The 9th edition of ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children and Young People will soon be with us, offering an amazing line-up of Maltese and international projects. In keeping with its remit of introducing the very young to the world of the arts, the repertoire of this year’s festival boasts a number of stimulating, colourful, and vibrant performances for kids of all ages, literally starting from babies a few months. Indeed, the Toddlers’ Series part of the ŻiguŻajg 2019 programme offers a number of interactive and multi-sensorial shows devised specifically for 0 to 4-year-olds.
Lumi is a minimalist performance and installation created especially for very young children to stimulate their sense of imagination and play. Produced by the Šeiko dance company and Dalija Acin Thelander from Lithuania, Lumi invites its audiences to wander through a surreal space,with interlacing movements, music, light letting their imagination soar in remarkable ways.
From a world of music and light, The Man on the Moon, created by Robyn Vella, takes us on an adventure to the stars and the moon! This shadow puppet performance introduces us to Charlie, who, often wished upon the stars… but not anymore. One day, however, circumstances lead Charlie on an amazing adventure where she meets the man on the moon and floats among the stars!
German production Woodpecker is a sound and visual installation aimed strictly at babies and toddlers aged 4 months to 2 years. It is a fascinating sculptural, interactive and musical installation encouraging interaction and play. See the woodpecker and hear his musical dialogue! Speak to the nightingale as he sings his evening song! This is a truly wonderful installation and performance that will undoubtedly stimulate and envelop babies and toddlers.
Home is a visual theatre piece about belonging and feeling at home – in the world and within yourself. It is a thought-provoking performance that should awaken curiosity about the understanding of ‘home’. What does it mean to have somewhere safe to call home? Home is more than merely a roof over our heads, the production teaches us. It is a place; a state of mind; a feeling created as a child or a sound. It is small fragments of memories that create a sense of coherence and cohesion. Or a mental image to carry around.
What do colours sound like? Who can understand the moon? What is the sun saying? What sounds lower – a double bass or a drum? How do you play a flash? How do you sing a tree? How many colours does a dream have? Dutch company Oorkaan will answer all these wonderful questions with Glimpse, a magical performance which will transport its young audience to an enchanted dream world.
The Little Bath is a creation based on bubble bath – something that is recognisable and familiar to a child and that can become a playing field for the imagination. Crafted for very young audiences, a dancer sculpts bubble bath to create fragile masses, landscapes and ephemeral characters. Is it a man taking a bath? No, he’s a dancer who is sculpting clouds. No, it’s a cloud cradling a dancer in its arms… No, it’s a man creating landscapes in order to disappear into them…No, it’s something else entirely!
These are of course just a handful of the truly awe-inspiring performances offered by ŻiguŻajg 2019. With 21 different productions on offer, from 11 different countries, and across myriad genres, children of all ages (and their parents, guardians and friends) are definitely spoilt for choice. Download the Festival booklet here!
ŻiguŻajg is produced by Fondazzjoni Kreattività and will run from 15 to 24 November 2019. Most of the initiatives will take place in Valletta and Gozo. To book tickets visit http://www.ziguzajg.org
Top photo: The Man in the Moon