Bold and playful, The 26 Letter Dance is for the four to eight year old in all of us.
The Capitol Theatre’s final family show, on Sunday at 4 p.m., comes from Quebec dance troupe Bouge de là. This lovely company is one of the rare professional dance companies that creates works exclusively for children.
A multidisciplinary alphabet primer, The 26 Letter Dance is a journey into the world of letters and words. The show has a simple but wonderfully interactive premise; 15 minutes before the show starts, the four dancers disperse into the audience.
They are looking for letters in the audience members’ names. The dancers give each child their undivided and unrushed attention, and when the child provides a letter the dancer then proudly makes their way to the stage, pronouncing they have “found” the letter, which is promptly drawn on the blackboard at the back of the stage. Once all 26 letters have been found, the show can begin.
Physically and intellectually engaged in the piece, the young spectator is an active participant in this kaleidoscope rich in colours and textured dance.
In this bold and playful work, choreographer Hélène Langevin invites children to take part in a unique experience in which they not only see a dance performance but actively participate in the various tableaux that punctuate the piece — loosely structured miniatures. The show gets underway with A of course, with Z the last to take his leave. In between, the letters in this alphabet book embody a plethora of words, meanings, emotions and tones of voice.
The 26 Letter Dance is a very contemporary and poetic piece that expands the frontiers of performance for young audiences and turns the conventions of theatre inside out.