Madama Butterfly (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

Madama Butterfly

Gentle movement show inspired by Puccini opera

There is a temptation with children’s shows, to make everything big, bold, colourful and noisy. But while that has its place, so too does work which turns everything down a notch.

This gentle show from France’s Cie Nathalie Cornille has an almost meditative quality, which introduces young children to both movement and operatic music in one go. Creator and performer Cornille has chosen the ‘best bits’ of Puccini’s most famous work to accompany her movement (the ‘One Beautiful Day’ aria and 'The Humming Chorus' among others), using subtle choreography to (loosely) depict moments from the story.

At 35 minutes long, there’s just enough action here to keep most (but probably not all) young eyes and ears occupied. The white set, reminiscent of a large fan or bridge, is put to clever use, when slow but captivating images are projected onto it. While a bowl of white petals, also show that beauty can appear in the simplest of forms.

There are no ‘wow’ moments, and everything is executed at a steady pace, which won’t be to all tastes. But in an era of constant fast-paced bombardment, usually via a screen, there is much to be said for entering a different kind of sensory world.

Institut français d'Ecosse, 225 5366, until 30 Aug, 10.30am, £8 (£6).

Madama Butterfly

  • 3 stars

Compagnie Nathalie Cornille Choreographic solo dance for a very young audience inspired by chosen moments in Giacomo Puccini’s opera. Combining the world of contemporary dance with the feelings experienced by the listening of lyric singing, this Madama Butterfly evokes an abstract and poetic choreography at the crossroads…