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Hadani Ditmars

Author, Multi-platform Journalist, Editor

Hadani Ditmars is the author of Dancing in the No Fly Zone: a Woman’s Journey Through Iraq and the Vancouver Wallpaper City Guide.

A former editor at New Internationalist, her cultural and political commentaries have been published in the Guardian, the New York Times and Vogue and broadcast on the CBC and BBC.

Hadani’s next book Ancient Heart is a political travelogue of ancient sites in Iraq.

www.hadaniditmars.com
Alamy

Will Millennials Ever Love the Waltz?

Since the world didn't end on Dec. 21, I found myself once again taking in the annual Salute to Vienna New Year's concert at Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre. While there weren't so many people under 80 at the concert I attended, how long can it be before the young generation of hyper stimulated texting 20-somethings decide to give it all up for the lure of the waltz?
01/04/2013 05:25 EST

Singing for Syria and Gaza

The other day I found myself in a 100-year-old Anglican Church in Vancouver, in a place called rather fittingly, the Sanctuary. I was there to rehearse for a benefit happening the evening of Friday December 7th for Syrian refugee relief and emergency aid to Gaza, with funds directed to Doctors Without Borders and the ICRC's Middle East fund.
12/06/2012 05:08 EST
AP

Why Gilbert and Sullivan Are More Relevant Than Ever

Could the time be ripe for a Gilbert and Sullivan revival? After taking in Vancouver Opera's opening night of The Pirates of Penzance, I am inclined to say yes. Ours is an era ripe for satire. How about a Pirates set on a beach in Somalia -- with the Major General as a BP executive covering up toxic waste? It can be applied to so many difficult situations -- and seems to make them somehow more bearable.
12/05/2012 07:32 EST
George Garcia

Far Side of the Moon Still Rings True

Watching Robert Lepage perform his seminal work The Far Side of the Moon in Vancouver last night, was an exercise in nostalgia. The play, that eloquently poses the question "are we alone?" by juxtaposing the space race with one man's quiet individual and familial struggles, pits the vastness of the cosmos against the smallness of the mundane. In the end there is an uneasy, but graceful reconciliation.
11/09/2012 05:50 EST
Opera Company of Philadelphia

Vancouver Opera's La Boheme Reminds me of My Paris Days

Warning: before you take in the final performance of Vancouver Opera's La Boheme, some Prozac may be required. It helped me drift back to my own bohemian existence, many moons ago, when I lived in a Parisian garret in St Germain des pres. I had almost no possessions, no telephone -- I also busked on weekends in le Marais, singing gypsy songs and Leonard Cohen ballads.
10/27/2012 12:01 EDT
AFP/Getty Images File

Music Helps me Imagine a Better World

Thank God for Vancouver's Music on Main. Not only was its vaguely 18th century feeling -- a return to an intimate musical salon vibe -- sweet relief from our oversaturated and increasingly digitized culture, the opening night's program actually gave me some hope for humanity in the midst of so much global tragedy. For a few transcendent moments, the festival drowned out the drum beats of war with the sweet sound of strings, and I dreamed of a return to a truly human culture.
10/03/2012 01:55 EDT

Egypt's Revolution: A Tragedy of Operatic Proportions

Indeed on a late April evening in Vancouver, taking in the opera, Aida, the powerful tale of absolute power and slave rebellions, it was hard not to think about the "Egyptian spring" -- which seems to have most in common with the tragic heroine, whose passion is slowly suffocated in a tomb at the feet of the gods.
04/29/2012 12:07 EDT
Arild Solberg/DigiCrew/Fuglefjellet

Does Great Scenery Kill an Arts Scene?

Vancouver is the biggest city in a province with the lowest arts funding per capita in the country. Every time you complain about the lack of cultural critical mass in Canada's third largest city, people sigh, lift their eyes northwards with a quasi mystical gaze and say -- but look at those gorgeous mountains.
02/03/2012 07:12 EST

Could the Waltz Save 2012?

I predict a 2012 comeback for the waltz. Just like hand written letters and hardcover books, it hearkens back to a more elegant era, when in addition to hand-eye co-ordination and a decent sense of rhythm, social graces were required. Forget religion -- waltzing could well become the new opiate of the masses.
01/03/2012 05:03 EST
AP

This Christmas: In America Thinking of Iraq

There was more bombing in Baghdad yesterday, and dozens of people were killed. To be in New York at this time of year, as Hanukkah candles and Christmas trees light living rooms, and as the U.S. begins its withdrawal from a country it has already impregnated with destruction is a tricky thing.
12/23/2011 10:25 EST

Duende Comes to Vancouver

After a long pseudo-summer of rain and rioting, Vancouver and I could use a little duende --that indefinable, spiritual essence that enters into one's being and comes out as impassioned dance, a flurry of fingers or a deep cante jondo.
07/02/2011 06:36 EDT
CP

Hockey as a Brutal Ballet: A Reflection on Our National Game

As an umpteenth-generation Canadian, sadly unmoved by our "national game," I wonder what is this magical power seemingly unique to organized sports that boosts both patriotism and endorphins when our team is winning, and despair when it's not?
06/10/2011 09:18 EDT

Racism in Canada: A Night at the Roxy

I wonder if Colleen Mitchell White was aware of the statement she was making when she arrived at Vancouver's Roxy Nightclub and was denied entry because she was wearing moccasins. And what was the doorman thinking? 'Drunk Indian woman prostitute buffalo hunter?'
06/06/2011 02:59 EDT