Imaginate 2014 : Saltbush, EFT Studio, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Children’s Cheering Carpet Compagnia TPO and Insite Arts from Italy and Australia
Niccolo Gallio (production manager/head technician TPO), Davide Venturini (artistic director TPO) Jason Cross (Insite Arts direc¬tor), Lou Ben¬nett (music), Del¬wyn Man¬nix (visual art), Deon Hastie (dance) and Sasha Zahra (dra¬maturgy)
Sonny Ray Townson, Rosealee Pearson, Jada Alberts
Running time

A sumptuous interactive journey of movement and colour through Aboriginal Australia.

On an illuminated stage that doubles as a floor screen the bright stark colours of Australia’s wild topography dance and slide along with the three hessian clad performers. The graphics shift to show everything from snakes and spiders to fish and turtles in a glorious evocation of nature. These visuals go through stages from Spirograph circles to Jackson Pollock type splodges when the colours make the blistering heat of the outback seem real even in dreichly damp Edinburgh. A rushing river bursting with golden fish; the immensity of an Australian beach with its sweeping tide; a gorgeous imagining of night and the flinging of a boomerang are all beautifully realized through Del¬wyn Man¬nix’s visual art work.

The show is a brilliant mix of the primeval with the new as the Australian Aboriginal deep connection to the earth is shown alongside their natural bewilderment and confusion at fast urban life. There is clear direct poetic narration from Jada Alberts who creates an Aboriginal sound with clapsticks while Sonny Ray Townson and Rosealee Pearson dance with grace and move with strong physicality. All three gently engage with the small members of the audience to allow them briefly to be centre stage experiencing the magic and mirroring their gestures.

This inclusive and exquisitely realized piece of children’s theatre is steeped in sensitivity. It speaks of the universality of the importance of every country’s language, place and people, a message that at once displays the tragic irony of the isolation of most Aboriginal people in their own land.

Age recommend 4 – 8 years

Last Imaginate performance: Monday, 12 May, 10.30 & 13.30

Seating cushions and benches