So, when few weeks back Israel-based director Elinor Agam Ben-David’s toddler play Butterfly Kiss came to Indian Habitat Center, Delhi, I knew that this was something I would never miss for life, for my sake as well as Aurko’s. The concept of toddler’s plays being non-existent in India, I was eager to find how would they be catch and hold the attention of 2-year old.
The play narrates the tale of a young girl who catches butterflies in a jar and finally decides to set them free, but only after getting the last butterfly’s kiss. After watching the first scene, I knew that only a mother—who knows the psyche of a child—can come up with a concept so simple and innocent. The use of hand puppets, digital artwork and toys made the show visually appealing and interactive at the same time.
The play was recited by this beautiful lone actor Hagar Tishman, who effortlessly formed a bond with the audience the moment she entered the stage. Dancing, playing and sharing butterflies, Tishman made sure that the backbenchers also get the same attention. The best part was kids were allowed to stand very close to the stage making them the participants. Alas! All of the kids in the front where way older then toddlers, but nonetheless the interaction was not limited to the front rows.
Now, how Aurko perceived the show is all together a different ball game. I would say the experience of sitting among 50 kids was something new to him. He was very coy and shy to start with, but warmed up to the show in the end, much to my surprise. It’s just a start for him; we are taking tiny steps now. Though, I have not seen a dragon fly in Delhi yet. I hope to find few butterflies in our small garden for him to chase. At the end of the show, we all received a handful of little butterflies, which the actress tapped on our cheeks—like a kiss.
Altogether, it was a wonderful experience, and something I would love to see again.