I didn’t know what to expect with Space-Bop – a show for ages 0 to 2 – but I know that my kids love space and music, so I had to give it a try. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the Arts on the Horizon’s world-premiere piece for babies and toddlers, Space-Bop! You and your kids will take a journey through space and experience everything it has to offer: stars, comets, rockets, planets, and more. In the background, you’ll dance along with hip hop beats and musical instruments. And just when your little one starts to lose interest, a new object is introduced and the music changes its rhythm, holding the audience captive.
Held under the starry sky of a large tent, Space-Bop is the perfect space and atmosphere for little ones. Parents and caregivers have the option to sit on the ground or in folding chairs that line the wall. The space feels cozy without being too crowded and the vibe is laid back (read: other parents won’t mind if your child starts to get fussy or you have to get up and leave). Plush stars scatter the sitting area and little ones are encouraged to pick up the stars and play along. As a mom to two little ones, ages 2 and 8 months, I was amazed at how much both kids interacted with the music, performance, actors, and sounds.
Space-Bop runs a little over 20 minutes – the perfect amount of time to introduce kids to the sights and sounds of space without losing their attention. A nonverbal style performance, kids are introduced to planets that change colors, a star that lights up, a rocket that takes off and lands, an astronaut that lives in the rocket, and a pinwheel comet that flies through space.
The audience experiences space alongside hip hop beats from GRAMMY®-nominated hip-hop artist and beatboxer, Christylez Bacon. Bacon multi-tasks between various instruments including the West African Balafon (modern day xylophone), guitar, tambourine, shaker, and the human beat-box (oral percussion).
Space-Bop ends with interactive play and an opportunity to talk with the performers, play with instruments, and touch objects from outer space (the rocket was a fan favorite). As a takeaway, adults are given a Parent Guide to Theatre for Young Minds; in partnership with Growing Brains: A brain-based approach to raising children, the guide gives advice and ideas for nonverbal play.
If you’re looking for a fun, out-of-the-ordinary, activity for young kids (especially during the winter months), Space-Bop is a wonderful option. Both of my kids enjoyed the show. My 8-month old couldn’t stop dancing to hip hop beats and my 2 year old loved talking about the rocket.
- The show is $6/person and every person needs a ticket. Tickets can be purchased online.
- Space-Bop is playing at The Athenaeum through March 3, 2016 and Atlas Performing Arts Center March 5 to 12, 2016.
- Street parking is available, in addition to garage parking (2 blocks from The Athenaeum)
Photos by Melody Parry Jones