Apex Hotels Blogs

Queen of the Dance

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Catherine Gallagher's Queen of the Dance (22 May 2013)

For one night only you can experience high energetic, fast paced Irish Dancing as Catherine Gallagher debuts her Queen of Dance tour at the Caird Hall in Dundee.

Growing up in Ireland, Catherine has enjoyed a dancing career since the young age of five and has since gone on to experience continued success, winning countless medals at World Championships. As the popularity of Irish dancing has grown around the world, Catherine has been there to grow with it and has become a true driving force behind the trend, performing at high profile shows and touring all over the globe.

AIR Productions, the creative team behind the triumphant and popular Moscow Ballet, returns with a new show: Queen of the Dance. This magnificent show is a celebration of Irish Music and Dance and stars the World Champion herself.

The cast of Catherine Gallagher's Queen of the Dance.

Catherine Gallagher is proud to bring to the stage an electrifying performance of top-notch dancing with an innovative, theatrical performance of Irish Dance. This outstanding extravaganza is companied by beautiful live music that will entertain and delight audience members.

Thrilling and breathtaking solos will be performed in abundance by Catherine who is also world renowned for her previous performances in the Riverdance. Not only are there exhilarating solo performances, the advocate of Irish dance will perform a programme of dances with the International Irish Step Dances.

This inspiring production of Irish dance will have your feet tapping away and will leave you in complete admiration as you witness Irish dancing as you've never seen it before.

Catherine Gallagher's Queen of the Dance is on 22 May 2013 at Caird Hall, Dundee, DD1 3BB

Amazing Amber

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Amazing Amber (10 May - 8 September 2013)

Everybody loves a good fossil. There's something spine-tingling about seeing or handling the remains of an animal that walked the earth hundreds of million years ago.The only drawback is that fossils leave much to the imagination. You have to mentally flesh out the bones, or extrapolate a living animal from a 2D smudge on a rock.

Amber is different; it's fossilised tree resin. Resins are translucent liquids secreted by certain trees onto their surface. Over millions of years, a fraction of this substance hardens and fossilizes to become amber, capturing a moment in time and preserving it for millions of years. Any objects trapped inside can be extremely well preserved, often better than other types of fossils, with exquisite detail still visible. Amber is, quite literally, a window into the deep past. Insects trapped in amber fire the imagination, as anyone who's seen Jurassic Park will agree. While you can't bring extinct animals back to life, you can learn a lot about ancient life from amber fossils.

The Amazing Amber exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland brings together amber pieces from the museum's own collection for the first time. You'll learn how life is preserved in these amazing fossils and how scientists are using it to peer deep into the past and make extraordinary discoveries. (The oldest amber dates back 320 million years, about 90 million years before dinosaurs appeared.)

Extinct wasp in Burmese amber. (Photo: Natnioal Museums Scotland)  

It's not all about the science, though. Humans have been fascinated by amber for millenia. To some it was a material to be used in decorative objects; to others it had mystical powers to be harnessed in charms and amulets. The exhibition will explore humanity's use of amber from Stone Age jewellery to the present day.

Of course, if you still need your dinosaur fix after this exhibition, snap up some tickets for the RBS Museum Lates: Dino Night event on 17 May. The bands, entertainment and themed dinosaur activities would be a great way to follow up the Amazing Amber exhibition. You'd better be quick, though: unlike amber, these tickets won't be around for long.

Amazing Amber - National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

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100th RHS Chelsea Flower Show (21 - 25 May 2013)

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the pinnacle event of the year in the gardening calendar, it is arguably the definitive pilgrimage for all green-fingered fanatics!

From show gardens and landscaping to outstanding varieties of plants and flowers.

This year's Chelsea Flower Show is set to be an extra exceptional event celebrating 100 years of garden style. To mark this iconic birthday, an opera concert will be held on the Friday evening. Visitors will be able to walk through the show's history, absorbing the photographic designs that have captured the sights, styles and personalities over the last century which have defined Chelsea and its distinctive place in the world of gardening.

Celebrating its 100th year, the 2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show will promote a greener, brighter future by shining the spotlight on sustainable living. This year you can witness the latest trends in gardening and get inspiration from the show gardens, each one created with obsessive attention to detail by the world's leading garden designers.

The show gardens will display cutting edge products, designs and techniques. The focus this year has additionally encouraged the leading garden designers to develop methods to preserve Britain's horticultural heritage and protect some of the world's most vulnerable people and gardens.

At the heart of Chelsea is the Great Pavilion, a covered space the size of two football pitches, where specialist growers exhibit everything from the familiar to the exotic, making it the main attraction for most Chelsea visitors.

