As a kid growing up in the 90s, my first recollection of summer vacation is a day of chasing dragonflies with my friends. The bratty-ones use to tie a thread on the tail of the flies (sounds brutal, I know)—they were the expert in the game—much-respected and lauded among their peers. Such was our obsession of catching the flies that even games like pitthu and hide-n-seek took a backseat that summer. We all use to start early so that we get enough flies to practice and master our art. Fast-forward today; my 2-year old first introduction to the concept of the chase has come from The Temple Run or Subway Surfers.
So, when a few weeks back Israel-based director Elinor Agam Ben-David’s toddler play Butterfly Kiss came to The Indian Habitat Center, Delhi, I knew that I wouldn’t miss it for life, for my sake as well as Aurko’s. The concept of the toddler’s plays being non-existent in India, I was eager to find how they would hold the attention of a 2-year old.
Butterfly Kiss narrates the tale of a young girl who catches butterflies in a jar and finally decides to set them free, but only after getting the last butterfly’s kiss. After watching the first scene, I knew that only a mother—who knows the psyche of a child—can come up with a concept so simple and innocent. The use of hand puppets, digital artwork and toys made the show visually appealing and interactive at the same time.
The play was recited by the beautiful lone actor Hagar Tishman, who effortlessly formed a bond with the audience the moment she entered the stage. Dancing, playing and sharing butterflies, Tishman made sure that the backbenchers also get the same attention. Kids were allowed to stand very close to the stage so that they can participate. Unfortunately, all the kids in the front where way older than toddlers, but nonetheless the interaction was not limited to the front rows.
Now, how Aurko perceived the show is all together a different ball game. I would say the experience of sitting among 50 kids was something new to him. He was very coy and shy to start with, but warmed up to the show in the end, much to my surprise. It’s just a start for him; we are taking tiny steps now. Though, I have not seen a dragonfly in Delhi yet. I hope to find few butterflies in our small garden for him to chase. At the end of the show, we all received a handful of little butterflies, which the actress tapped on our cheeks—like a kiss.
Altogether, it was a wonderful experience, and something I would love to see again.
This is an old post firstly written for my previous blog Idle Tusser.
#thingstodowithkids #toddlerplays #toddlertheater #oneofitskind