Children, Features, News

Spring Gig Guide for Kids

Recently I attended a concert by the WA Symphony Orchestra with several eight year olds and their mothers. We sat in the choir stalls behind the orchestra where we could see the percussionist preparing the crash cymbals and watch the conductor’s face. It was such an exciting experience; the sound was so immediate and enveloping it made the skin tingle. The children were utterly transfixed and had animated discussions amongst themselves as they left the concert hall.

The experience reminded me that we don’t need to wait for special ‘children’s’ events. Children lap up mainstream exhibitions and performances right alongside their adults. If you want to try something similar over the holidays WASO are doing two very exciting programs which would be perfect: Symphonie Fantastique with a young star conductor Fabien Gabel, and Beethoven Eroica. Try the $30 choir stall tickets for a truly vivid experience.

Peter and the Wolf
The story of Peter and the Wolf will be presented by both WA Ballet and WAYO. Photo: Frances Andrijich

That said, there is also something wonderful about art made especially with children in mind. One of the highlights of the October school holidays is AWESOME Festival, an event which over it 23 year history has firmly established itself as the premier event for families and schools in Western Australia. The arts festival has been ranked as one of the top 25 events in the world for young people. The program this year is bursting with world class shows and workshops including a free performance of Peter and the Wolf by WA Ballet. Read an overview from artistic director Jenny Simpson who gave Seesaw the low down on this year’s programme.

If you want to dive deeper into the story of Peter and Wolf you can also check out the orchestral version with narrator which – in lovely synchronicity – will also be performed by the WA Youth Orchestra on October 12 and 13, perfect for children aged four and above.

More music treats (for those under seven) can be found at the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra’s Jazz for Juniors concerts on October 1st and 2nd.

In the world of theatre get ready for a hands-on, participatory experience at Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s world premiere season of On Our Beach. Be transported to an imaginary beach where strangers become friends and you have a chance to ride a surf board, be part of sculptures by the sea, play a game of beach volleyball and swim in a sea of shimmering balls.

Fully Sikh
Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa in Fully Sikh.

Older youth might take interest in a world premiere by Black Swan State Theatre and Barking Gecko which opens October 10. Fully Sikh is a new Australian work by one of Australia’s most talented and celebrated spoken word artists. Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa made headlines around the globe when she performed a poem confronting racism on Australia’s Got Talent and went on to tour her poetry across Australia and overseas. Fully Sikh is Sukhjit’s story, features a Punjabi meal cooked live on stage and marks her highly anticipated theatre debut.

There is more theatre later in October when Eric Hill’s beloved puppy Spot arrives at the State Theatre Centre with a show full of puppetry, songs, and puzzles, suitable for children from 18 months old and their adults.

The Art Gallery of WA are offering several free workshops to coincide with Botanical Beauty and Peril. The exhibition explores the abundant beauty of the botanical world and the threats that assail it. After your visit draw a magnificent winged beauty or a frightening flight of feathers in response to the exhibition, or visit the Imagination Room and contribute to Conversations with Rain, a project exploring poetic responses to weather and our relationship to the environment and climate change.

Fremantle Arts Centre offers a variety of arts courses for kids

AGWA will also host Artmaking Workshops with Eveline Kotai. The multi-generational workshop involves constructing your own creation or working as a group. Let your imagination run free and take home your own unique piece of recycled art. And don’t forget the Fremantle Arts Centre which is a hub for art workshops for five year old through to teenagers, offering everything from anime and photography to film making and pottery.

Keep an eye on Seesaw Magazine as there will be dozens of reviews coming in over the holidays, many from our junior critics who will be keeping you informed. And don’t forget to share your own responses on our Facebook page.

 

Picture top: Awesome Festival features art events curated especially for children.

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Actress hugging toy robot
Children, Features, News

Kids Winter Gig Guide

“Bring your rain poncho and wear noisy shoes,” the instructions read. Now that sounds like an intriguing art installation.

Contemporary artist Marnie Orr is running school holiday workshops at the Art Gallery of WA and they are all about rain. From July 10-19 children will use their bodies and found materials to brew up a storm in an immersive exploration of rain. The AGWA workshop is one of many art activities for children launching as Perth’s creative community gears up for school holidays.

The State Theatre Centre  is brimming with events. On July 13 the building will come alive with Aboriginal art, poetry, films and culture to celebrate Naidoc Day.  And between July 6-14 the theatre will be overrun with robots as Barking Gecko take over the building. A season of Finegan Kruckmeyer’s show My Robot  (read Seesaw’s review here) will be complemented by some very cool free classes. Kids can flex their engineering and design skills by building a Lego robot, then fight it out in the Battle Arena with other young programmers. In the Super Heroes Workshops kids and adults work together using drama and creative thinking to solve problems.

Robots battle it out at Barking Gecko’s Robot Workshop

From August 13  – 16  the State Theatre will present a production of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts.  Roald Dahl’s classic reworking of The Three Little PigsCinderellaLittle Red Riding HoodSnow WhiteGoldilocks and Jack and the Beanstalk  is being brought to the stage by Shake and Stir Theatre.

There is an enormous range of art classes at Fremantle Arts Centre for children and teenagers: photography, cartoons, pottery, anime and mosaic to list just a few. And you can check out the work of 2018’s Year 12 students in Pulse Perspectives, (reviewed by Seesaw here) in an exhibition at the Art Gallery of WA.

Don’t forget to include some musical magic in your school holiday fun. The WA Youth Jazz Orchestra will present Jazz for Juniors at His Majesty’s Theatre July 9 & 10. These fun-filled concerts introduce young children to the concepts of jazz music and the instruments the musicians play. Best of all, everyone gets the chance to try out some instruments built for small hands.

Be inspired by some of WA’s best young musicians as the WA Youth Orchestra and conductor Benjamin Northey perform a concert of Australian and Russian music, including the world premiere of a piece by Australian composer Melody Eötvös. Tickets don’t come much cheaper than this for a full symphonic concert and you can be guaranteed a passionate performance.

At UWA’s Conservatorium of Music kids can leap into the world of percussion at the Discover! Percussion workshop at UWA on July 10, or a saxophone bootcamp with Emma McPhilemy on the 12-13th.

A fusion of dance and puppetry in Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s Fox. Photo supplied.

And of course Spare Parts Puppet Theatre will perform puppet shows in Fremantle throughout the holidays. Their show this time is the story of the unexpected friendship between a magpie and a dog. Fox is a fusion of puppetry and dance that will take you on a journey through scorched scrub and ochre desert where the true meaning of friendship and loyalty will be discovered.

WA’s performing and visual arts companies are reaching out this winter to engage young people with the arts. There’s no better time to dive in!

Pictured top: A real robot is part of the cast in Barking Gecko’s My Robot. Photo supplied.

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