ŻiguŻajg festival receives enthusiastic response

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra kicks off day two

The ŻiguŻajg Festival, which was declared open yesterday by the Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Jose' Herrera, received an enthusiastic response during its second day.

ŻiguŻajg is an international festival for children and young people, and is held annually at the Monoel Theatre in Valletta. The festival offers a week of theatre, dance, comedy, visual arts and workshops. This Festival showcases numerous foreign and Maltese arts companies that present professional art work.

Every year the event has over 180 performances and workshops with audiences exceeding 16,000. Collaborations include artists from Scotland, England, France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Australia, Portugal and Malta.

Apart from Malta, it is organised in other European countries such as Italy, Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, Denmark, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Herrera had described this year's edition of ŻiguŻajg, which will be held between the 18th and the 24th of this month, as being "bigger and better than ever", and if this morning's reception is anything to go by - albeit largely coming from a theatre filled with young primary students - he had every right to be optimistic.

The organizers of ŻiguŻajg themselves said that there had been an "overwhelming response" to this year's edition with thousands of tickets having been booked within the first two days of being issued.

"5000 tickets were booked in the first 48 hours following the launch of the third edition of ŻiguŻajg. Half the tickets reserved for schools were also scooped up over the same period," a statement on its website said.

In fact, it is expected that around 15,000 people will visit the festival during the course of the week, with just under half of those expected to be school children.

Today's event 'Live Jukebox' was described as 'an interactive performance which would allow kids to pick a piece of music from a variety of musical genres'.

The musical pieces, in turn, would then weave a story which unfolds according to the music chosen to be played live by the orchestra. The story develops and is determined by the musical extracts.

With young conductor Mark Gauci at the helm, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra played songs of famous composers such as Mozart, Offenbach and Verdi.

But it was to be the more recent 'Superman Theme' and 'Raiders March', both composed by John Williams, which proved to be the most popular amongst the young students.

The website of the ŻiguŻajg festival - which is being sponsored by BOV, Waterserv, The Mackintosh Foundation and MTA amongst others - can be found here.

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