The Riverdance show has toured all overthe world and now graces local stagesfor the first time ever. Members of the show’s Moy companyoutside Montecasino in Johannesburg. (Image: Riverdance) The Erincale hotel and spa is surrounded by vast wine estates. (Image: Erinvale) MEDIA CONTACTS • Yolanda Filmater or Angela SwartErinvale+27 21 847 1160• Debra de SouzaRiverdance SA+27 82 822 9478 RELATED ARTICLES • SA looks back 100 years • Arts Alive ushers in a feeling of spring • Jock to grace SA screens again • New wine label protexts trees • SA olive oil a hit in ItalyChris ThurmanRiverdance, that quintessentially Irish phenomenon, is onstage in South Africa for the first time.Sure, we’ve had plenty of Irish dancing over the years – multiple visits from spin-off shows like Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance and David King’s Spirit of the Dance.But Riverdance is the original and is still held to be the more authentic production. The show runs until 20 February in Johannesburg and then moves to Cape Town for the rest of its six-week tour.What started off as a seven-minute interval piece at the Eurovision Song Contest, held in 1994 in Dublin, rapidly grew into a full-length music and dancing extravaganza: an exhibition of traditional Irish dancing such as had never been seen before, and which became the Emerald Isle’s major cultural export of the 1990s.In Riverdance the improbable foot and leg movements of the distinctive Irish dancing style, multiplied by twenty dancers and performed perfectly synchronised, are accompanied by Bill Whelan’s music that’s both joyous and full of pathos, by turns invigorating and haunting.As the show evolved, it began to incorporate other dance forms that complement, and perhaps even influence, the modern Irish style, notably jazzy American tap and sultry Spanish flamenco. Indeed, while the first half of Riverdance celebrates the “primitive and powerful world” of ancestral Ireland, the second act hinges around the notion of diaspora.As the programme notes explain: “War, famine and slavery shattered the ancient bonds between people and place. Forced dislocations marked and altered our histories … we learned to guard what we valued, to accommodate ourselves to others. Cast out and momentarily orphaned, we learned to belong to the world.”Irish settlers drawn to South AfricaMillions of Irish left their homeland out of hunger – the potato famine of the mid-nineteenth century was the most famous but certainly not the only period in which food shortages caused great suffering – or out of a desire for political and economic freedom. Ireland gained, lost and regained independence from Britain in the 1920s and 1930s, after being an occupied territory for about 700 years.South Africa may not have drawn as many Irish as America or Australia, but it was the destination chosen by thousands of immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They came to mine gold, to farm, to trade; and, in their search for a new home, they spread far and wide across the country.There are two South African towns called Belfast – in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, although the former town is now officially known as eMakhazeni – and numerous other places bear evidence of Irish influence.The Eastern Cape’s Cradock was named after John Cradock, an Anglophile Irishman who was once governor of the Cape colony. Upington in the Northern Cape took its name from Irishman Thomas Upington, former premier of the Cape Colony.One of the most famous South Africans of Irish heritage was Percy Fitzpatrick, author of Jock of the Bushveld. But while Fitzpatrick was an advocate of British intervention and expansion, most Irish sympathies lay with those who, like themselves, were victims of British oppression.At the end of the 19th century, that list included the Boers of the then-Transvaal; even James Joyce, in his mock-epic novel Ulysses, took up the cause of the Boer War as a war of independence. The Irish fought on both sides of the conflict, as volunteers with the Boer guerillas and as conscripts in the British army.A little bit of Ireland in AfricaGiven all these connections between Ireland and South Africa, it’s hardly surprising that when one Edward Strangman bought a tract of fertile soil near Somerset West in 1868, he named it after the country of his birth: Erin Vale, or Irish Valley.Little is known about the owners in subsequent decades, although there are a few stories in circulation about a redoubtable pair of sisters who ran the farm in proto-feminist fashion a few generations after Mr Strangman.What can be more readily verified is the history of the surrounding farmland, which was part of the 30 000ha Vergelegen estate founded in 1700 by conman, autocrat and horticulturist extraordinaire Willem Adriaan van der Stel. It was later sub-divided after Van der Stel was sent back to the Netherlands for extortion and mistreatment of his fellow Dutch farmers – thus it was that, along with Vergelegen, Lourensford and Morgenster were turned into wine farms.Today they remain major attractions on the Helderberg wine route, offering tastings, not only of wine but also of olives and chocolate, and tours in exquisite settings: Cape Dutch architecture, perfectly manicured grounds and terraced vineyards all around.Erinvale, however, did not end up as a winery. David Gant of Lourensford saw its potential as a residential golf estate and commissioned Gary Player to design the course layout. Erinvale presents a challenging 18 holes with spectacular views that do offer some comfort to those golfers – such as the author of this article – who frequently find themselves in the rough, the sand or the water … And the golfers, in turn, offer some entertainment for occupants of the houses looking onto the fairways.In 1995, Peter Baragwanath opened the Erinvale Estate Hotel and Spa, a complex of buildings developed around the original 300-year-old manor house of the farm; where once there were stables and barns, there are now elegantly furnished thatched rooms.In 1999 Erinvale returned to Irish hands when County Kerry-born tycoon Xavier McAuliffe purchased the hotel. It was acquired by the Louis Group in 2007, but a few Irish touches remain: Skelligs Pub and the Shannon room, for instance, hark back to the days of Mr Strangman.Erinvale is thus able to offer the highly appealing combination of a top quality golf course and decadent spa treatments, along with good food and wine, in a luxurious setting. It’s all a far cry from the deprivation that forced so many people to leave Ireland over the centuries – but that change in fortune can be attributed, you might say, to the luck of the Irish.
