Paper Playground

A playful and interactive dance performance where children are free to join in and explore, because that’s what young ones do best!

Paper Playground is a stimulating experience set on a large paper carpet, created especially for children five and under that is full of dancing, drawing, live music and projections. Fully immersive, Paper Playground welcomes children as true creative collaborators.

Exploring the theme of water with boats, fishes, crabs and sharks, performers use sensory devices and invitations to roll, fall, draw, breathe – to intrigue children into moving with the performers.

Vancouver-based choreographer Julie Lebel, and her Foolish Operations Ensemble/Dancing the Parenting project, create community engaged dances with and for babies, toddlers, children and their caregivers. Paper Playground is designed to be a unique opportunity to share a special moment of discovery for children and their parents/caregivers.

Paper Playground proudly premiered at the Surrey International Children Festival: thank you kids’ fest for sparking the whole idea and helping to make this work for the very young possible. We greatly appreciate your support.

Confirmed performance dates and places:

  • Surrey International Children’s Festival, May 25-27, 2017
  • Kelowna, Rotary Centre for the Arts, March 25-27, 2019
  • Smithers (northen BC) May 6-12 2019
  • Fort St. John (northen BC) May 21-24 2019
  • Vancouver International Children’s Festival May 27 to June 1st 2019

Creative team:

Julie Lebel (dancer and director), Caroline Liffmann (dancer and rehearsal director ), Meredith Bates (composer and musician), Sarah Gallos (dancer), Sophie Brassard (dancer), Sarah Dixon (dramaturge), Amanda Lye (visual artist), Jacquie Rolston (animator), Jo Leslie (observer and consultant), Emily Neumann (stage manager).

Technical Rider and Full Video Link:

An educator testimony…

“A kindergarten teacher for three decades, I have seen several productions of children’s theatre over the years.  Yet, I was unprepared for how moved I was after attending the Paper Playground presentation.  I had never seen anything like it before.

I was impressed to see these young children using their senses, whole bodies, and experiencing and being part of the artistic creation.  They were invited to feel and engage with the material, the music, beauty and emotion.  Not a child present could resist.  Yet, part of my surprise was to also see adults equally engaged with the material, as if the experience called out their inner child.  No one present in the room could remain immune to the beauty and emotion generated by the experience.

Paper Playground is a celebration of and a tribute to Art and the beauty of childhood.  It is high time that we present more quality art such as Paper Playground to all children.”

-Astrid Pedneault

A parent testimony…

“I attended Paper Playground with my daughter at the Surrey Children’s Festival in May 2017.  I was delighted as I watched her engage in this mulit-sensory performance, and I was struck at how clever the construction and pacing of the show matched my 3 1/2 year-old’s development. She seemed to enjoy moving, drawing and exploring the sensory aspects of the paper with the performers, as well as enthusiastically returning to sit with me or other children when invited, to engage as a watcher.

I was impressed with the combination of sensitivity, permission and trust this show places in the intelligence of a group of children to come together and converge and diverge creatively. In this way, Paper Playground is a challenging and cutting-edge performance and I was truly thrilled to attend with my daughter.”
-Mirae Rosner

Blog posts » Paper Playground

  • Paper Playground Photos

  • paper-playground_sunset_nov-2016_credit_jl-1b

    A small window into Paper Playground’s process