Last month I was excited to be one of the 16 in a show for babies - 16 Singers.
Dance Umbrella describe it as:
'A special experience, created by Katherine Morley for babies aged 0 – 18 months and their grownups, it cleverly captures the attention of tiny spectators using breath, rhythms and song, and by blending movement with an intricate, moving set.
Director Katherine Morley has brought together a team of artists passionate about creating work for children. Paul Rissmann, described by The Herald newspaper in Scotland as “the Pied Piper of classical music”, has written an uplifting score sung by the performers as they move amongst the babies. Choreographer Rosie Heafford, best known for her collaboration in the hit Dad Dancing, adds gentle patterns of movement in and around the delicately woven sculpture created by Sophia Clist, of Theatre-Rites fame.
With its very young audience at its heart, 16 Singers is a rare opportunity to share a beautifully crafted performance with your baby.'
Until the babies arrived in the audience it was hard to see how it would work, but I was surprised to find their level of engagement throughout was consistently high. There were certain moments in the show which were always completely silent, and it was exhilarating to be entertaining such a unique audience. There isn't much (if any) theatre for humans so young, and children's theatre in general often attempts to be interactive and force a reaction - Morley's idea is to treat the babies as spectators, producing a work that would develop their capacity BE entertained rather than engage in an activity. The theory behind the work was evident in the success of the show - a consistent comment from parents was that they had never seen their child sit so still for so long!