by Rose Rushe
RECOGNISED for service to the arts in Germany with a bursary of €10,000 – the Prize of the City of Frankfurt for children and youth theatre – Celestine Hennermann brings her show to town for Culture and Chips Festival. Set aside time this Saturday May 30 for ‘Elephant Walk’, ideal for two-to-five year olds, at 2.30pm, Dance Limerick in John’s Square.
Arts page hears of “smitten penguins, humorous seals and a lazy caravan of camels”. What the Dickens, Celestine?
This good-humoured creative, whose background is modern dance, explains how she got to shaping shows for small children after the birth of her first in 2008. That the process “was so much fun, such a success” was serious surprise to her. “I could not imagine it at all possible,” she recalls of the formative experience. “The thing about working for children is that they are a very honest audience. If they don’t like it, they tell you immediately”.
No fear with ‘Elephant Walk’. She speaks of a set fashioned out of buckets, some blue and white and when lit, these take on the eyes of snakes, of animals. Larger buckets hold the hiphop dancer Albi Gika, there’s contemporary artist Katharina Weidenhofer and “we went to the zoo, looked at how animals moved, how we can interpret this movement in dance”.
A soundscape by composer Gregor Praml is comprised of animal crackers, using chickens, donkeys, cats, bees, ducks. Best of all, part two of the show is that children in the audience are invited on: “It’s very important that the children get to imitate what they see. It’s their very first movement in an artistic way – the second part of ‘Elephant Walk’ is as important as the first”
Tickets are modest money at www.dancelimerick.ie for this inventive grazing with elephants, reptiles and humpbacked camels.