Johannesburg, Sunday 17 May 2015 – Brand South Africa has learnt with sadness of the passing of former Chairperson Ms Anitha Soni earlier today.• Download press releaseReflecting on the tenure of Ms Soni from 2009-2012, Brand South Africa’s Chairman Ms Chichi Maponya said, “Today South Africa has lost a passionate and committed Brand Ambassador. Ms Soni was a patriot in the true sense of the word, she used her innate skills and ability to serve our country.”“Under her leadership as Chair of the Board, Ms Soni led the rebranding of the then-International Marketing Council (IMC) to Brand South Africa. It was also during her tenure that Brand South Africa began to focus on the domestic market as well as the international. This was based on the understanding that a successful nation brand is built by citizens of the country, from the inside out.”“Today we express our appreciation to Ms Soni for her active role in branding South Africa a country that Inspires New Ways. We express our deepest condolences to the family, loved ones and colleagues of Ms Soni. We share in your mourning and pray that in time, the pain and sadness that you are now experiencing, will pass,” concluded Ms Maponya.Notes to the EditorAbout Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.Join the conversation at:Follow Brand South [email protected]_SAFacebookTell us how you Play Your [email protected] more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Boitumelo MpeteTel: +27 11 712 5007Mobile: +27 (0) 82 358 9047Email: [email protected]
Chelsea assistant Zola lauds Loftus-Cheek improvementby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola is happy with Ruben Loftus-Cheek.The club legend has been impressed with what he has seen from the English youngster this term.And he believes that if Loftus-Cheek can keep improving, he has a big future at the club.”I think Ruben has gone a long way from the beginning,” he said during a press conference.”He has improved a lot. “You can’t doubt his abilities, to play as a midfielder he is learning duties. I am very pleased with him. “He is an impact player, he was suffering when he didn’t play and being recognised is good for him.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say
bret bielema kenyan drakeEarlier Monday morning, we showed you a video of Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema pulling what can only be described as a questionable move on Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson. It turns out it may not have been the only time the Razorbacks coach got physical with a member of the Crimson Tide.In the below video, also taken from Saturday’s contest, Bielema appears to bump Alabama running back Kenyan Drake out of bounds near the end of a play – again. Judge for yourself.Was it intentional? Regardless, it’s about to be the second viral video involving Bielema’s conduct during Saturday’s game.
