What the moon saw at Dance East

Contemporary Dance in Suffolk has developed quite an enviable reputation. Thanks in no small way to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved with DanceEast at the Jerwood Dance House. Situated on the historic Waterfront in Ipswich DanceEast has become a beacon for dancers and members of the public.

DanceEast caters for all age ranges and dance styles, but today we visited the lovely Jerwood Dance House to watch a performance primarily aimed at Children. The show ‘What the moon saw’ has been developed by 2Faced Dance Company and is an original production commissioned by a number of companies, including Fantastic For Families and DanceEast. ‘What the moon saw’ is loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson short story of the same name.

Photo by Luke Evans

The three actors / dancers in the show moved throughout the performance with grace, elegance and remarkable strength. The show was gymnastic, expressive and a marvellous example of the joy of movement. The focus of the audience was never split between different parts of the stage. Making the whole show perfect for children and a entertaining for adults.

As the story developed so did the set. Jack (the main character) manipulated the set to fit many imaginary adventures. Plain walls became sketch pads. Jack’s bed was transformed into an impressive number of imaginative forms.

In a world of children’s entertainment that is sometimes patronising and belittling to an audience, everyone involved with ‘What the moon saw’ can be proud of themselves for creating a performance that engaged everyone in the room, not just the children. I visited with my six year old daughter, my three year old nephew, 1 year old niece and 39 year old sister. All of whom were enthralled.

The children in the audience were swept along by a performance that never lingered too long and constantly evolved. There was no fidgeting, no cries of ‘I’m BORED’ and no parents whisking restless kids out of the auditorium. Personally I found myself transported back to the magic years of childhood, where simple objects acquire epic backstories and a saga can be acted out in seconds.

At the end of ‘What the moon saw’ the whole audience was invited onto the stage to talk to the performers, draw on the set and apparently do almost anything else they fancied. This decimation of the so-called ‘fourth wall’ inspired the kids out of their seats and onto the stage in a matter of seconds.

If you think dance isn’t ‘your thing’ then shows like ‘What the moon saw’ are here to challenge your expectations, broaden your horizons, and above all to entertain.

Find our more about Fantastic For Families…

Find out more about Dance East…

Find out more about What the moon saw…

Photo by Luke Evans

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