ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children and Young People starts today
November 21, 2021|
4 min read
Theatre anon’s The Little prince. Photos: Elisa von Brockdorff
ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children & Young People’s hybrid edition organised by Fondazzjoni Kreattività has opened to the general public today, Sunday, November 21 and will run till Sunday, November 28 with a fun selection of live and digital shows for the public’s enjoyment.
The popular festival returns for its 11th edition and its opening took place at the Spazju Kreattiv in the presence of ŻiguŻajg patron Dr Lydia Abela, the Minister of the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera, Fondazzjoni Kreattivita’ chairman Rupert Cefai and festival director Marta Vella. The official opening was followed by a performance of L-Aħħar Siġra, setting the mood for the entire festival of events which boasts a programme of shows suitable for children under the age of one until the ages of 13 and over.
The Prime Minister’s wife, Dr Abela said the opening of this year’s edition of ŻiguŻajg Festival is even more significant following the decision to go completely digital in 2020 due to the difficulties the pandemic brought with it.
‘’While the digital aspect of this festival has been vital in terms of making it accessible to even more audiences, ŻiguŻajg’s return to theatres will now bring with it 10 days of celebration of exceptional talent’,” said Dr Abela. She added how this festival has two main characteristics. The first is providing children and teenagers with a platform to express themselves in the most creative ways possible. The second, would be harnessing the potential of the arts as a communicative and accessible means for everyone.
‘’When you combine both these characteristics, one creates the most suitable environment for a better quality of life’’ concluded Dr Abela
‘’The triumphant levels reached during last year’s edition has given us the impetus to aim even higher this time round, with this year’s artistic programme promising some exceptional material for our children to experience,’’ stated Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera. He also sent his best wishes to all the participants of ŻiguŻajg and encouraged them to never stop dreaming and creating.
Reflecting on last year’s festival Fondazzjoni Kreattivita’ chairman Rupert Cefai said the arts should never be perceived as an arbitrary source of entertainment, but as a way of life: ‘’Such a difficult period has seen art become an outlet for many of those who struggled with lockdown and uncertainty. It has proven to us what an intrinsic part of our everyday lives it is.’’
ŻiguŻajg Festival director Marta Vella thanked all those involved: ‘’From staffers of different organisations and venues, to artists who’ve trusted our vision form the get-go and battled with the ever-changing circumstances, this festival is nothing short of a labour of love from so many individuals’’
The 11th edition of ŻiguŻajg Festival will see its shows return to Valletta: Where Are You Toby and L-Aħħar Siġra will take place at Spazju Kreattiv while dystopian children’s play 2044 will be staged at Teatru Manoel. Theatre Anon’s captivating re-imagination of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic The Little Prince will run at the Valletta Campus Theatre along with Opening Doors’s Automaniacs which will take place just a stone’s throw away at the Valletta Campus’s Aula Prima. Film the Wolf Walkers will also be shown at Spazju Kreattiv’s Cinema as will visual art exhibition Past Continuous which will be open to the public throughout the ŻiguŻajg Festival at Spazju Kreattiv.
Each of these shows will be performed at least once in a sensory friendly format as part of the premiere Sensory Friendly Performance programme, open to the general public. These tailor-made performances are designed to create a welcoming and comfortable arts experience for people with specific sensory needs whereby public performances will be modified to appeal to those who have specific sensory requirements or preferences.
For those who would rather enjoy the festival from home, there is a varied offering of digital events to be enjoyed, featuring dance theatre productions like Moveo Dance Company’s Phora 10 XS and Zugraga Dance Company’s Scarab, The Dung Beetle. The New Theatre Company’s Rapunzella and Sandie von Brockdorff and Nicola Azzopardi’s Polly & Esther can also be enjoyed online, as can Toontuloon’s Għidli Ħolma, an exciting retelling of the history of Saint James Cavalier through the eyes of a little boy and his father. Toi Toi’s children’s opera The Magic Baton will also be available online and on demand as will the rest of the festival’s online programme.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.