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Children's Festival

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A capacity crowd filled Portadown Town Hall on Friday 17th September to watch enjoy a unique variety show which included the participation of children from new communities in Craigavon. Another highlight of the evening was a circus act performed by ‘Mr H’ from the Belfast Community Circus. For 30 minutes the audience of 260, composed mostly of ethnic families, remained spellbound as ‘Mr H’ masterfully moved through a series of routines rarely seen on a regional stage.

The core programme consisted of song, dance and drama performed by children from Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Portugal.

For weeks before the event each community developed the talents of the children & young people via workshops and practise sessions.

The dedication of facilitators was matched by the enthusiasm of the children, who were determined to put on ‘the show of their lives’. Zuzanna Baran, from Poland, presented a solo performance with her enchanting voice and was followed by a group of Portuguese children that presented a traditional dance much to the pleasure of their parents.

The children from the local Lithuanian Saturday School put on a

variety of acts which included solos, group acts and intriguing

dances. Their quality presentation was equalled by the exquisite attire carefully developed by their teachers.

For long hours over many weeks the International Drama group practised their play at the Oasis Centre perfecting their skills until the curtain opened on Friday evening. The group demonstrated a high level of confidence and delighted their family members with a flawless presentation.

At the end of the evening some of the children were in tears because the show had come to an end. However, plans are in place to involve this group of enthusiastic actors in future projects.

In order to introduce the children to local culture and music, the Portadown based group, The Zephaniah Dancers, also took part in the 2 hour programme. Their high quality performance was much appreciated by a youthful audience many of whom were inspired to dream of future opportunities.

CIP thanks the Good Relation’s Department of Craigavon Borough Council for supporting the Intercultural Childrens Community.