Children's Cheering Carpet

Te Papa, level 2, Wellington

08/03/2008 - 16/03/2008

New Zealand International Arts Festival

Production Details

Take a ride on a magic carpet. Play music on a bridge whose planks become piano keys. Chase darting blue and red fish.

These are some of the intriguing elements that make up The Italian Garden, The Japanese Garden and The Kurdish Garden, a trilogy of sensory theatrical installations aimed at children, which combine digital animation and sound.

The journey begins on a plain white carpet which comes to life with images, illusions and sounds as, step by step, a dancer opens up the different gardens of the story. Then discover for yourself the secrets of these magical gardens. Truly a walk into another world.

The Italian Garden
9, 16 March at 10.30am & 3.30pm; 13 March at 6pm / FOR AGES 8 AND UP

The Japanese Garden
8, 15 March at 3.30pm; 14 March at 6pm / FOR AGES 6 AND UP

The Kurdish Garden
8, 15 March at 10.30am / FOR AGES 4 AND UP




Event Dates

8 Mar (Sat):  10:30am & 3:30pm
9 Mar (Sun):  10:30am & 3:30pm

13 Mar (Thu):  6:00pm
14 Mar (Fri):  6:00pm
15 Mar (Sat):  10:30am & 3:30pm
16 Mar (Sun):  10:30am & 3:30pm Selling fast

Pricing (excl. service fees)
GA $25.00
FR $22.50
Child GA $15.00

Duration:  50 mins, no interval

Venue Details:  Te Papa level 2  

Children’s Cheering Carpet – Free Installation Times

Experience the Children’s Cheering Carpet for yourself and play with the interactive sensory installation The Japanese Garden. A maximum of 25 children with caregiver per session. Bookings can be made on the day or a day in advance at the venue.

Sat 8 Mar
12.30-12.55pm, 1pm-1.25pm, 1.30pm -1.55pm, 2pm-2.25pm

Sun 9 Mar
12.30-12.55pm, 1pm-1.25pm, 1.30pm-1.55pm, 2pm-2.25pm

Tue 11 Mar
3.00pm-3.25pm, 3.30pm-3.55pm, 4pm-4.25pm, 4.30pm-4.55pm

Wed 12 Mar
3.00pm-3.25pm, 3.30pm-3.55pm, 4pm-4.25pm, 4.30pm-4.55pm

Thu 13 Mar
1.00pm-1.25pm, 1.30pm-1.55pm, 2pm-2.25pm, 2.30pm-2.55pm, 3.30pm-3.55pm, 4pm-4.25pm,  4.30pm-4.55pm 

Fri 14 Mar
1.00pm-1.25pm, 1.30pm-1.55pm, 2pm-2.25pm, 2.30pm-2.55pm, 3.30pm-3.55pm, 4pm-4.25pm, 4.30pm-4.55pm 

Sat 15 Mar
12.30pm-12.55pm, 1pm-1.25pm, 1.30pm-1.55pm, 2pm-2.25pm 

Sun 16 Mar
12.30pm-12.55pm, 1pm-1.25pm, 1.30pm-1.55pm, 2pm-2.25pm 

1 hr

A shared experience

Review by John Smythe 11th Mar 2008

Generating a quality of mystique can gild an otherwise ordinary lily or enhance the magic of a theatrical experience. In the case of the Children’s Cheering Carpet, from Italy’s Compagnia TPO, I think the latter applies.

The audience is ushered into the low-lit, sacred-feeling space in four groups of 20, asked to divest themselves of shoes, bags and other paraphernalia, and led to the two-tiered bench seats that face into the square performance space: children in front, others behind.

We ‘played’ in The Italian Garden (the other two options being The Japanese Garden and The Kurdish Garden), so the shadow image we looked at while waiting was of a cast iron gate. Its opening, and the covering of the ground with garden imagery – growth and paving – signals the start of the show.

Two dancers begin to explore the space, which responds to their stepping, rolling, dancing… Once a certain logic is established – mostly to do with their actions making images appear or disappear on any one of the 36 (I think) projected squares that grid the rubberised mat – children are gently invited to join the dancers and explore the idea themselves. In most cases, the dancers soon leave the children to it, until that sequence ends and it’s time to sit once more.

To be technical: the square mat is a screen for a computer-generated data show projected from directly above; sensors beneath the mat send signals to the computer which responds accordingly, and the imagery changes in form and nature with each sequence.

As the stylised Renaissance garden moves through the four seasons, every child and a number of adults get the chance to join in. The capacity of children to intuit what’s needed is nicely judged. So too is the need to break it up with more formalised sequences performed by the dancers. 

It is very much a shared experience, and unique in its detail to the people participating in any one show.


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