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20th Sep 2022

Family fun: An International arts festival for children is taking place this October

Trine Jensen-Burke

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

A good reason to head to Galway this October.

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, Ireland’s flagship festival devoted exclusively to children and families, is coming back to Galway this October – and the line-up is nothing short of amazing.

Now in its 26th year, this year’s festival will welcome thousands of children from 0 to 13 years, their families and teachers from Friday 14th to Sunday 23rd October.

With events taking place across theatres, galleries, schools and communities in Galway City and County, Baboró has a full programme of over 50 live events for an extended festival of 10 days this year.

The international festival, which celebrates children, families and community through art in all its forms, will be welcoming companies from all over Ireland and Europe, including Belgium, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Scotland and England.

And families and schools from across Ireland are invited to immerse themselves in dance, theatre, circus, spectacle, art and stories from near and far.

Baboró is a festival for all children up to 13 years and will include a focus on European work for early years children (0-6 yrs), residencies in special schools, child-led projects and outreach to schools across the city and county. There are free events for families and schools including literature, visual arts and outdoor events in city and county venues.

“We are thrilled to welcome children with their schools and families back to theatres, galleries and public spaces all over Galway for enthralling performances, inspiring exhibitions and fun workshops, says Executive Artistic Director, Aislinn Ó hEocha.

“It’s been a tough few years for us all – the festival will bring us together again to collectively experience art in all its forms, encouraging us to gasp, laugh, and clap together as only live art can.”

What is happening at Baboró?

According to Ó hEocha, here is just a small sample of some of the events you can catch at this year’s Baboró International Arts Festival for Children:

Théâtre de la Guimbarde will present Tiébélé,  a show that echoes the beautiful traditions of women from a village in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Combining poetry and plastic, soil and song, organic matter and manmade materials. A creation that links the ancestral gestures of these African women to toddlers’ first attempts to draw. Frames, from Italian company and festival favourites La Barraca, is a visual theatre show with very few words, that celebrates the power of memory and imagination.

Danish company Theatre Madam Bach returns with You Are Here (Du Er Her), about finding your way in the world – and within yourself. This gentle performance weaves stories of adventures big and small from images, objects, words and musical soundscapes. Why not ride a bike all the way around the world? Just because you can!

Of Bluebells and Butterflies from Graffiti: BEAG is a charming interactive dance theatre performance for babies (up to 12 months) and their adults.

Irish and international theatre, film, spoken word, circus and dance theatre will feature across Galway’s venues.

Join Le Cirque de Bout du Monde’s surreal world of Der Lauf, where nothing is quite as it seems. Two circus performers compete in a series of bizarre challenges as they juggle blindly, spin plates wildly and stack glasses wearing enormous boxing gloves. As the glasses rise, so do the stakes. Will you, their only guide, help lead them to safety or towards further peril?

Ballet Ireland and exciting young choreographer Roisín Whelan present The Glasshouse, a dance performance for children aged 6+. It is the story of earnest young Fiach, who is on a mission to repopulate the world with plants and turn it green. This fun and compelling show is about the courage of the human spirit, friendship and life’s determination to survive. It 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.

Family Portrait is a video installation capturing Barrowland Ballet’s Artistic Director, Natasha Gilmore, and her children in an intimate portrayal of family life. Through striking imagery, choreography and intricate soundscapes, a series of narratives unfold. See the family through choreographed sequences and candid moments as they encounter the many different landscapes of Scotland

Chalk About from Scotland’s Curious Seed, is a playful, funny and moving look at how we see ourselves and others, featuring dance, chalk, chat, and one perfect scene containing everything you could wish for!

Widden Ar Geels (The Community Speaks) at Galway Arts Centre will showcase two of Ireland’s leading artists, Leanne McDonagh and Oein DeBhairduin, as they celebrate the stories and oral traditions of the Irish Traveller community by creating an inclusive space for all to enjoy the magic and wisdom imbued in the craft and stories of the Mincéirí. Immerse yourself in Traveller stories of vixens, owls and horses who live alongside humans as guides, protectors, friends and foes, while spirits, giants and fairies blur the lines between this world and the otherworld.

At Engage Art Studios in Salthill, Lucy Hill presents FOLD, an exhibition for children 8 years and under that explores ideas of openness, relationships, colour, form and line. Inspired and informed by Early Childhood Education and Care philosophies, the show explores the relationship between art and early childhood learning elements including colour, shape, form, line and texture. Visitors to the gallery are encouraged to create their own art with prompts and materials from the artist.

We all remember the night Adam King stole our hearts with A Hug For You on The Late, Late Toy Show. Join Adam and his father David King for a special family event based on the book A Hug for You that follows a new hug’s adventure and the boy who shared it with the world.

I Want to Speak Ukrainian in Ballybane Library sees authors Bláithín Breathnach and Lindsay Myers welcoming Ukrainian friends to Galway. Hear readings in English, Ukrainian and Irish, learn how to draw the story’s characters and learn some words in a new language. This free event is suitable for English, Irish and Ukrainian speaking families.

Being active is vital to keeping our hearts happy and healthy – but who says it can’t also be great fun? Toodlelou Creativity Lab presents Ba Boom! Ba Boom! a heart-thumping dance workshop. Toodlelou will get our toes tapping and tushes shaking while teaching us about the inner workings of the heart. We’ll learn the reasons why getting our heart rates up, especially to the beat of music, is so very important.

In An Mala Lesko (Hand Telling) award-winning author Oein DeBhairduin explores a traditional Traveller storytelling technique that relies on intuitive body wisdom and the fluency of the spaces in which tales are told. He will combine drawing, finger storytelling and Irish Traveller folk tales.

Designer Minds will bring Robot Races, an Upcycling Design Challenge and a Japanese Drawing Workshop to Baboró for children from 7-12 years. Designer Minds workshops are for the curious kids who like to ask why, the creative kids who love to design and the aspiring engineers who like to build.