Page 5477 - Week 15 - Tuesday, 8 December 2009
One of the wonderful things about Canberra is that it has two great parts to the arts scene. It has got the local arts scene but it has also got the international, the state and the Australian-based arts scene. I think there is proportionately more of for our size because we are the capital, Canberra, and we are really lucky to have some world-class productions.
I will mention a couple here. Very recently I went to a production by the Bangarra Dance Theatre, and that was one of the best performances I have been to. That was a world-class performance. Contrasting with that, last week I went to two visual arts events in the same evening. I went to the Masterpieces from Paris at the National Gallery, which was gorgeous.
Before that I had the pleasure, as an ANU alumnus, to go to the graduating students’ arts exhibition. Some of the stuff was certainly up in the same category, I believe, as the art in the National Gallery. I saw a wonderful sculpture. Now that the proceedings are recorded on video I could show what the person was like. I must admit I had a look and saw there was a red mark on it; otherwise I was going to go back to the committee and say, “It would go quite well on the wall in the members’ entrance area where we are looking for something.” It would have gone brilliantly there. And that is just one example of the great local art that we are privileged to have in Canberra.
A couple of others I would like to mention include Quantum Leap, which is easily one of the best dance theatres in Australia. This an area where I believe funding nearly ceased a few years ago. I am very pleased that the ACT government saw fit to continue this funding of beautiful young people.
Another show I went to was Short+Sweet. And for those people who are not aware of this, you have about half a dozen plays in an evening but they are only 10 minutes each. It was a sell-out performance. It was, admittedly, in a very small theatre but it was brilliant. It was wonderful. You have 10 minutes in tears and the next 10 minutes you would be laughing. It was brilliant and I highly recommend it to all of you next year because I am sure it will happen again.
I have already spoken a bit about visual art but, before I end, I would like to put a plug in for ANCA. Living in Downer and ANCA being in Dickson, I could regard it as my local gallery. I have been to many exhibitions there. I will not name any or single them out but they have invariably been interesting and there have been some wonderful pieces in them.
In closing, I would just like to say that we are very fortunate in the arts scene in Canberra and I am very fortunate to be the arts spokesperson for my party.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (3.35): Last month, I was very privileged to be able to attend the opening of the new Cassells building at Marymead in Narrabundah by the Governor-General, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce. It is the first substantial construction for 40 years at the Marymead Child and Family Centre.