Amateur gardeners flock to the Chelsea Flower Show for inspiration and leave with new dreams firmly planted in their minds. Visitors can explore 15 spectacular Show Gardens, 11 Fresh Gardens demonstrating the very best in contemporary garden design and 8 Artisan Gardens. In addition to 150 exhibits from florists and nurseries there are up to 250 trade stands, all making the Chelsea Flower Show the best in the world.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013 runs from 21 - 25 May 2013 in the grounds of The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London, SW3 4SR.

Dundee May 2013

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What's on in Dundee in May 2013?

Event of the month

Catherine Gallagher's Queen of the Dance

Catherine Gallagher's Queen of The Dance (22 May 2013)

Irish dancing has been popular in theatres for some time, but Catherine Gallagher is the real deal: a world champion who has been immersed in Irish dancing from a young age. - Find out more in our Catherine Gallagher's Queen of The Dance blog post.

Dream: National Dance Company of Wales (3 May 2013) - The world famous National Dance Company of Wales will be performing a mesmeric triple bill of elating dance that will make audience members fall in love. Choreographer Christopher Bruce is the brains behind the celebrated show 'Dream' which showcases a celebrations of the excellence and triumph of Britain in its Olympic year. - Dundee Rep Theatre, Tay Square, Dundee, DD1 1PB - www.dundeereptheatre.co.uk

Arthur Smith 'Expose' (4 May 2013) - Get ready to enjoy an evening with the comedian, broadcaster and writer Arthur Smith for a performance that provides unconventional humour. Not only is he an award-winning fringe Edinburgh Festival performer, Arthur has made regular appearances on TV's Grumpy Old Men, Have I Got New For You, The One Show and is host of Radio 4 Extra's Comedy Club. - Dundee Rep Theatre, Tay Square, Dundee, DD1 1PB - www.dundeereptheatre.co.uk

Hormonal Housewives (7 May 2013) - Returning after their triumphant 2012 tour, Toyah Willcox and Julie Coombe are back with new sketches. Covering off all aspects of womanhood including the trials and tribulations of IKEA to the joys of raising teenagers, this show is set to provide a hilariously, funny evening. Do you sometimes feel like your man is more James May than Christian Grey? Then this is a show for you and the girls! - Caird Hall, City Square, Dundee, DD1 3BB - www.cairdhall.co.uk

Dundee Farmers' Market (18 May 2013) - The monthly Dundee farmers market returns to the Dundee's high street this May. If you are looking to source locally cultivated produce then this is place for you. Showcasing a variety of local produce, the Dundee market covers off everything from organic vegetables, to baking, to fresh eggs to beef. - High Street, Dundee, DD1 - www.dundeecity.gov.uk/citydevelopment/economicdev/farmersmarket

Absolute Elvis Show (18 May 2013) - Calling all Elvis fans! For one night only the King will be performing at the Whitehall Theatre as Johnny Lee Memphis presents an energetic performance enough to make The King himself happy. His raw talent, astounding vocal range and stage presence has made Johnny world renowned, earning him the title of 'Spirit of the King'. - Whitehall Theatre, Bellfield Street, Dundee, DD1 5JA - www.whitehalltheatre.com

The Importance of Being Earnest (24 - 26 May 2013) - The Importance of being Earnest is widely accredited as one of the all time great comedies in the English language. This May will see Oscar Wilde's theatrical masterpiece arrive at the Dundee Repertory Theatre for two nights only. With a story about love, mayhem and the collision of two different worlds, it easy to see why this masterpiece is a masterpiece - Dundee Rep Theatre, Tay Square, Dundee, DD1 1PB - www.dundeereptheatre.co.uk

Love Your Zoo (26 - 31 May 2013) - Love Your Zoo is a special event giving you and the family the chance to get involved and learn about Dundee's zoo. Gain an understanding of how UK zoos promote their conservation aims. Showcasing very extraordinary family activities and presentations, you can also witness animal feeding encounters with the zoo keepers. - Camperdown Wildlife Centre, Dundee, DD2 4TF - www.camperdownwildlifecentre.com

Policing the Nation (until 31 May 2013) - Held at the Lamb Gallery, the Policing the Nation exhibition showcases a selection of photographs, documents and artefacts relating the history of Scottish policing. In addition, the exhibition features communication equipment, uniforms and accessories, illustrating many aspects of Scottish policing since the nineteenth century. There is even a section dedicated to the portrayal of Scottish police in comics. - Central Library, Dundee, DD1 1DB - http://www.leisureandculturedundee.com/node/2020

London May 2013

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What's on in London in May 2013?

