Kurage Theatre’s innovative theatre show is a song, dance and drama spectacular. The children in the audience are enthralled by an explosion of colour and movement.
It will help children make connections between colour, shape, movement and emotion; and enhance their wonder about the world and all its hues.
Colors’ ingenious conceit is to bring each colour of an artist’s palette – red, green, blue, black and yellow – to life. Each presents its own big showbiz routine as they jostle for the top position of being the artist’s most important pigment. Red is fiery and dangerous; Green is full of life and nature; Black looks like a Neil Gaiman villain in top hat and frilly coat; Blue is slower, calmer, aquatic; and Yellow is simply shiny and sunny.
Each colour is flanked by an elaborate retinue of fellow performers. Green is joined by dancers dressed, respectively, as a pea-pod, a grasshopper and a leaf, who all gyrate to a big, brassy soundtrack, whilst another, who is dressed as a frog, break-dances. Yellow is abetted by a constellation of rollerblading suns, who themselves have suns for hands. Lavish does not quite cover it.
The children in the audience find the sound and spectacle utterly absorbing, all happily clapping and singing along. There are games, questions and puzzles too – usually delivered by the artist, who probes us for summaries of what has happened; tests our knowledge of the objects explored and asks us to identify various silhouetted shapes.
As well as being educative, Colors is also didactic. That all colours are equally important demonstrates a moral message that is made repeatedly and explicitly: we are all equal and should learn to work in harmony. This would have been supported further by a bigger routine at the show’s conclusion that included all of the colours. As it is, their joint number is much smaller and less impressive than the tours-de-force of the individual colours’ separate routines.
The show’s message of equality is also undermined somewhat by the play’s gender roles: the colours, who are all female, are initially rebellious. When their male artist waves his magic wand-like paint brush they become giggly, girly and more classically feminine; and are brought immediately to heel. A plodding storytelling segment towards the end, which has the children fidgeting in their seats, further prevents it from reaching the perfection to which it admirably strives.
Still, Colors is undoubtedly impressive. It will help children make connections between colour, shape, movement and emotion; and enhance their wonder about the world and all its hues.