W-Hat About? is a celebration of grandparents and their resilience
- Kelly Apter
- 11 September 2018
New dance theatre work for children aims to pay tribute to intergenerational relationships
It was the memory of her own grandfather taking her to dance school that prompted Italian choreographer Giulia Montalbano to make W-Hat About?, a new dance-theatre piece for children.
Because regardless of the weather, or the steep stairs that kept tripping him up, he was committed to getting her there safely.
'This show is a celebration of all the grandparents who help us grow-up, teach us to be brave and show us how to get back up after being knocked down,' says Montalbano. 'I love the idea that children are inspired by seeing their grandparents conducting normal daily activities. And by having a grandfather at the centre of this show, children can imagine their own grandparents in these situations.'
Montalbano co-founded Fuora Dance Project in 2014, and is now its artistic director. Aimed at children aged 4–10 and their families (especially grandparents), W-Hat About? not only celebrates intergenerational relationships, but the language and culture of Scotland and Italy.
'What the show conveys to children is that just because people might struggle to communicate,' says Montalbano, 'there is a whole world of ways for us to try and understand each other.'
Alongside this message of togetherness, the production features a set filled with colourful hats. Keen to champion recent graduates whenever possible, Fuora recruited young designer Louise Worral to create a world for the three characters to inhabit.
'Louise kept the set simple to match the simplicity of the show, while still making it eye-catching for both a young and mature audience,' explains Montalbano. 'We use a giant hat as a chair, which reminds me of where my grandpa used to sit, and a bright wall made of stretchy fabric representing a wardrobe.
'We want the audience to feel like they are in the grandfather's home, but to also feel that the world the performers create is beautiful, engaging and magical.' (Kelly Apter)
Platform, Glasgow, Sat 13 Oct, and touring.