The best children’s arts festival in the world

Posted: Wed, 24 Nov 2021 11:40

The best children’s arts festival in the world

Leicester is the home to so many extraordinary things. A Pork Pie library, world renowned sports teams and food, stunning countryside, a multi-cultured city, medical breakthroughs - the list goes on. Leicester is far from ordinary. In most areas you will find out something extraordinary.

The Spark Festival will take place in Leicester from 7-13 February 2022, live and online for seven days. Children and families can take part in schools, libraries, their homes, their communities and in well-known venues across the city.

Here's a small taster of live performances taking place:

Little Murmur. This mesmerizing dance piece (for children aged 7+) incorporates technology and illustration. An honest and funny tale about the trials and tribulations of seeing things differently. This performance will premier in Leicester at schools during the week and Belgrave Library on Saturday 12 February before before touring the UK. Aakash Odedra Company and The Spark Arts for Children present Little Murmur.

Mmm Ahh Whoosh by Mellow Baku. A brand-new gig (for 0–5-year olds) which will immerse audiences into a swirling world of colour before taking you on a musical journey through afro-centric soulful folk, jazz and scat. Mellow is performing at Attenborough Arts Centre on Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 before embarking on a UK tour. This performance is suitable for group bookings from nurseries to. Mellow Baku & The Spark, with Attenborough Arts Centre & Warwick Arts Centre present Mmm Ahh Whoosh.

Don Kipper. A funky multi-award winning band who will take you on a musical adventure around Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. For everyone of any age. Whether it's your first music gig or you're an old hand, you'll experience something completely new. They have won multiple-awards and featured at festivals and on BBC Introducing and the BBC World Service. They are performing at a special gig at The BRITE centre and a family gig at The Y Theatre on Saturday 12 February. The family gig is for those parents/carers who might have loved the Leicester music scene and now have the excuse to take their children along as well.

Josephine. A vibrantly stylish performance (for children aged 7+) about Josephine Baker. Dancer, actor, activist, campaigner, spy and mother to the multicultural Rainbow Tribe. The Missouri girl who became an original 20th Century icon, A true story that will have you tapping your toes to irresistible rhythms. Performing at Curve on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 February. Josephine is a The Egg, Wales Millennium Centre and Oxford Playhouse's co-production of Holm Theatre's production by Leona Allen and Jesse Briton.

In the run up to and during the festival week through music, poetry, paper, technology and play renowned artists are working with children to create and let their imagination come to life. This includes children from local schools taking over Curve and Leicester Museum and Art Gallery.

To find out the full programme including a weekend packed with family activities across the city please visit The Spark Festival website: sparkfestival.co.uk

Trina Haldar, Associate Director at The Spark Arts for Children, said: "Like a first breath, at The Spark we notice the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary. We see things with a new gaze and want to help people recognise the remarkable in themselves.

"After a challenging year, our 2022 festival brings the opportunity to find joy in the simplest of things, the feeling of butterflies in your stomach, the planting of a seed or a familiar tale, told like you've never heard before. Next February is the time to be in Leicester. "

Daryl Beeton Associate Director at The Spark Arts for Children, said: "The 2022 festival programme will ignite imaginations, enable children to feel reflected in the performances they watch and give families the chance to escape the everyday routine. We want families to spend time out together making the kind of memories they will never ever forget."

Cllr Piara Singh Clair, Leicester's deputy city mayor for culture, said: "Every year The Spark Festival continues to surprise and attract family audiences.

"The whole of Leicester will become a stage for the very best performers, as school halls and libraries transform into venues for performing arts, alongside established assets like Curve and The Y Theatre. It means every corner of our city will have high quality performances on offer. The Spark Festival is an asset to our city."

ENDS

Notes to editors

The festival programme

The festival programme includes professional performances of dance, theatre and music in schools and in venues, hands on workshops in the creative arts and free family drop in activities in city venues, community centres and libraries.

To find out the full programme including a weekend packed with family activities across the city please visit The Spark Festival website: sparkfestival.co.uk

Schools

Complementing these activities are the school projects, giving pupils the opportunity to collaborate and perform with world class artists. Schools can book performances to take place at their schools, full details here: The Spark Arts for Children - At Your School.

Vital Spark

Little Murmur and Mmm Ahh Whoosh are two of the four performances who feature artists The Spark have been working with as part of a movement to address the lack of diversity in performances for young audiences so they feel represented and reflected in the arts they experience. Both in terms of the stories being told and the performers who tell those stories.

Tags: 2020, Festival, News, The Spark Festival