They have worked out that that business about God […]

Review / ‘Wish I Was Here’ (M) ***

IN his second film after “Garden State” (2004), director Zach Braff plays aspiring actor Aidan, upon whom life’s burdens, while individually relatively minor, are steadily piling up. The Jewish school is threatening to bar his children (Joey King and Pierce Gagnon) unless outstanding fees are promptly paid. His retired father (Mandy Patinkin) needs all his […]

Chopin final coming up on Sunday

THE Australian International Chopin Piano Competition continues apace, with the not-to-be-missed Finals coming up at Llewellyn Hall this Sunday, September 21. Organised by the ANU School of Music in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Canberra and the Friends of Chopin Australia, it has announced the six semi-finalists: Maciej Wota, 22, […]

Salsa and other art forms. The arts in Canberra this weekend

ARTIST Karyn Fearnside says that during 2012 she grew tomatillos, a small fruit encased in a papery husk. Over the winter the few unpicked fruit decayed into a very interesting lacy, skeletal form, which she now explores in “Salsa,” a mixed media exhibition at gallery@bcs through photographs, drawings, printing and computer manipulation. In Belconnen Community […]

They simply shine: It’s Dance Festival time again

IT’S that time of year when Canberra’s most creative young dancers burst into action in a festival that is totally uncompetitive. Ausdance Youth Dance Festival, this year with the theme, “Stories,” opens tonight and will see 36 high schools and colleges onstage with 55 different dance works as they celebrate the 30th year of the […]

Bookings about to close for open day in Namadgi and Tidbinbilla

Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre is staging a unique FREE artist-in-residence open day in Namadgi National Park and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve from 9am to 2pm this Saturday, September 20, but you’d better hurry! Eminent Japanese wood artist Satoshi Fujinuma is in Canberra to undertake a residency and there will be a number of special […]

Arts in the City / Celebrating Banjo’s birthday

LATERAL-thinking Robert Stephens, of Aarwun Gallery, has Max Cullen speaking and performing at the opening night of Ted Lewis’ exhibition of paintings, “In the Footsteps of Banjo Paterson”. It runs at the Federation Square gallery from 6pm on September 19 to October 14 and marks the 150th anniversary of Paterson’s birth. THE Australia Cuba Friendship […]

‘Fame’ hits the stage in Gungahlin

GUNGAHLIN College’s second major musical production and follows highly successful short seasons of “Grease” in 2012 and “Romeo and Juliet” in 2013. Yes, it’s that school-age showstopper, “Fame” the musical, by David De Silva and this exciting production combines the use of innovative sets, evocative music, exciting dance numbers and a cast and crew of […]

Arts / Crooner’s story to open festival

“FROM Italy with passion” is this year’s slogan for the Italian Film Festival; an apt tag for a festival opening with a biopic about a Calabrian-Belgian crooner and ending with Sophia Loren in “Marriage Italian Style”. When I talk to 76-year-old singer, composer, accordionist and grandfather Rocco Granata by phone to Antwerp, I’m already humming […]