VANCOUVER — British Columbia may be famous for its bud but some say Canada’s new marijuana legalization framework is excluding the small producers with established know-how.A movement is growing in the province to address that problem with a common idea: cannabis co-operatives.“Some may argue we’ve lost our place to either Ontario or Alberta based on the number of licensed producers based out of those provinces,” said Barinder Rasode, CEO and co-founder or Grow Tech Labs, a cannabis business accelerator.“We’re very focused on making sure that B.C. remains a world leader in the area.”Rasode, who also formed the National Institute for Cannabis Health and Education, said she has travelled across the province speaking with small producers who have been growing marijuana long before legalization.She heard common complaints that entering the legal market is too costly and the regulations are too complex, including roadblocks like a 195 square metre production limit and non-specific security clearance criteria.“There’s this myth out there that these pre-legalization growers are sitting on bunkers of cash,” she said.Grow Tech Labs and Victory Square Technologies launched a cannabis co-op this month that will begin with a provincewide consultation of small producers and processors, Rasode said.Grow Tech will provide start-up funding but it will be up to the members who pick an executive and define their roles under bylaws and a governance model.“To have a co-op based model where there is a collaboration on not only success but risk mitigation and learning outcomes from each other is a model that has worked in Canada and definitely in B.C. with other commodities like wheat and cranberries,” she said.Others have already started building co-ops and identified some obstacles.The Cascadia Agricultural Co-operative Association is working to create a medical marijuana co-operative that extends beyond producers and processors to include consumers and retailers.Founder Joel Podersky said the model would include small- and medium-sized producers, patients and dispensaries.“Collectively, they make up a market place, providing both supply and demand.”The idea would be to prioritize quality over quantity and provide members with shared access to business development resources like accounting and legal support, he said.Current regulations prevent such a marketplace from operating independently. All distribution has to go through the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch.In Kaslo, Todd Veri said he was inspired to start the Kootenay Outdoor Producers Co-op after reading a federal task force report on cannabis that said there would be space in the market for small growers. There’s a long history of local marijuana production in the Kootenays, he said, and he thought a co-op model would keep the economic benefits in the community.The co-op has 35 local outdoor properties lined up and is reducing costs by using a “community garden” model on some growers, where a single piece of land is used for cultivation.They also have a 460 square metre shared nursery in Salmo ready to go but Veri said he’s concerned about the time it’s taking for Health Canada to process the application he submitted in December.“Our biggest concern now is we’ve been going on the hope that the licence application will take 60 to 90 days,” he said.“If they take 120 or even 150, that’s going to really impact whether our farms get licensed this year.”As of Jan. 31, Health Canada said it had received 83 micro-cultivation licence applications, including 54 for cultivation only, seven for processing only and 22 for both.One company in Canada has received a micro-cultivation licence. Health Canada didn’t have the name of the company but said it is in B.C. and had previously held a medical marijuana cultivation licence.Each property requires its own licence, Veri said, which comes with a $23,000 regulatory fee, a $1,700 security fee, a $3,000 application fee and other costs.He’s banking on the lower costs of outdoor production to make up the difference, which is why the timing of the process matters.Some other governments formally recognize the cannabis co-op model. In Uruguay, 15 to 45 producers can grow up to 99 plants together and Massachusetts has a “craft marijuana co-operative” licence that limits cultivation to a total canopy of just over 9,000 square metres.“The regulations here don’t have a separate category for co-operatives like they do in those other jurisdictions, but our regulations also don’t necessarily preclude that from happening,” said Rielle Capler, post-doctoral research fellow at the BC Centre on Substance Use.Capler, who is also the co-founder of the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers, said the co-op model has proven “robust” for agricultural products, so it’s a promising avenue for cannabis too.But it doesn’t remove all the barriers small producers face. A the local government level, for example, legal producers need to be properly zoned and the municipal elections in October mean some new councils are still getting up to speed on the whole topic, causing delays.Many small producers have been approached by larger businesses aware of the obstacles they’re facing, she said.“There’s a phenomenon of the larger businesses coming in and gobbling up the smaller ones and saying, ‘We’re your only way to get to market.’ But by pooling resources and working together co-operatively these small farmers and businesses could remain independent with that structure.”Capler said these growers just want to preserve what was working already.“There was a pre-existing illegal market and it was thriving and working for many people in B.C.”Amy Smart, The Canadian Press
The Golden State Warriors are an insanely dominant team. To answer the question in this article’s headline: Yes, the Grizzlies have a chance — about a 6 percent chance according to our Real Plus-Minus-based projections. The Warriors projected Real Plus-Minus (RPM) of +15.8 points against the Grizzlies is easily the best of any team; Golden State has about a 10-point advantage per 100 possessions.So the Warriors are likely to win, yes, but the series has several interesting contrasts for the basketball geek.Take speed. If the Warriors do succeed against Memphis, they’ll probably do so playing their breathtakingly fast style. Golden State had by far the fastest pace in the league this season, at 98.3 possessions per game. The Grizzlies play at a lumbering gait: at 92.0 possessions per game, Memphis ranked in the bottom five of the league. The Warriors are also in the top four in total blocks and steals, which ignite fastbreaks. The Grizzlies are content playing solid half-court defense, forcing turnovers and limiting your total shots. It’s fast vs. slow.Shot selection is another difference. The Warriors, especially Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, excel behind the 3-point arc. The team led the NBA in both 3-point percentage (at nearly 40 percent!), and in the total number of threes attempted. The Grizzlies? They attempt the second fewest 3-pointers of any team in the NBA, with below-average success. Memphis’ strength is near the basket, where you’ll find their two big men, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. It’s outside vs. inside.Curry, who might just win the MVP award, leads the way for a stacked Warriors team; his projected +8.8 RPM is the second highest of any player (behind Cleveland’s LeBron James). At the other end, the Warriors will rely on defensive superstar Draymond Green, the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year. Draymond will have a unique challenge against the two Memphis big men. If he can handle one of them one-on-one, the Warriors could cruise.For the Grizzlies, their (already slim) chances took a hit when point guard Mike Conley suffered a facial fracture. He’s projected to play only 15 minutes per game by these RPM calculations. But if he plays through the injury, and if the Grizzlies can slow the pace and prevent the 3-point-happy Warriors from blowing the roof off, Memphis could make this series interesting.
