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When the Moon Spun Round review: Gloriously acrobatic aerial dance enthralls its young audience

Dublin Fringe Festival 2023: The lines blur between movement and music in this production inspired by the children’s poems of WB Yeats

When the Moon Spun Round

Draíocht, Blanchardstown

“Let the dance dance you,” exhorts the narrator, voiced by Olwen Fouéré, in this enthralling aerial-dance production by Fidget Feet, propelled by a sound design coloured by traditional music from their collaborators Ceol Connected. When the Moon Spun Round stills its young audience into silence within seconds of its opening scene, when the moon takes centre stage before yielding to the emerging sinuous patterns of five aerial dancers and a whistle and pipes player.

Later, Tara Dunne adds fiddle to the mix, and the lines blur between movement and music as the children’s poems of WB Yeats inspire a panoply of gloriously acrobatic aerial-dance sequences on metal spirals, ceiling-mounted silk sheaths, swings and even a giant pillow.

Thomas Johnston cuts a Pan-like figure in his jester garb, his pipes tracing a path that lures the dancers across a space that morphs from the lunar to more earthly settings of river and forest. Feline creatures jostle with giant balls of wool, while the antique lady of the river explores her mysterious domain on the spider-like legs and feet of the dancers. This imaginative melding of performers into one character is visually spellbinding, drawing the audience ever deeper into this magical world.

The moon has long held our imaginations in thrall; this production copper-fastens that relationship. Who wouldn’t want to be part of this joyous, enigmatic and buoyant world?


When the Moon Spun Round was at Draíocht as part of Dublin Fringe Festival. It will be at An Grianán, Letterkenny, from Thursday, September 28th, to Sunday, September 30th; Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick, as part of Bualadh Bos Children’s Festival, on Thursday, October 5th, and Friday, October 6th; Civic Theatre, Tallaght, on Tuesday, October 10th, and Wednesday, October 11th; and Black Box, Galway, as part of Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, from Saturday, October 14th, until Tuesday, October 17th

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about traditional music and the wider arts