This morning L found an Icelandic Krona in her pocket, as 5 year olds are apt to do. So began some tales of my adventures long ago with my good friends the girl Vikings, in the land of geysers, volcanos and hot springs. L couldn’t quite believe Iceland was a real place.
How apt it was then, that we finished our day together, watching Kindur, the story of the adventorous life of Icelandic sheep at Lakeside Arts Centre. There’s a whole weekend of cutting edge theatre, the Luminarium and free, fun creative activities for kids, do check it out Sunday 10th June, if you’re local.
Kindur is a dance piece in which three professional performers create the story of the sheep’s journey across Iceland, with all it’s magical territory, using dance and movement.
When you arrive at Kindur the ushers kneel down to children’s level, welcome them and clip a woolly heart to their clothing. During the performance these hearts light up, signalling to different groups of children that they can come onto the stage to move, dance, jump alongside the professional dancers. Adults have hearts which light up at moments when the whole audience is invited to move or call out. The perfomers’ and audience’s movements and sounds create different coloured patterns on the white floor and backdrop.
The set is constructed out of light and projections which form the amazing Icelandic landscapes and the seasons. L’s heart lit up at the moment the sheep had to cross a icy river and splash through the mud. As the children jumped, the sounds of cracking ice and splashing mud could be heard while the projections showed the mud spattering through the cracked ice. There were loads of magical landscapes to explore, such as inside a waterfall, the Northern lights and a volcano. Miss N, daughter of Amanda from The Ana Mum’s Diary was called up to explore the fire and lava.
This show really appealed to me, partly because I have some amazing Icelandic friends, they’re not really Vikings, but they are amazing, magical and fantastic fun as is their homeland. I loved the dance, there were some great movements that really perfectly captured emotions and had lots of children chortling proper great big belly laughs.
Kindur got me debating interactivity and performance. My daughter found not knowing how the turn taking to go on stage would work slightly difficult to deal with, as did some of the other younger members of the audience. This led to her fixating on when her turn would be, rather than the performance, at points.
On one hand the turn taking was great in that it gave all the children room to fully explore dance and to experience both being a performer and an audience member. I wondered however, if taking a risk, and allowing the children on stage for longer and in bigger groups would have been interesting too. But this wouldn’t have given them the same chance to reflect and experience the show as an audience perspective.
Children’s theatre is at a really interesting place right now. Every show I see is becoming more and more interactive, as I think, are children’s expectations of their entertainment. It was L who pointed out to me that it was our movements that were making the coloured patterns appear on the backdrop, she’s so used to ‘touch screen’ technology and that sense of control over technology. She was certainly hungry for more control in this performance, but I wonder would that have been at the expense of appreciating it as a member of the audience?
The dance, set, lights, projections, animations and sound were amazing, and it was also really wonderful to watch the children become part of the show, the lit up hearts were beautiful. As inspiring as Iceland itself, left us with warm heart, oh and a Krona in our pocket.
Disclaimer- I am a parent blogger in residence at Lakeside Arts. We were provided with tickets in exchange for our review.