by Lynn on May 12, 2024

in The Passionate Playgoer

The WeeFestival.

May 10 to June 9 2024.

This is a festival of 10 productions for very young audiences in music, theatre, dance, installation and shadow puppetry in intimate venues across the city.

Full programme and details at


LagunArte (France)

May 10-12

Age range 6 months to 5 years.

Daniels Spectrum-Dance Arts Institute

As we enter the space Kristof Hiriart is there, barefoot and wearing a knitted cap. He is looking up at something in the distance, whistling to it, singing, making sounds. An illuminated balloon is floating in the air. In the playing space bordered by a rope is a step ladder, smooth rocks, small bowls, a beautiful tea pot, a bowl of water, a small harp/lyre and other stuff.

As the audience settles—kids in front on circular pads, parents close by—Kristof continues to make sounds, sings (beautifully), whistles to whatever is up there in the distance. He makes sounds that could be a mysterious language but it’s hard to tell what. At certain points in the performance he indicates, through this mysterious language, that the audience should also make sounds and they do. Babies are captivated and want to get closer to the action. Children a bit older are mesmerized. He plays the small harp/lyre, first making a sound by plucking one string. Nothing calms a fussy baby quicker than hearing a sound—a plucked string–that comes from somewhere mysterious.

Kristof engages completely with his young audience. No section of the performance—the singing, the mysterious language, the magical manipulation of the balloon and the making of sounds–lasts too long so the child is always involved.

At one point a baby crawled so close to him and seemed a bit cranky that Kristof bent down to pick up the child, looked at the mother and said, “May I?” And the mother said, “Of course.” Kristof gently picked up the baby and held him a few seconds, when the baby realized this was a stranger and Kristof instinctively passed the child to his mother. Respect all round. This was a wonderful show.

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