Review: Hummingbird @ ArtsFest
Friday 23rd September 2011 — posted by lorna
I attended this year’s ArtsFest in Birmingham City Centre. Victoria Square and much of New Street was jam packed with people of all ages. There was a real family atmosphere and the sun was shining brightly for most of the day. The weather was very warm for September, which made the outdoor event very enjoyable.
I watched sampad’s ‘Hummingbird’ performance, which was performed by Lee West, a man of aboriginal descent who told the audience about his culture and life growing up in Australia. Much of the performance was centred on this as he captured the attention of every member of the audience reminiscing about his mischievous antics as a child.
His storytelling came alive as he played the didgeridoo and guitar whilst his female accomplice Dawn Jackson danced, with many movements mimicking the acts of an ostrich (one of the animals he would tease as a child). Children in the audience were encouraged to join in and, after some initial shyness a few got involved and seemed to have a lot of fun re-enacting the ostrich and really using their imaginations.
Overall, the performance seemed to be enjoyed by all. What started out as a sparsely filled marquee quickly became a very crowded hub of people hanging on the storytellers words and enticed by the cultural dances. As a member of the audience, I went away not just entertained but with some general knowledge of another culture, which was a great experience.
by Fareisha Wallen-Shim