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Electroluminescent dragons, dancers fly off the building all at Flint Hills Festival by Ann Treacy
June 5, 2011, 1:04 am
Filed under: St Paul

Today we went to the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival. If we’re in town, we always try to go, but this is the first year that we’re seen one of the indoor shows. We started our day at 11 am at the Ordway seeing Corbian the Dinosaur. It’s part light show, part puppetry. Picture Harold and the Purple Crayon meets deep sea bioluminescent creatures. It was really cool – even the older girls had to admit it. The music was great. Aine would not let go of my arm for the first 20 minutes with the loud music and the awesome glow in the dark dragons.

The music went from classic, to Baby Elephant Walk to a little Riders on the Storm and some Ta for Tots folk music. My only wish was that they would have thrown in a little Led Zeppelin. (Not because I’m such a Zeppelin fan – but it just seemed like it would have been a perfect fit.) The theater was filled. The tickets were only $5. There were a lot of babies crying and antsy toddlers. But that didn’t bother us. A highlight – and it’s tough not to get a little crude is when the mean, orange dragon poops out neon spirals that become flowers. (I’m sure there was a weird ecology lesson there.)

After the show we went to Bruegger’s to get the makings of an easy picnic. Then we walked around. The Festival had definitely expanded since the last time we were there – but it still includes lots of craft and projects for kids (more for Aine than the pre-teen crew) but it had something for everyone. Kids Hair was there giving free spray on tattoos and dye jobs. The butterfly net is always a big hit – even if also always a little too crowded . The parade was pretty good – but the highlight was the Bandaloop.

According to their web site, Project Bandaloop performs “in natural and urban settings, the company uses theaters, buildings, towers, bridges, cliffs, and skyscrapers as its dance floor.” So for this gig they did their dance suspended from the top of the Lawson Software building. The dancers repel gracefully about halfway down the building – and then they stop. (I counted at least 6 floors up.) It had to remind the parents of watching Batman and Robin climb walls – that’s what it looked like – only real.

It was fantastic!!

Even being deathly afraid of heights, the dancers are so good that I didn’t worry about their safety the whole time. The dance, flip and fly around the building. They danced to two songs. I have the first performance, a duet below. I hope the jumps from the building look as amazing in video as they did in person. (Aine liked this one best because the couple danced together more.)

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