When Spring Comes – review

????????????????????Half Moon Theatre presents When Spring Comes

Vipul Bhatti – Choreographer/Dancer
Alex Tosh – Composer/Musician
Chis Elwell – Director

It’s the simple things in life that are often the most pleasurable and When Spring Comes is a beautiful piece of theatre, telling a simple story through dance, music and movement. But simple is not said in the sense of easy; just as it is wrong to say anything created for a young audience doesn’t need to be of as high a standard as work for adults. Quite the opposite.

When Spring Comes is aimed at that most vocal and discerning of audiences: 3 – 7 year olds. It tells the story of a boy experiencing nature’s seasons, meeting a butterfly, a rabbit and an owl along the way. Instead of words this play uses live jazz and contemporary dance fused with the ancient Indian dance form Kathak (meaning ‘to tell a story’). A screen projects animated images of a woodland scene as it changes throughout the year.

Dancer Vipul Bhatti’s movements capture the wonder and pleasure of discovery for a young child: chasing butterflies, floating like falling Autumn leaves and sticking out your tongue to catch snowflakes. Bhatti’s moves are fluid and captivating and most audience members (represented by a wide spectrum of ages) follow the story, recognising the things that matter to children – how any fall of snow means you must not only build a snowman but also get down and do a snow angel, for example. Alex Tosh’s responsive music perfectly complements Bhatti’s sensory interpretation, reflecting changes in mood associated with the seasons.

And as Spring returns again, so the show ends but all are then welcome to join Alex and Bhatti on stage to bunny hop, catch butterflies and spin like sycamore seeds. When Spring Comes is an engagingly simple story told by skilful performers. Heartwarming.

 

Curve, 29 – 31 May
Part of Spark Arts for Children Festival 19 May – 1 June

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