International Arts Festival For Children ‘Baboró’ Starts Monday In Galway

Starting October 15, artists from Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Scotland and England will present a feast of 51 events across Galway for seven days designed especially for children and families.

Now in its 22nd year, Baboró, Ireland’s flagship festival for children and families is bursting with theatre, dance, music, exhibitions, film and literature as well as talks and workshops for children and adults. Baboró enables children and families to experience first hand the transformative power of the creative arts. Its mission is rooted in its commitment to children and ensuring that each child’s experience of the arts is enriching and engaging.

“We passionately believe the arts enhance ‘childrens’ lives and expands their worldview. We’re delighted to share our 2018 programme with children, families and schools. From October 15-21, it’s all about the kids when artists from Ireland and all over the world will bring creativity and colour into the lives of children and their families,” said Executive Artistic Director Aislinn Ó hEocha in a statement.

Some of this year’s international theatre and dance highlights include The Young King (ages 8+/Australia), a beautiful piece of immersive theatre with the tender language of Oscar Wilde; Tetris (ages 5-12/Netherlands) a fun, interactive performance, based on the game Tetris, exploring the way we interact with each other; Black Beauty (ages 5-12/Scotland), a vibrant retelling of the much-loved classic story which blends storytelling, music and puppetry; Narrow (ages 6-12/Belgium) recreates one couple’s quest for domestic bliss through an intimate and funny love story and Nosferatu (ages 8+/France) is a gripping story described as ‘Dracula but not quite as you know it’.

Irish work includes two Galway-based companies; Branar Téater do Pháistí presents How to Catch a Star based on the beloved book by award-winning Irish author, Oliver Jeffers, and Brú Theatre presents Cleite, which tells the story of an old woman who waits for her husband to come back from sea and features live singing as Gaeilge. Dublin-based Bombinate Theatre present Half Light, combining storytelling, comedy and live music in a tender tale about finding light in dark times.

The literature programme includes Darkmouth author Shane Hegarty; author Peter Donnelly who will engage children with a lively mixture of storytelling and live drawing based on his latest book The President’s Cat; Sadhbh Devlin and Tarsila Krüse invite school children to present their own compositions at a bilingual creative writing workshop, Bí ag Spraoi Liom and TG4 will launch, Ár Scéal, a new animation series from Fíbín Media.

This year’s Creative Connections strand offers children and adults the chance to enjoy interactive art experiences while spending quality time together. It includes Roaring Rockets, a STEAM challenge for budding designers and engineers; Wonder Walls which brings together expert illustrators Niamh Sharkey, PJ Lynch and Tarsila Krüse, for a unique live drawing experience, and The Colour Factory, from Toodelou Creativity Lab, an interactive art experience where children are the creators and curators.

Visual Art exhibitions include a new body of work from Galway artist, Finbar McHugh. Floating is a series of abstract paintings created outdoors in nature. Finbar will also lead workshops with school children encouraging them to daydream and explore their inner worlds; Human Being and Human Becoming includes sculptural, collage and audio artworks by Siobhan McGibbon and third class children from Scoil Chroí Íosa. In Celebration of Children is the culmination of a project by Michelle O’Grady from Réalta School of Speech and Drama, and Julia Dunin Photography, which captured portraits of children during a special photoshoot designed to empower the children and to raise self-esteem and confidence.

Workshops for children include a ‘design your own board game’ workshop with one of the world’s leading game designers, Brenda Romero. DJ Donal Dineen will lead a Tiny DJ seminar on how to use vinyl record decks as well as a Tiny Dancer event where kids can throw some shapes. There’s even a workshop on how to repair your toys.

A programme for grown-ups includes talks and workshops for teachers, parents and arts practitioners to develop their skills. They include a masterclass with David Bolger, artistic director of CoisCéim Dance Theatre, and ways to foster an environment of imagination and innovation for children. There’s also an information session on writing picture books in association with Children’s Books Ireland.

There’s also a film programme with The Breadwinner and The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales showing in the newly opened Pálás Cinema. There are also plenty of free events for everyone to enjoy.

Full programme details are available here. The festival ends October 21.

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