Kin

Concept and Direction | August 2019

Research and Development for an other worldly, playful piece of dance theatre for small children and their adults.  An Art of Libraries Commission to fit with their Space Chase theme.he

It was beautifully surreal . . . balletic almost . . . my 2 year old found it very funny . . . very child-centred . . . children can really engage & connect & feel part of it . . there was this moment when everything in the entire library stopped a moment where we were all listening  [Audience & Staff Feedback on Kin Work in Progress Sharing

Lucy and Brenda spent two studio sessions developing Kin from Lucy’s early concepts, images and reseach responding to the Libraries space theme. They made a short 10 minute piece of dance like theatre which morphed into a stay and play session. Kin follows a simple narrative: an alien creature lands in the library and tries to connect with the earthlings through the language of books. The soundtrack was made up of a palette of gentle minimalist, futuristic sound (Jon Hopkins & Masayoshi Fujita) and live sound was layered on top to bring the mothership (a sculptural mirrored box of a spacecraft) alive; as well as to add punctuation and comedy (the books moo, alarm and giggle as the alien creature opens them). Performed by Brenda – costumed as a Dr. Seuss like space creature – with a detailed physicality and dance-like quality – the gentle show appealed to babies and older children (up to seven) alike. As the show progressed the alien notices the mirroring of her self as she sees herself in duplicate in the mirrored surface of the spaceship and we start to touch on the idea of singularity and us all being connected and not so different after all. Towards the end of the performance the alien creature finds a way to physically connect with the children in the library and together they explore the space, becoming alien together and discovering special mirrored books hidden on the library shelves. Each child finds a mirrored bookmark that is theirs to take home and continue playing with.

Future Development

Currently on Covid-hold due it’s participatory format. We were due to develop it for libraries and bookshops. And hope to do so when we are allowed to touch again as the concepts around connection feels as rich as ever. The makette we made of the mothership – the mirrored box was beautiful but basic and we are looking forward to making it robust and magical (so it can be stood upon, lit up and potentially opened up for a reveal at some point). We have clear ideas for costume too – and hope to develop some sort of alien skin for Brenda to wear – rabbit like and true to its Seuss roots. We are also looking forward to making the show easier to perform and open up the potential for more wide ranging improvisation and liveness within the piece.

Credits:

Concept and Direction: Lucy Cassidy | Performance: Brenda Waite | Funded by: Create Gloucestershire and Art of Libraries