Home' Queanbeyan Chronicle : Q Chronicle 19-01-16 Contents Tuesday, January 19, 2016 The Chronicle
1 THE National Portrait
Gallery is opening late until
8pm every Friday until 26
February. Each Friday will have
something different to thrill
and chill -- a bar for the thirsty,
''sex, murder & mayhem'' tours
of Sideshow Alley, live comedy,
music, magic, barbers, tarot
readers, horror make-up and a
twisted art installation. See
2 It's a skill that can deliver
sweet results. Keeping a
bee hive in your backyard
allows you to harvest your own
wild honey and greatly
improves the pollination of
your garden crops. Learn how
with Mitch Pearce from
Canberra Urban Honey at The
Canberra Environment Centre
on Tuesday, Jan 19, from 6pm.
3 Don't miss the GIO Summer
Down Under Wheelchair
Road Racing Series. See more
than 60 of the fastest athletes,
including Kurt Fearnley OAM,
Angie Ballard, Rich Nicholson,
Rheed McCracken and
Madison De Rozario, race
against their rivals from across
the globe to qualify for the Rio
2016 Paralympic Games at the
Australian Institute of Sport on
January 20 and 21. See
4 Get involved in events,
games and workshops at
the National Museum of
Australia's Australia Day
Festival. From 10am until 2pm
demonstrations and lectures
that celebrate the enduring
traditions of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islands culture.
Make your own emu-feather
accessories, decorate clap sticks
with locally sourced ochres and
add a mark to a floor mural for
the museum's exhibition
Encounters. Details at
5 Australia Day 2016 at the
National Film and Sound
Archive starts with a sausage
sizzle, a Triple J Hottest 100
Countdown party and
screenings of classic Aussie
films. Check out Skippy in the
theatrette or at Arc Cinema
They're a Weird Mob,
Crocodile Dundee, The Castle
and the Canberra premiere of
the digitally restored
Starstruck. See nfsa.gov.au.
AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
Duo will perform at awards concert
Ruth O'Brien and Damian Ashcroft became a musical duo while studying music performance at CIT last year.
Photo: Elesa Kurtz
Canberra musical duo Ruth O'Brien
and Damian Ashcroft will take the
main stage at this year's Australian of
the Year Awards concert.
The pair, established in September
2015, is thrilled to be performing at the
Australian of the Year Awards and
concert and are planning a mix of
covers and original songs for the event.
"This is the biggest thing we've
done and it's great to be able to
represent local Canberra music at this
amazing event in front of so many
people," Ruth O'Brien said.
She put it down to the familiar
setting but O'Brien wasn't freaked
out'' about playing on the lawns of
Parliament House on January 25 with
some of the biggest names in the
In fact, the 29-year-old, who was
born with the genetic disorder TAR
syndrome, planned to pull Australian
music royalty and headliner Jimmy
Barnes aside to ask for advice.
I'm not feeling nervous at this
stage; I'm just keen to chat to
everyone,'' she said. They all have
amazing and different experiences
from the Australian music industry
and that's what I am really passionate
O'Brien and Ashcroft became a
musical duo while studying music
performance at CIT last year.
After playing at 2015 Floriade, it
was a gig at the Inclusion Awards at
Parliament House in November which
brought them to the attention of
Australia Day Eve concert organisers.
You never know who is watching
and where your next opportunity is
going to come from,'' O'Brien said.
It turns out the sounds guys involved
in that put us forward for this.''
Crowds that catch the duo between
5pm and 5.30pm will hear a mix of
originals and covers with a special
medley of iconic Australian hits sewn
together for the finale.
It was a friend's wedding that
inspired O'Brien to put down loving
lyrics in Veil and the feel-good energy
surges higher with Winter Blues,an
upbeat number that may well have
picnic-goers on their feet.
However, Ruth and Damo
demonstrate their ability to share
genuine stories with Lullabies -- My
Twisted Dream, a song written about
O'Brien's mother's death in mid-2015.
Writing songs based on events they
had experienced allowed for an
honesty which audiences connected
with, she said.
While their sights were set on their
big show, Ruth and Damo have been
working to record an EP due out in
See ruthmvobrien.com for
details of future gigs and the duo's
EP launch later this year.
ALBUM: ART ANGELS/ARTIST: GRIMES
Strap yourself in for a wild and magical journey
Claire Boucher, AKA Grimes, doesn't
really ease you into Art Angels.
From the get-go it's kind of a manic
affair -- a modern dance album for our
time with diabolical beats and a hell of
a lot of rage.
Grimes herself has called it an
album made by a "girl group" whose
members are all versions of Grimes.
It is anything but boring. Grimes'
half-human half computerised vocals
puncture each song and melodic hooks
come together where it doesn't seem
The metallic-grunge Scream is a
blast that still gets you up to dance
even if your head is asking WTF?
Elsewhere it's beautifully all over
the place, while the album sort of gels
as a whole: Eurodance, straight
electro-pop and a fusing of rock and
dance that sounds like it's been
chewed up by a computer and spat out.
But there is a magic here -- Grimes
has been pronounced a genius -- a
modern day Trent Reznor who can
magically combine sound and music in
a way that is unique, inviting in its own
way and off the planet.
Art Angels is a lot to take in, but
with each listen it just seems to get
better and the only advice I can give is
to strap yourself in, be patient, and
allow yourself to be taken on a ride.
Ballet for all the tiny dancers
David James plays the
Prince in Storytime Ballet's
The Sleeping Beauty.
The Australian Ballet will launch its
inaugural series for children in
Canberra on Wednesday and for
audiences and dancers alike The
Sleeping Beauty is an enchanting start.
David James plays Prince Charming
and The Big Bad Wolf in the show
designed for children three years old
and up and said along with creating a
world of fairytale it introduces young
Australians to the magic of ballet.
The 21-year-old who grew up in St
Clair on Sydney's western fringes
said for years he watched on at his
mother and older siblings' dance
classes but began dancing aged six and
soon became enthralled with
"I had a lot of fun," he said. "It
started as an afterschool hobby but my
passion for it grew and midway
through high school I decided I wanted
to do it as a career."
James went on after high school to
the Australian Ballet School and after
graduating in 2014 toured as part of
The Australian Ballet Education
Ensemble. "We went to primary
schools and taught them the basic
skills of dance," he said.
He said while the Storytime Ballet
series was a totally different format, he
found it very fulfilling to give children
the tools to understand how movement
was a language of its own.
The season so far had been a stark
change of pace but James has been
relishing the challenge. "It's a short
show," he said. "But as a cast we dance
three shows a day and there is usually
an hour between each show."
The Sleeping Beauty is a visual
spectacular for children with gossamer
fairy dresses and elegant costumes
adorned with jewels and intricate
James said dancing in such a
beautiful show was a pleasure, but it
was the moments off stage hearing
children giggling or looking up in
wonder that brought the biggest smile
to his face.
The Australian Ballet's executive
director Libby Christie, said the
project was created in response to the
overwhelming popularity of the
company's programs for children.
"We have been amazed by the
growing appetite among younger
ballet participants," she said.
"Over 420,000 children participate
in dance activities across Australia
As Australia's national ballet
company, we are committed to
providing creative experiences and
programs to inspire young
The Storytime Ballet's The
Sleeping Beauty shows at the
Playhouse from January 20-23.
Tickets: $24-$44 at
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