Wherever you are in the world this month, there are some fantastic arts events and festivals happening. Check out our guide for some inspiration and a peek into what the other nations are getting up to:
1. The Impaled Ones (Los Empalados) – Valverde de La Vera, Spain, Southern Europe
Time for a slightly bizarre arts event, which happens annually during Semana Santa (Holy Week), in the Spanish village of Valverde de la Vera. Here they celebrate the obscure festival tradition of Los Empalados which means The Impaled Ones – I did say it was bizarre! By the late 18th century, Charles III thought he had successfully ended all of the heretic rites and obscure religious traditions. But this one survived and the villagers re-enact the procession to the Calvary and the Impaled Ones are lead through the streets. They are bound with rope and have two sharp swords tied to their backs. I don’t know the entry criteria to be an Impaled One but I wouldn’t upset anyone in the village when visiting!
2. Stomp ’09 – Across Australia, Oceania
Stomp is a high-energy performance where the performers; dancers meets percussionists, put on lively choreography and vigorous rhythms using household objects such as bins and pan lids. The British theatrical group has received wonderful acclaim following their global tour and have performed in front of more than seven million people. This month sees the performance traveling through Australia and visiting Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide. Grab a metallic object from the kitchen and have some stomping good fun!
3. Monte Carlo Spring Arts Festival – Monte Carlo, Monaco, Western Europe
The annual Monte Carlo Spring Arts Festival features theatre, concerts and recitals held all over the town. This year features a stroll outside Monaco (Cap d’Ail, Beausoleil, Beaulieu) with Quatuor Parisii who will be performing Beethoven and Monnet. There is Schubertiade with portraits of Schubert, a night of cellos, an anniversary of the Printemps des Arts and a mysterious final event entitled ‘surprise journey’.
4. Animate The World – Barbican Centre, London, England, Western Europe
This event held in London, UK sounds like a tempting invitation – animate the world conjures many possibilities in the mind! Held at the Barbican and open to all the family there are feature and short films being shown to prove that there is animated life beyond Hollywood! So don your best costume and check out the premières including Impy’s Wonderland and Idiots and Angels. There is Sunshine Barry and the Disco Worms and Mia and the Migoo (love the name!) for the youngsters and Dark Dreams in Plasticine for the adults.
5. Klein Karoo National Arts Festival – Oudtshoorn, South Africa, Southern Africa
The Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) held annually Oudtshoorn, south Africa used to be an Afrikaans-only culture event but has now evolved into a multi-cultural and multi-lingual arts festival. Visitors can see art exhibitions, lectures and discussions from the South African artists.
6. Méli’môme Festival – Reims, France, Western Europe
The annual Reims’ Méli’môme Festival is on this week and features 200 performances from the world of theatre with stories, contemporary dance and music. There is also opera for children, parents and the uninitiated!
7. New Epic Peking Opera: Red Cliff – National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing, China, Eastern Asia
Showing this week only is the brand new opera, which is being billed as ‘epic’ and performed by the Beijing Peking Opera Troupe. Being held at the National Centre for Performing Arts, this promises to be a spectacular show, as anyone who has ever visited a Chinese Opera will testify! Expect lavishly embroidered costumes, scenic lighting and moving singing, which relay the story of a battle that was fought during the Three Kingdoms period.
By Julie Bowman