Newcastle Emlyn’s Dragon flies home after triumph in Portugal!
A creative relationship was forged between Teatro do Elefante of Setubal in Portugal and Heart of the Dragon of Newcastle Emlyn when the two groups met on a European Culture Exchange organized by Growteska Theatre Company of Krakow in Poland.
Sharing a common interest in community theatre, street theatre, circus skills and storytelling with local mythology, Teatro do Elefante participated in Heart of the Dragons two day Festival in Newcastle Emlyn in 2007.
The Portuguese company, led by Rita Sales and Fernando Casaca, promised to return an invitation to the Baby Dragon with its team of local professional performers including Debbie Howlett, Pamela Gaunt and Jenny Hanrahan.
The two companies have just completed a tour of schools, colleges, parks in the Setubal area, where Portuguese children between ages of 3-17 watched a performance of two languages and two cultures telling the World Dragon Creation Story with storytelling, mime, physical theatre, circus and magic.
Sebutals mayor offered an official welcome to the artists, and the group were shown many local cultural events, including visiting ‘Queima do Judas’ (a traditional Easter Fire festival in Palmela) and watching Teatro do Elefantes Baby Theatre in Sebutal and Abrantes.
Storyteller Pamela Gaunt said “We were delighted to tell our towns unique story of the Last Dragon of Wales and then introduce our First NewBorn Baby Dragon…. Portugal has many water dragon stories because of its close connection to the sea, and Teatro do Elefante introduced us to their work here. It is so important for young people to see how different countries can collaborate and work together, as Baby Dragon needs a global community to grow up safely.”
Debbie Howlett added “We were given wonderful hospitality and the trip was such a success that we all feel inspired to see our truly international cultural collaboration grow and develop’’
It was the first trip overseas for the Dragon, since it travelled in its giant egg (before its hatching) to Ireland and Poland.
Many children from the three countries have now painted European Dragon Flags which will be on display at the next Heart of the Dragon Festival at Newcastle Emlyns castle on Saturday July 4th.The festival is part funded by Awards For All and in partnership with Carmarthen County Council and will include medieval fayre, battle reenactments, dragon procession, the return of Owain Glandwr and a Naming Ceremony to give Baby its name!
Anyone interested in participating in Heart of the Dragon Festival should contact 01559 371427