4th instalment of Salzburg

March 3, 2009

Am sorry that these instalments are so far apart.  It’s harder to get the brain space to write up my notes than i imagined – but maybe it’s nice getting them with space inbetween?  Well, Emma, Lizzie and Rachel will soon be setting off for their festival and I look forward to hearing of your experiences and shows that you have seen.  I am now at the point of coming to ‘Bach…im Sand’ by Theatre de La Guimbarde. I saw it on my last morning and it was v much a highlight.  In a way it was a great mix of some of the more ‘challenging approaches’ to children’s theatre in the first to pieces i saw with the charm and direct engagement of ‘My House’.  So a pretty a good combination as far as I was concerned.  The show was performed in Italian & french, there was no German translation and the children remained captivated throughout – they didn’t need the language to engage with the performers or the content of the show.  The performers – a musician and dancer – did not just stick to their prescribed ‘art forms’ they were both actors, musicians and dancers – I love this blurring of forms.  I love seeing a dancer’s relationship to a cello, just as it’s great to see a musician’s relationship to sand!  Of course the children loved the sand – but it was wonderful to see it for its aesthetic beauty too – and judging from the children’s play afterwards they were inspired by the transient images too.  The live music was captivating and it was impossible to feed Otto as he wanted to see where this sublime music was coming from and then he was struck by the images.  I was struck by how much he got out of this show.

It’s hard to describe the journey of this show – I had a much stronger heart felt response to it – perhaps as a mother – who knows? – but definately hard to articulate.  The recognisable games of ‘grandma’s footsteps’ and ‘hide and seek’ clearly really enticed the children – they connected to these games in a very real way especially where there was an absence of a recognisable language.  I found this particularly interesting as we use recognisable games alot in shaping the content of our work too.  in fact I had just been working on the alien scene for ‘space hoppers’ using hide and seek as a starting point, so was great to identify their use of children’s games in building content too.

Part of the show has the 2 performers show a photograph of 2 children.  At first I wasn’t sure if it was them as children or whether they were their own children in the photograph- I asked afterwards and found out it was their own children – they looked so much like the 2 performers!!!!! I guess as a mother, it’s a wonderful moment to see the performers as mums too and a lovely way of bringing the audience of parents andchildren together.  At the end of the day though it was the beautiful mix of the imagery with the music, the openess of the performers and Otto’s mesmerised reaction that really made my heart sing.

thoughts from the conference I will try to put down in a final instalment and, Ruth, I might then finally get around to addressing your point from many moons ago!

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