By Isabel Filby
The Barboró children’s festival is returning to full capacity this year with over 50 live events across Galway theatres, galleries, schools and communities for 10 days this month.
The international festival is running from the 14 to the 23 October. It celebrates children, families and community through art in all of its forms. It will be welcoming companies from all over Ireland and Europe, including Belgium, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Scotland and England.
Events for children of all ages will include a special collection of European work for early years children (0-6 yrs). The festival will also include residencies in special schools and child-led projects.
Aislinn O’hEocha, Director of Baboró spoke to Galway Pulse about the importance of the festival being held and how much it brings to the community.
“Baboró is a wonderful introduction to the creative arts which are so important for encouraging children to express themselves, feel empathy for others, broaden their world view and have fun. And it is every child’s fundamental right to participate in the arts – not many adults know that,” she emphasised.
Baboró children’s festival invites families and schools from across the city and county into theatres, libraries and galleries to enjoy the collective experience of live shows and art. It’s so unique as it’s a special time for teachers and parents to spend quality creative time together with children in their care.
Community involvement is crucial to the success of the event. “Volunteers from our community help make the magic happen,” Aislinn stresses.
Baboró children’s festival is all about our youngest citizens, from 0 to 13 years of age, the most important people in our community. Aislinn explained: “You’re only 5 once, so [they] want to ensure that 5-year-olds have a brilliant experience at Baboró.”
With over 50 events scheduled, there is sure to be something there for everyone; from theatre, circus, dance shows in the Black Box, to workshops on upcycling design in the Portershed and free shows at the Spanish Arch. A lot of effort went into making sure there’s something for every taste and age!
This year’s Baboró children’s festival is supported by Medtronic, TG4, The Ombudsman for Children’s Office, and the businesses and venues of Galway City. Baboró is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland, Galway City and County Councils.
“The excitement is building in Baboró HQ as we put the finishing touches to this year’s festival programme. We just can’t wait to welcome thousands of children, their teachers and families from across the city and county back to the festival. Baboró’s bumper programme has something for everyone, from tiny babies to older children as well as the young at heart. Chalk down the dates and get ready for the excitement of a full festival again,” voiced Aislinn.
Children aged 8+ are invited to join the surreal world of ‘Der Lauf’, where nothing is quite as it seems. Two circus performers from Belgian company Le Cirque du Bout du Monde, compete in a series of bizarre challenges as they juggle blindly, spin plates wildly and stack glasses wearing boxing gloves. As the glasses rise, so do the stakes. The children, as their only guide, help lead them to safety or towards further peril.
Dance and Theatre
Ballet Ireland will present ‘The Glasshouse’: a dance performance for children aged 6+. It is the story of earnest, young Fiach. He is on a mission to repopulate the world with plants and turn it green. This fun and compelling show is by an exciting young choreographer Róisín Whelan. It is about the courage of the human spirit, friendship and life’s determination to survive. ‘The Glasshouse’ is a feast for the eyes and senses, with moments of suspense and joy, exhilarating dancing, vibrant costumes and magical music to enthral children and families.
Branar is one of Ireland’s leading theatre companies making work for children. It will present its new co-production with New International Encounter (UK/Norway) ‘Grand Soft Day’. A charming and curious new show for children aged 3-6 years. It celebrates the wonder of the world around us. It is a show of all seasons – splashing in puddles, wind whipping your hair, crunching frost under your feet and rain dripping on your nose.
When asked what she was looking forward to most Aislinn exclaimed: “That’s like asking me to pick my favourite child! I can’t wait to see Der Lauf in the Black Box, The Glasshouse in Town Hall Theatre and Widden Ar Geels in Galway Arts Centre, Dominick Street. But then again I’m excited to see everything at the festival!”
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