CartoonlandiaCartoonlandia: A land of make-believe

It was a real feast for the hundreds of children who thronged the Aurora theatre last Sunday. Sunday afternoon at the Aurora, with the Art Factory and their ‘distinguished’ guests proved to be a little-crowd puller champion – one of a kind.

The Art Factory, led by Joeline Tabone and Deborah Agius, is a leading Gozitan dance-school, operating largely from the Aurora Theatre. In fact, in partnership with the theatre, the Art Factory has renovated the ‘29th April 1956’ Hall and converted it into a multipurpose hall, to accommodate dance lessons, recitals, training sessions and small-scale performances. The venue has also hosted dance examinations from foreign boards.

Last Sunday, the Art Factory put up another innovative event – another first, if you want it – this time targeting a specific audience; children. Branded Cartoonlandia and themed around the popular cartoon characters, the event kicked off at 2.30pm as the ground floor foyers of the Aurora premises were transformed into a children’s leisure park with balloon artistes, face-painters, rides and the bulky and bubby bouncy castle. Watchful parents and child-minders ushered their children to the Aurora on a lovely Sunday afternoon as their eyes glowed from the tiny little painted faces while they bounced and ran around. In the meantime, the children were kept entertained with Mickey, Minnie and their cartoon friends who pushed them around and posed with them for photos.

By 4pm, everyone was seated and the children were treated with a dance show specifically for them. It was a real dance-show – the likes of the Art Factory – but adapted for children. Thomas the tank engine and Hello Kitty were the two main protagonists in the general plot, but then, everything got cuter and cuter as some of the most popular characters were brought to life on stage.

The ‘junior’ audience was visibly enchanted. But the performance was a sight even for the more mature audience, especially those keen on the art of dancing. Hands together to all the cast, including the soloists – the youngest being a 7-year old – who clearly stood out for their talent and technique. Some of them remarkably excelled, maintaining the standards of the Art Factory on the platform where they currently enjoy their generous goodwill.

Cartoonlandia was more than just a dance-show. It was a showcase of the very good talent this school – and Gozo, for that matter – is brimming with. It was a showcase of the hard work, positive vibe and radiating energy with which this dance school operates.  It was reminiscent of the large dance productions, which the Art Factory has presented at the Aurora – The Dream; The Death of Snow White – while being in itself a prelude to bigger things yet to come. In a few weeks time, the Art Factory is expected to feature in The Leone Grand Christmas Show, (and we shall come to that later on), but all eyes are set on the mammoth 2014 production of the Art Factory which promises to be nothing less than ground-breaking.

We all look forward to see some sneak-previews, hopefully as we turn a page or two in the yearly calendar!

Cartoonlandia EventIT