Becoming part of the installation “How to Build a Forest”
I often find contemporary art installations a bit baffling, but I nonetheless decided to take my daughters to the “How to Build a Forest” installation at the Granoff Center for the Arts. So last night, the three of us walked in to a quiet room filled with spectators in seats observing diaphanous trees slowly rising and partially filled rubber balls being rolled around the room. We received a few instructions (from Brown student and filmmaker Laura Colella, no less)–remove your shoes, stay on the wood floor, and be careful what you touch since the forest is delicate. These rules seemed simple enough except, of course, if you happen to be two- or five-years-old. I politely took a seat and would have liked the girls do the same. Instead they improvised–taking on the roles of animals in the forest, crawling on all fours and making strange noises while (fortunately) still respecting the forest structures. As it turns out, they became part of the show. Perhaps that’s the point.
Note: Although 2/28/13 marked the end of Lisa D’Amour, Katie Pearl and Shawn Hall’s “How to Build a Forest” exhibit, you can attend a future Granoff Center exhibit or art installation. See more about “How to Build a Forest” at Brown.edu.
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Festival Ballet’s most recent performance included an amended version of Little Red Riding Hood. Photo By Matt Francis. Design by Fatoumata Camara. In this Photo: FBP Company Apprentice Mady Issa.
“The seats are in the fourth row, is that all right?” the woman over the phone inquired when I bought my tickets for Festival Ballet’s production of Little Red Riding Hood. As it turns out, there are only four rows in the theater, and as such, there’s not a bad seat in the house. Located at their studio space (where they also offer classes for adults and children of all levels), this small theater offers a perfect venue for an intimate show where children especially can feel close enough to the action to remain engaged.
Mushroom Costume. Design by Brianne Benack. Photo by Matt Francis. In this photo: FBP Company Trainee Eugenia Zinovieva
You won’t be wowed with fancy sets here, but you will be impressed by skillful performances by a dozen talented ballet dancers. For Little Red Riding Hood, the theater partnered with RISD’s Junior Cut & Sew Studio to produce some wonderfully intricate costumes. To make the show less fearsome, they amended the story–the hooded dancing wolf escapes from Central Park Zoo and wants to eat Little Red Riding Hood’s cookies, not the girl herself.
As if that’s not enough to convince you, the show concludes with milk and cookies from Seven Stars Bakery, along with a chance to meet and talk with the dancers.
Although the performances of Little Red Riding Hood are already sold out, the Festival Ballet line-up includes several other upcoming shows for both children and adults.
825 Hope Street
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The proud owner of a handmade doll–that is, made by her very own hands.
Soccer, gymnastics, piano — these are the afterschool activities that may typically come to mind. But sewing?
Since Geoff bought himself a sewing machine last year, our five-year-old daughter has taken an interest in a new type of arts–the material kind. So for her birthday, she received a private sewing workshop from Kreatelier’s Alexis Cormier. When I left her there with Geoff, I figured she’d make a little hand-puppet or something. Instead, I arrived an hour later to discover she had nearly completed a doll in her own likeness, down to the curly hair.
Of course, in addition to the sewing workshops for children and adults, Kreatelier is also a store selling locally handmade bags, pillows, fabric jewelry, clothes and other items. And for anyone not interested in making a doll from scratch, those are for sale too–complete with custom clothes and shoes.
804 Hope Street
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