Monday, 11 February 2013

Top 3: Dance, Children, Animals


Having spent a week at manipulate and shouting about puppetry not being for children (an argument that both a puppet Hitler and To The End of Love made very clear), I'm going to see the musical Madagascar. It might not be cutting edge object manipulation, but I am pretty sure this one will have puppets that children will like.

It's a treat to go the SECC now and again, and sing along to Move It - most of my life is spent in analysis of serious art in underground bunkers. I love both types of theatre, and I am sure I'll end up deconstructing the narrative of the the adventures of Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo and the plotting penguins as they escape from their home at New York's Central Park Zoo.

8 - 10 March 2013, 6.30pm 
SECC Clyde Auditorium 



More traditionally my pace is Chaos and Contingency by Janis Claxton Dance. Claxton is well known for her ability to find new places for dance (apart from theatres, she has placed work in the zoo and public spaces), and this new choreography sees her working with an international cast and emergent mathematical patterns. Having seen a little of her rehearsal last week, I am expecting something lyrical and beautiful, and an intelligent and subtle display of simplicity evolving into complexity.


Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum,
Sat 2 & Sun 3 March
12 noon & 2pm (lasts 50 minutes)
Admission free

In direct contradiction of my usual interests, my next top tip is a Family Day. It's a Tramway, and is part of the Rip It Up season, which goes some way to assuage my sense that I ought to be supporting experimental art (Rip It Up is a season dedicated to emerging artists and new work). My prejudice against work aimed at families only comes from my own unwillingness to look after a child for an afternoon: I know that previous Family Days have included plenty of intriguing work, including a day inspired by John Cage, and that children's theatre can often out-experiment the most radical Live Artist.

This day has been programmed in association with Imaginate, who have been getting my attention lately because of the artists they have been supporting (some of the graduates from the Contemporary Performance Practice course at the RCS). Admittedly, I am way out of their suggested age range...

If I could go, I would like The Story Den: children  are invited to get lost in the world of traditional storytelling, in a purpose built den. They get to make their own mask, too. Then there is an intercative journey into Scotland's history, reminding me that when I studied history, interactivity meant rushing around a museum to get to the gift shop and buy a pen-knife. 

Tramway is even getting their visual art programme in on the action: Nick Evans Solar Eyes exhibition is a bit like a theme park from a lost civilisation, influenced by Egyptian and Mayan mythology. Fortunately, Evans took up the bright colours and geometric patterns of the latter rather than their unreliable calendar system.

Then the day ends with some Eilidh Macaskill of Fish & Game action. 

"Near & Far is an adventurous new piece for children exploring the distance between us all and the technologies that help us shrink our world and expand our horizons."

I'll be upstairs in the cafe, trying to work. I'd appreciate it if you could keep the noise down.

Venue: Tramway
Date: Sunday 17 February
Time: 12noon – 4pm
Price: FREE
Ages: 0-12 

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