Well, the last two weeks have seen some great events taking place across the island and there will surely be more happening in the lead up to Christmas. I don’t think if we were living in the UK that we’d have as much access to such great quality, affordable and varied events on a regular basis. Yes, it is true that for a long time there has been a surplus of badly organised, ‘flat’ events that we have attended but in the last couple of years, we have seen a real trend towards highly professional, well organised and interesting programmes of activities and a number of event organisers are really standing out.
This weekend there was so much happening across the island that we only managed to attend a handful of what was on offer. For what seems like the first time in ages, I was lucky enough to get some one-on-one time with both of my children. While my partner and son were off visiting Yiayia, my daughter and I spent a wonderful morning at Beat Παζ?ρ Πολυχ?ρος on Saturday (a working arts space behind the Pantopoleio Municipal Market off Saripolou) where we took a Natural Dyes Workshop with the lovely Maria from Tris Elies Art & Nature Club. We learnt how to make natural colour-fast dyes using locally-sourced materials such as Pomegranate, Rizari, and Mespila. We came away inspired to try it out at home and experiment with different fabrics and dyes. A project in the making!
Unfortunately, we couldn’t attend the second day of the workshop up in Treis Elies Ecovillage where Maria now lives with her family but we’re hoping to make it up to one of their workshops really soon! Troodos in Autumn is spectacular and it’s worth taking the time to go to that part of the mountains, as it is absolutely gorgeous!
We were hungry after our 3-hr workshop but luckily, this little side-street also contains a number of good quality options food-and-drinks-wise, so we sat down for my daughter to order us a simple lunch, while we modelled our avocado and marigold-dyed yarn that we’d taken away with us from the workshop.
Quick walk home to get dressed-up and face-painted before heading out to Pame Production’s October Halloween Fair. I have to say, these guys know how to throw an party! There was a great vibe, helped largely by the DJ and beer garden – with a constant stream of entertainers (party games, theatre & musical performances and even a fire-thrower!). Inside, there were plenty of activities to keep kids of various ages amused. Particularly noteworthy was local shop – Cards & Crafts Squared’s pumpkin carving and decorating space. For a mere four euros, you could take your pick of some 2500 pumpkins that had been ordered in for the weekend, carve it (or get one of the staff to do so for you) then paint and glitter the thing to your heart’s content! As with their Winter Wonderland last year, if you did all of the activities with a number of kids you could really make a dent in your wallet, but many people happily spent some hours with friends with drinks in their hands while their kids took turns going down the big hay slide and watching the entertainment.
Sunday morning I took a walk over with my youngest to the Baby Academy’s 2km Stroller Walk over in the Old Port Square. Again, a great vibe and turnout. They had a range of experts on hand that they collaborate with, along with demonstrations on baby massage etc. With children’s entertainment, DJ and a professional photoshoot… Well done the Baby Academy team on such a well organised first event!
We don’t usually spend our weekends doing so much but these past few days there was so much on, it was impossible not to… Finally, on Sunday afternoon the whole family got together to go to renowned choreographer, Lia Haraki’s first ever children’s dance performance, Jakatoumba. A trippy, conceptual, interactive performance using movement and sound… It was amazing! Both my four- and nine-year old giggled their way through the 50 minute performance that culminated in all the children at the end up on stage singing and doing the moves to their catchy signature tune.
The main dancers playfully led us through the story of a little girl who learnt to express herself and free her inhibitions via play and exploration.
I think children are so much better than most adults at getting conceptual art pieces, because their minds are more tolerant of the chaotic and out-of-the-ordinary. As the children in the audience interacted with the characters throughout the performance, quickly catching on to the idea of a made-up language of sounds and actions, you could see how freeing this kind of imaginative play is.
We’re looking forward to their follow-on dance and sound workshop for ticket-holders next weekend and are hoping that Lia Haraki will be doing more children’s performances in the future!
And so, I start off my week a little tired but with a skip in my step, as I hum along to Jakatou, Jakatou, Jakatou, Jakatou, Jakatou, Jakatou, Jakatoumba… Heyyy ehhhh, Ohhh ohhh, heyyy ohhh, ohhh, ohhh…