What a wonderful R & D we have had for Cloud Child, thanks to Porl Cooper & Lyndsay Merrick at the Lowry and Arts Council of Great Britain.
This last week has been quite intense, trying to process and present all the great ideas & inspirations from regularly working with groups of under 5’s with their parents & carers. We have an amazing Cloud Child puppet to work with, thanks to Georgina Solo http://georginasolo.co.uk
and beautiful music,which really made the action progress, thanks to Verbal Vigilante
Huge Thanks to Adam Bennett and Liz Fitgerald Taylor, making the moves assisted by Mark Whitaker and Sarah Hicks for her graphics. Finally huge gratitude to all the children and their parents plus Surestart Swinton for all their valuable play and feedback.
Cloudchild will be rehearsed in Dec for a 2013 national uk tour, and huge thank you to all the theatre bookers who came along to the presentation. I cant wait to make this beautiful show happen along with the Imaginary Leaps interactive theatre play sessions ‘Clouds’ which is available for early years settings, museums & art galleries plus other arts events. Rachel Riggs – Artistic Director
Heres some of the comments we recieved –
‘This has been great – so many classes expect more structure. Parents constantly echo what the class leader is saying. This has been lovely because its much freer and child led and gives a much better idea of the children’s own imagination. Through the freedom, its more relaxing for the parent (not always having to say “no.”) Isabelle has had more fun too.’ – Monika Neall
‘Well structured, flexible format to give kids space to respond in their own way – to watch or be shy and to join in when ready. Music was a bit eerie, could be a bit more child friendly.’
‘Wonderful, fun and imaginative play. My daughter really enjoyed it.’ – Dawn & Abigail, aged 4
‘Relaxing and so beautiful.’ Carer of Nikitos 3 & half years
‘Both really enjoyed it. Dancing and the visuals. Joe had fun playing with the materials projecting and in his bucket boat!’ – Mother of May 2 yrs & half & Joe 10 months
‘Fantastic child-led play. Creative and sensual. I enjoyed children turning their clouds into snow men and dropping leaves on the projector. Creating a beautiful effect on the screen. Children cuddling their clouds, everything felt good to touch.’
‘Thanks for today. It was a very interesting experience. I very much enjoyed being party to your creative processes, as it has been a while since I have been involved in devising as part of a group .I felt you all listened and took my ideas on board as part of these processes. It was also interesting to see how the children’s participation and experiences informed your decision making. It was also interesting to be involved in the workshop in a different role, without my son Faron.
I felt it was a very successful session in which the children’s individual needs appeared to be met. For instance, the boy who was very shy to begin with was able to take his time and join in when he was ready. He really allowed himself to become lost in his imagination amongst the lights and fabrics and also made a connection, rolling around with and racing a little girl that he had not previously met. May, on the other hand was able to dip in and out of the experience. At first dancing expressively to the music, then being drawn into the OHP and playing with coloured gels, watching them fall and make shapes, before re-entering the dance to finish. She was particularly drawn to the ‘flags’ when waved overhead. I drew her attention to the colours we had placed on the OHP and she chased them, spinning and dancing. Her brother Joe, a baby, was content, playing with the fabrics and enjoying the multi-sensory experience of light, sound and touch. He was also greatly amused by being pulled around in the washing basket.’
Carrie Williams & Faron aged 2yrs.
‘Basket/bucket was a great prop for those under one to pull themselves up with and play with the cloth. A few of those would be great for littlees to spin around and journey together as Mark did with Joseph today.
All your ideas were wonderful and worked beautifully with the children today.
The projections of children onto clouds were great. I think if there was a way of fading out the rest of the scene around them using lights and bringing the focus to the projection of the child on the cloud that would be lovely for them.
The cloth lent itself to tipping and rolling the children [which i didnt get around to doing today] maybe by a dancer/actor demonstrating by rolling and pushing against the cloth or by actor gently lifting /manipulating the cloth with the children on it to tip them as well as the sliding journey we did today.’
from Claire Fildes – Tiny Tots Mini movement Session, Lowry
Feedback from Surestart Swinton Early years providers with children 2-3 years –
‘Its a good idea to use the puppet to bring everything to life”
“Using the white parachute silk for sensory play wo9rked really well for all of them.” “It was very good the kids were very much in control.”
“Brilliant story telling, the kids really focussed and enjoyed the nurturing, caring for the cloud baby.”
From the Cloud Child presentation day Friday 20th January –
‘We had a great time at your sharing on Friday. It was great to see the development of your ideas and Faron really enjoyed it, as you could probably tell from the laughter. He found it really funny and I think that possibly his favourite theme is the making of characters from fabric. (It will be lovely to see this developed.) He seemed to really get that…He also loved the part when the limbs where sticking out at angles from the cloud. Perhaps it is the unexpected elements of these scenes that appeal? I really love the part where Cloudchild throws paint on the house, it looks beautiful. I also like the small scene made on top of the cloud.
Faron really enjoyed interacting with the puppet, as on Friday of last week. He seems to have formed a connection with it on some level and it was really beautiful when Cloudchild comforted him after bumping his head. The thing that has stayed with him most of all is Cloudchild floating in the sky, which looks very serene when coupled with the music. After the session we went into the office, he played with a fluffy elephant, on top of a pen. He moved the pen around him, saying “Elephant is flying in the sky”. I asked “Like the Cloudchild?’ He replied ‘Yes”. When asked at any time about the puppets he says “Flying up in the sky”.
I think the experience has been a hugely enriching one for him. I also have been inspired and have a renewed desire to create work…’ – Carrie Williams & Faron aged 2yrs.