Review: Night Tree (Second Hand Dance Online)

This piece of dance theatre from Second Hand Dance takes you and your little ones deep into an imaginary forest to search for a special tree, the Night Tree.

Our guides are Nina (Amarnah Amuludun) and Kit (Keir Patrick) who are wrapped up warm for their walk through the muddy puddles and the bracken; listening to the birds and looking for the animals who live there.

Director and choreographer Rosie Heafford introduces her films with a conspiratorial warmth. Amuludun and Patrick move through nature at one with their surroundings; playing with leaves, peeking around trees.

There is a sense of magic in the air across these short films as they meet first a curious, graceful deer (Mariana Camiloti), then a haughty, imperious owl (Takeshi Matsumoto). The wonders of the forest through sound and movement are shown in a delighful way.

Takeshi Matsumoto
as Owl in Night Tree

Aimed at 3-7 year olds and running at a total of 25 minutes, Night Tree is never preachy or patronising, and the cast add just the right note of curiosity for forest dwellers and respect for the surroundings.

A detailed activity pack is available to ticketholders, with pages to colour in, a recipe for a yummy hot chocolate (I’m definitely going to make it again), and details for food to put in your bird feeder.

Night Tree is all about exploration and nature. In my own park and woodland walks it is gratifying to see that birds and animals are flourishing, and that children are showing an interesr in their behaviour and preservation.

You can book your tickets for Night Tree here. It runs until 21 February on a pay what you can basis and is co-commissioned by Pavilion Dance South West.

Image credit: Foteini Christofilopoulou.

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