Event of the month

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

RHS Chelsea Flower Show (21 - 25 May 2013)

The historic flower and garden show celebrates its centenial year with special events as well as the usual delights for green fingered gardeners - Find out more in our RHS Chelsea Flower Show blog post.

Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition (26 April - 12 May 2013) - The Sony World Photography Awards has grown to become one of the world's chief photography competitions. Showcasing the extraordinary, award-winning entries this exhibition provides viewers with a dramatic snapshot of the world in 2012. Luckily for our Apex guests, this incredible exhibition is held at Somerset House which is just a stone's throw away from the Apex Temple Court Hotel. - West Wing Galleries, Somerset House, London, WC2R 1LA - www.worldphoto.org

SPIN London (3 - 5 May 2013) - This May will witness the world's first urban-focused bicycle show and festival, making its unveiling in East London just one mile from the Apex City of London Hotel. SPIN London is set to be the hottest festival the city has to offer cycling devotees. With a core focus on the urban scene, SPIN will showcase emerging, forward thinking cycle fashion brands as well as London's budding musicians. - Old Truman Brewery, London, E1 6QL - spinldn.com

Canalway Cavalcade (4 - 6 May 2013) - Now in its 30th year, the Canalway Cavalcade has grown to become an unique waterways and community festival held at Little Venice. This festival will present fun for the whole family, featuring Morris Dancing, real ales, children's activities, trade shows and stalls as well as the traditional pageant of boats. - Little Venice (between Blomfield Road, Warwick Avenue and Warwick Crescent), London - www.waterways.org.uk/events_festivals/canalway_cavalcade_2013/canalway_cavalcade_2013

COLLECT: The International Art Fair of Contemporary Objects (10 - 13 May 2013) - COLLECT is the number one art fair for anyone who is passionate about purchasing or viewing the finest contemporary crafts. Now in its fourth year, this influential fair is held at the iconic Saatchi Gallery and is set to exhibit 31 of the world's finest international galleries. - The Saatchi Gallery, London, SW3 4RY - www.craftscouncil.org.uk/collect

International Burlesque Festival (10 May - 19 May 2013) - Starting from 10 May, the London Burlesque Festival 2013 will be featuring ten red-hot evenings full of sultry entertainment. In its 7th year and now the largest International Burlesque Festival of its kind, the event will showcase the world's premium performers, providing a truly electric atmosphere for an unbeatable night out. - Various venues around London - www.londonburlesquefest.com

Covent Garden Puppet Festival 2013 (12 May 2013) - Celebrate the 351st birthday of Mr Punch himself in the very location where Samuel Pepys recorded a sighting of Mr Punch in May 1662. Just a short stroll from the Apex Temple Court Hotel, you and the family can enjoy performances of Punch and Judy professors and puppeteers from all over the country. Join in and experience this festival celebrating of the art of puppetry. - Covent Garden Piazza, London, WC2E 8HH - www.alternativearts.co.uk

Museums at Night (16 - 18 May 2013) - For one special weekend only, hundreds of museums, libraries, galleries, archives and heritage sites are set to unbolt their doors for a magical evening. Whether you are a museum goer fanatic or a complete novice, this weekend is set to provide nocturnal adventures for everyone giving you a rare opportunity to explore tours, debates, ghostly readings and much more. - Various museums across London - www.culture24.org.uk/places%20to%20go/museums%20at%20night

HPA Gaucho International Polo (21 May 2013) - Kicking off Britain's famous summer season in true style, the HPA Gaucho International Polo event will be returning to the O2, which is easily accessed from Apex London Wall Hotel. The sport's elite players will fly in from all over the world, ready to compete in the prestigious championship. Make sure to keep your eye out for all the exclusive VIP after parties going on. - The O2, London, SE10 0DX - www.gauchopolo.com

Field Day (25th May 2013) - For one day only Victoria Park will open its gardens to host Field Day. This event brings together an array of London's alternative concert and club promoters for a day of music and dancing. As well as gigs by rising stars like Animal Collective and CHVRCHES, there will be side stalls inspired by traditional country pastimes and games including a tug of war, sack races in addition to the more innovative games like tea bag tossing and a winkle picking contest. - Victoria Park, London, E9 7BT - www.fielddayfestivals.com

Lichtenstein: A Retrospective (Until 27 May 2013) - Throughout May, the Tate Modern will be exhibiting Lichtenstein's first full-scale retrospective in over twenty years. This exhibition brings together 125 of his most defining paintings and sculptures, confirming Lichtenstein's legacy. Within walking distance from all three Apex London hotels, the Tate Modern is a must see attraction this May. - Tate Modern, London, SE1 9TG - www.tate.org.uk