Natyaloka Dance


Natyaloka Clasical Indian dance.


Finally!  We have been trying to fit into Swaroopa’s busy schedule since day dot and this year we have done it, it may warp the time space continuum but it will be completely worth it to introduce the beautiful art form of Indian classical dance. Click the picture below to see Swaroopa’s website , check her out on radio with her current programme “Herstory” introducing Indian women present and mythical, or check out her dedication to dance on facebook. 



The colour and precision of Indian dance draws the eye and the movements are hypnotic. What a wonderful way to close our festival.

That Blind Woman


Introducing Julie Woods, aka “that Blind woman”. Julie will be telling tales of Braille and taking names, literally, she’s gathering names in Braille. Julie will enlighten us about Braille, open the floor to our inquisitive audience for a kids Q & A,  and will also be providing some Colour by Braille pages. Julie is a wonderful storyteller and advocate, in fact she’s all round fantastic! Please join us to discover Braille and meet that blind woman.


After her session Julie will be available to produce your name in Braille for her project One Million names in Braille, You’ll just have to line up behind me :). Read below to find out the aim and origin of the project:

1 million names in braille logo

One million names in braille is a dream of that blind woman Julie Woods to transcribe into braille the names of one million people she comes into contact with.

In 2012, after having the reverse side of her business card printed with the braille alphabet, Julie began writing in braille the names of people she came in contact with.

Julie and her husband Ron Esplin then set themselves a goal to visit the Seven Wonders of the World. It was while travelling overseas that Julie began writing the names of their guides in braille, when one day a young porter in an Indian Hotel burst into tears and said “Words cannot describe how I am feeling right now.”

So that got Julie to thinking…… why don’t I transcribe the first name of one million people into braille….. to connect the world with dots.

Julie set about chasing her dream when, on the day she had been blind for 20 years, she wrote 1 million names in braille on a small piece of paper,  in the code itself and popped it in a jar in her office.

So she’s off…..

“If people don’t laugh at you when you share your dreams, then you’re not dreaming big enough!”

Tavis Smily!


If you’d like to learn a little more about Julie and the work she does she has a pretty wicked web presence. Click here to explore.

Here Come the Drums Here Come the Drums


Kadodo West African Drums.


Welcome travellers, amongst stories from around the globe on the day we will have a brief and glorious stopover in Ghana, Africa. Robert Koffie Fugah is bringing the sound of drums to our festival! Specifically Kadodo West African Drums, they have a fantastic repertoire and they are bringing their energy to Around the World in 80 Tales. We are so lucky to have this kind of talent in our city, and welcome to the out of town talent coming down from Christchurch. Cross your fingers for fine weather and let’s have the sound of drums reverberating off the hills. I cannot wait.

Want to get a taste before the festival? Try here. Keen to learn yourself? there are classes coming up in April this year taught by Robert, get in quick. Click here for details.