8/31/075135-16 4/17/064836-12 POLL DATEYANKEESMETSMETS MARGIN 3/24/146127-34 Move over, New York Yankees — there’s a new baseball boss in town. For the first time since at least 1998, Quinnipiac University has found, more New York City baseball fans liked the Mets than the Yankees. Although it was a narrow victory — 45 percent to 43 percent, well within the margin of error — it shows that winning ballgames remains the key to winning the hearts of Big Apple sports fans.The Yankees usually hold a hefty fan advantage over the Mets in New York. Over the last 20 years, the Yankees have averaged a sizable 55 percent-to-31 percent lead over their crosstown rivals. Just three years ago, the Yankees led the Mets 61 percent to 27 percent on the same question Quinnipiac asked this year. 3/25/095655-133429 3/16/005235-17 10/19/004337-6 Average5554-1334310 6/1/126221-41 The Mets do much better when baseball fans are forced to choose between the Mets and the Yankees. While the Yankees lose a statistically insignificant 1 percentage point of support on average, the Mets pick up 10 points of support. This seems to confirm the finding of a nonscientific Reddit poll from three years ago that found the Yankees were the most hated team among baseball fans. In other words, non-Yankee and non-Met fans may pick the Mets when forced to choose between the two of them, simply because they dislike the Yankees more.This year, though, the Mets beat the Yankees on the open-ended version of the question — the version in which they have always done worse. If we take this year’s result and apply the same boost the Mets typically receive in the other version of the question (where fans were forced to choose between the two teams), they would probably hold a 10-point head-to-head advantage over the Yankees. That’s pretty mind-boggling, considering the Mets were down 22 points on that type of question just three years ago.The Mets need to keep winning, however, if they want to maintain an edge over the Yankees. As I wrote about three years ago, the Mets seem to pick up fans when they win and shed them when they lose, but the same didn’t hold true for the Yankees. Now, it seems the Yankees may also gain or lose fans depending on their record. (Before this year, Quinnipiac had never polled after a season in which the Mets made the playoffs — or World Series — more recently than the Yankees.) In the chart below, I’ve plotted the difference between the percentages of Met fans and Yankee fans in New York City against the difference in how long it had been since each team had been in the playoffs.1For the sake of simplicity, I’m using the version of Quinnipiac’s question that allows baseball fans to choose any team, not just the Mets and the Yankees. However, there’s a clear correlation with either question. 3/24/1459%37%-22 3/25/095542-13 Fav. in a Subway Series Average5531-24 4/1/024738-9 Indeed, the Yankee lead climbed as high as 41 points five years ago. That survey was taken after a season in which the Yankees had made the playoffs, while the Mets hadn’t appeared in the postseason in six years. Now the tables have turned: The Mets have made the playoffs two years in a row, even appearing in the World Series in 2015. Meanwhile, the Yankees didn’t make the playoffs last year and they haven’t made a World Series since 2009.Before this year, the only time the Mets ever came close to the Yankees was in May 2007. That year, 49 percent of New York City baseball fans said they’d root for the Yankees in a Subway Series against the Mets, while 48 percent said they’d root the other way. Recent results had an influence then, too — the Mets made it to the National League Championship Series (before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals) in 2006, while the Yankees were knocked out in the American League Division Series.The Mets’ triumph in this year’s poll, however, is far more impressive than when they nearly overtook the Yankees 10 years ago. You’ll notice in the table that there are two types of questions Quinnipiac has asked on this subject in the past: Sometimes they asked baseball fans who they’d root for in a World Series matchup between the Mets and the Yankees, as they did when the Mets came close to the Yankees in 2007. Other times, fans are asked who their favorite baseball team is overall. (That is, fans can choose teams besides the Mets and Yankees.) And in four surveys, Quinnipiac asked both versions of the question. 