the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.
It was while having a discussion with my cousin (many moons ago) that I realised Australia is the land of fun and games. Culture is not a word often used by Australians to describe entertainment opportunities like live shows, music or theater. The most common use of the term is to describe the variety of international influences on our population and food — ‘multi-cultur-al’.
When I asked my cousin if Germany or Australia was the place to call home, he was torn. He wanted to say that his mother country was amazing and he couldn’t wait to return someday. Instead, he said … ‘I love Australia for lifestyle (fun and games, surf and sun) but Germany has the culture.’ And he was right. In 2001, when I was young and naïve, Australia had a café culture, a drinking culture and a beach culture. However, its arts culture was lacking, non-existent for those yet to reach their 30’s. It was not common to receive an invitation for a theatre show or a ballet performance. You were not exposed to advertisements for one woman monologues or dance exhibitions. Unless it was heard at a club, pub or café, culture was not found easily – especially in the Yarra Ranges.
My how things have changed! Have you heard of Culture Tracks? This long running program is designed to make culture accessible to the Yarra Ranges. With internationally renowned acts, musicians and companies filling their program, there is something for every art lover.
I am so excited to see the likes of the Australian Ballet Company and Melbourne Ballet Company represented in the Culture Tracks line up. It is a dream of mine to go to the ballet and witness the grace and beauty of the discipline. I am looking forward to marvelling at the technique and skill of the dancers as they push their bodies to the limit to entertain. It is with an internal squeal of delight that I await their Yarra Ranges show dates.
An exhibition of dance! Dance X (an exhibition in motion) sounds like a treat for the senses. This interactive exhibition explores dance with a virtual reality experience and ‘play stations’. This is ‘choose your own adventure’ experience has taken three years of research and practice to develop.
If classical is your flavour you will be pleased to hear that there is a program dedicated to the many orchestras and bands that have been booked for 2017. See Classical Tracks here. My husband and I are planning our date nights with this program close at hand!
Contemporary artists such as Kate Ceberano, Paul Grabowsky, Kasey Chambers and … let me take a moment to compose myself … LIOR are all making the Yarra Ranges home for a night or two – how blessed are we!!
Did anyone watch Blue Heelers? Come on, hands up. Mine is firmly raised. I watched and loved that series for most of its 13 seasons! I have to say there were a few characters that made it a firm favourite in our house and Tom Croydon was one of them. John Wood is an amazing Australian actor. His ability to make the craft look effortless is enviable. You can see for yourself as John and Julie Nihil (also a favourite from Blue Heelers) star in Bakersfield Mist.
With indigenous storytelling, monologues, radio drama and Irish humour, May is looking like a busy month.
School Holiday Fun:
If you missed the fun and games of Splashdash Galaxy or the dance and drum spectacular of Wala in April, don’t fret. July is looking to be jam packed with events for the children. Go on a bear hunt, marvel at the Burrinja Circus Festival, imagine training a dragon while listening to the Whitehorse Orchestra and more. Click here to start planning your holiday program.
follow the trail or movements of (someone or something), typically in order to find them or note their course.
Once you have discovered the ‘culture’ track that has been laid before you, I doubt you will be able to resist the urge to follow it to the end. There are so many exciting and intriguing shows to see and so much local talent to support. Thank you Culture Tracks for bringing culture to the Yarra Ranges.