Children, Classical music, Festivals, Interactive Experience, Music, News, Reviews

Sweet dreams

AWESOME Review: Giovanni Consort, Cloud Nine ⋅
Centenary Galleries, Art Gallery of Western Australia, October 5 ⋅
Review by Robert Housley ⋅

Chilling out has little to do with temperature and more to do with relaxing. Adults desire and, arguably, need relaxation far more than children. The so-called wellness craze is upon us.

So the idea of programming a choral ensemble with a show designed to “soothe the senses and focus the mind” seems antithetical for a children’s festival. How are they going to sit still for long enough and will they be quiet while dulcet enunciations permeate the ether?

And then to program it at 10.30am when children are at their most energetic. Brave.

These were my first thoughts. But if inspiring a love of the arts in to “bright young things” is Awesome Festival’s ultimate goal then Giovanni Consort’s glorious expression of music is a great place to begin.

Inspiration is readily garnered by adults and children alike from the nine-member Consort’s offering Cloud Nine, which is a condensed, child-friendly version of its 2019 Fringe World festival show Sleep with Giovanni. So too is wonderment.

The audience members are provided with an eye-mask each before being ushered downstairs in to the bowels of the old section of the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Shoes are taken off in an adjoining room before the small opening-day audience is directed to the cavernous, acoustically generous performance space.

It is a chill-out zone. Yoga and gym mats are spread in concentric rings around a clear, circular central space from where most of the singing is presented. We are told to put on our eye masks and . . . relax.

And then it begins. Stirring voices that defy the capacity of the uninitiated to believe such a sound can emanate from so few people. The power, the beauty and the seamless integration of such a range of different voices is totally overwhelming. With your eyes closed the music simply inhabits your being. Relaxing? Not so much for this reviewer. Rather, gently invigorating.

The group performed four varied works including Sleep (Eric Whitacre), O Salutaris (André Caplet), Kondalilla (Stephen Leek) and Pais Dinogad, regular Consort member Joshua Adams’ arrangement of a 6th Century Welsh lullaby, composed specifically for this show, which was created and directed by Jonty Coy in collaboration with Giovanni Consort Artistic Director Hugh Lydon.

A brief Q&A with the audience afterwards offered a better understanding of the experience and was an important addition.

Junior review by Saskia Haluszkiewicz (aged 9)

Cloud Nine is a treat for all the senses. From the moment I entered the evocative room downstairs at the Art Gallery WA and saw the mats placed on the ground I knew this was going to be an unusual theatre experience. Audience members are asked to lie down and wear eye masks while listening to the beautiful voices of the Giovanni Consort and their quirky selection of instruments. For thirty minutes the stunning voices of the choir soar throughout the room and the eye masks help sharpen your senses and open your mind to a whole new world. You are completely in your own experience and quickly forget the presence of the audience around you.

At the end of the show your body is drawn back down to reality and the performers ask you questions about what you have heard and give you an opportunity to try the instruments. I would highly recommend this delightful show to anyone who loves floating in their imagination and being taken on a musical journey.

Cloud Nine is on Octber 7, 9 and 11 at 10.30am.

Read an interview with the Awesome Festival’s artistic director Jenny Simpson.

Pictured top: Members of the Giovanni Consort  Photo: Rebecca Mansell.

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Calendar, Interactive Experience, July 19

Virtual Whadjuk | NAIDOC Week

7 – 13 July @ Yagan Square ·
Presented by Yagan Square and Periscope Pictures ·

Go back in time and experience Whadjuk Noongar culture first hand. Immerse yourself in a smoking ceremony, be welcomed to country and witness the moment European ships arrived. Virtual Whadjuk is a free virtual reality event being held as part of NAIDOC Week. Suitable for ages 13+. Presented from 10am to 2 pm.

Proudly supported by the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, City of Perth, Museum of Western Australia, Screenwest, Screen Australia and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

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A Snake's Tail
Calendar, Children, Creative, Fringe World, Interactive Experience

Children’s Event: A Snake’s Tale

29 Jan – 3 Feb, 9 & 10 Feb @ The Shambles, The
Woodside Pleasure Garden ·
17 Feb @ Stevenson Theatre, Midland ·
Presented by Roaming Reptile Education ·

Meet real live snakes and lizards in this interactive show for children aged 3+. Find out what reptiles eat, where they live, and even what they feel like! You’ll finally be able to say you’ve seen a snake’s tale…
“It’s safe to say Cass is some kind of magician.” Weekend Notes, 2018.

Parts of ‘A Snake’s Tale’ were presented at Fringe World last year as the award nominated ‘Wriggly Reptiles’. You can also book Roaming Reptile Education for your own private party or event.

“Amazing reptile show for all ages- especially the young at heart!”
★★★★★ Claudia’s Facebook Wriggly Reptiles Review, 2018.

“Cass is the best snake lady!” ★★★★★ Elijah, 8, at his birthday party 2018.

Award nominated for Fringe World Best Children’s Event 2018.

Auslan interpreted show 3rd February. Interpreter: Christy Filipich

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Pictured: A Snake’s Tail: credit: Mathios Imaging

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Calendar, Children, Fringe World, Interactive Experience

Children’s Interactive Adventure: Pirates!!

19 – 27 January @ 3 Playgrounds: Freo Esplanade ·
Heathcote in Applecross, Playscape Yagan Square ·
Presented by Wind Wanderer ·

Pirate Captains Boots and Redbeard return to Fringe World 2019 and they need a crew! Join the lovable pirate duo for another fun-filled quest for treasure.

Pirates!! is a choose-your-own adventure story that takes a group of children on an imaginary journey in search of treasure. The show has run successfully at Fringe World for the past three years and in 2019 will be running for a full week during the School Holidays from Saturday 19 to Sunday 27 January. The adventures will take place at Fremantle Esplanade, Heathcoat Pirate Ship Playground and Yagan Square.

The show begins with Captains Boots and Redbeard calling for fearless souls to join them aboard their imaginary pirate ship. These two fearsome yet friendly pirates soon have a large group of willing participants eager to tie on their bandannas and sail the high seas of their imagination. Boots and Red Beard seamlessly switch between narration and reacting to the children’s imaginative input, leading the adventure with youthful exuberance while also maintaining a careful watch ensuring the crew don’t run too far ahead or lag too far behind in their glee to fight imaginary foes.

Not everything is imaginary though, the children get to find authentic glass bottles containing beautifully produced maps that give accurate latitude and longitude for the location of the pirates booty. Boots and Red Beard fall out over who will find the treasure first and have a real sword fight a la Pirates of the Caribbean before realising that only by working together will they will find the treasure. The show ends with a message about sharing as each participant receives their portion of the chocolate treasure.

Nominated: Best Children’s Event, Fringe World 2017 . Ages 4-12


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