7/26/015432-22 3/24/146159-2273710 5/28/074948-1 POLL DATETEAM IN MLBIN SUBWAY SERIESDIFFTEAM IN MLBIN SUBWAY SERIESDIFF 5/28/0750%49%-136%48%12 Source: Quinnipiac University YANKEES ARE FAVORITE …METS ARE FAVORITE … 5/28/075036-14 NYC baseball fans like the Mets more than the Yankees for the first time in 20 years Among New York City baseball fansSource: Quinnipiac University Average5138-13 8/31/075152135449 7/28/986028-32 3/25/095633-23 3/31/1743%45%+2 7/29/115926-33 The Mets are more popular when they’re pitted against the Yankees 4/1/055136-15 7/18/064637-9 8/31/075244-8 Poll DateYankeesMetsMets margin Perhaps what’s most interesting about the chart is that, based on prior trends, we would have expected the Yankees to have more fans than the Mets even now. That is, in an environment where the Mets were doing slightly better than the Yankees, the pattern would have been for the Yankees to still have a larger fan base. That might mean Quinnipiac’s new poll is too friendly to the Mets — certainly a possibility, given the margin of error. It could also be the case that the Mets are receiving a “bonus” because they were in the playoffs last year and the Yankees weren’t. Again, we can’t really test that phenomenon because in every previous survey, the Yankees had been in the playoffs as recently (or far more so) than the Mets had been.Either way, it’s clear that New York City is a two-baseball-team town right now. The Mets have caught up to — or perhaps even surpassed — their older brother. Yankee fans need their team to start winning again, or they’ll have to get used to seeing a lot more Mets caps on the subway as they make their commute. 8/15/136223-39 FAVORITE TEAM IN MLB
Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed FiveThirtyEight This week on Hot Takedown, we’re reacting to a series of upsets in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Los Angeles Clippers pulled off the biggest comeback in playoff history, but we don’t necessarily think the Warriors should be too worried for the rest of the series. Other upsets included the No. 7 seed Orlando Magic defeating the No. 2 Toronto Raptors; that Game 1 victory had Mike Tuck on “Open Mike” from Orlando’s 96.9 The Game positing that Orlando is underrated in the Eastern Conference. Our basketball guru, Chris Herring, makes a guest appearance to help us break down this claim.Someone who is openly shaking in his boots this week is golfing great Jack Nicklaus. Tiger Woods’s victory at the Masters gave him his 15th major, just three behind Nicklaus’s all-time record. Does Tiger have it in him to catch Jack? Or do we expect this to be his last big victory?Inspired by Tiger’s feat, our Rabbit Hole dives into other statistically improbable comebacks.Here’s what we’re looking at this week:Chris breaks down how the Warriors blew a 31-point lead.And he provides takeaways from the opening weekend of the NBA playoffs.As per usual, our eyes are glued to our NBA predictions.We can’t get enough of Tiger Woods’s comeback.The Washington Post digs into Tiger’s odds for the rest of the season and into 2020.ESPN analyzes great comeback stories across sports.From our Rabbit Hole, this excellent video about Lonnie Smith from SB Nation.
Ohio State guard Carmen Grande (1) dribbles the ball up the court in the second half of the game against Indiana on Jan. 10. Ohio State won 55-50. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe Ohio State women’s basketball team (14-12, 10-7 Big Ten) continued its hot streak, winning 10 of its past 14 games, with a 61-50 win against Wisconsin(13-16, 4-13). Thursday’s game saw four players score 10 points or more, with redshirt senior guard Carmen Grande leading the way for Ohio State. Her 17 points along with three rebounds and five assists were key in giving the Buckeyes a substantial lead for most of the game. Also getting in on the action were freshman guard Janai Crooms, redshirt senior guard Carly Santoro and freshman forward Dorka Juhasz, who combined for 32 of the team’s 61 points. Crooms was hot early on helping the Buckeyes get off to an early lead in the first quarter. She was 4-of-8 from the field for 11 points to go with six rebounds. Moving into the second quarter, Santoro and Juhasz stepped up to take control of the game and get a 13-point lead heading into halftime. Santoro scored 11 points with two rebounds and two assists. Juhasz had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds to contribute not only on the offensive side, but also being a key figure on the defensive side as well. Wisconsin could never quite get it going on the offensive side early on, but senior forward Marsha Howard kept the Badgers in the game with a 15-point performance along with seven rebounds and two assists. The second half was a bit of different story, as a 10-point Wisconsin run in the third quarter cut an 18-point Ohio State lead back down to a single-digit game. However, the Buckeyes countered with a nine-point run of their own to take a firm hold of the game again. Despite a nine-point run by Wisconsin in the fourth quarter, Ohio State burned enough clock to limit Wisconsin’s options. The Badgers were forced to foul to stay in the game, and the Buckeyes made enough free throws to get away with the win. The Buckeyes will close out the regular season with a rematch against Rutgers on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.