Belfast Telegraph

It's flour power for little ones

By Grania McFadden

Thursday's a dancing day at Belfast Children's Festival with two very different shows on offer – one for little children aged just two and over, and the other for older kids and their families.

'Four women, four wills and four bags of flour'. That's the intriguing headline which accompanies Swedish Dance Company Carrasco's show Bartolomeo, which will be entertaining us at festival today in the Mac.

And the good news for younger members of the audience is that the flour is free-flowing.

In fact, there's a warning that those with respiratory problems should sit further back in the auditorium, so much of the white stuff will be flying around the place.

Which should make for an interesting experience. The piece combines dance and physical theatre, and tells the story of four women who use a blend of oriental, house, voguing and urban dance in the show. Ballet it ain't. This award-winning show looks at the role of women in today's society. But not in a po-faced way. Not at all. Its target audience is anyone over the age of 10.

It's funny, fast and furious, and will inevitably lead to pleas of "Can I try that at home?"

Lock away your cooking ingredients or risk a very different sort of bake-off in your kitchen. There's no flour in German company o.N's delightful little show Cocoon at the Baby Grand in the Grand Opera House.

But there's plenty of mime and movement.

Two actors use the simplest of props to create a story of exploration and transformation. The storyline is simple, the story itself open to interpretation.

You might be surprised at what your children think they see. But that's what this festival is all about – igniting little imaginations.

After all that leaping around, festival-goers might like to end the day with a stroll, push or toddle around an exhibition. Photographer Tom Woods has been taking pictures almost every day for the last 40 years. He captures people in their everyday environments – on the bus, at the shops, in their homes or on the street.

There'll be plenty for children to recognise here.

The show runs at the Belfast Exposed Gallery.

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