The adventure through dance for children, inspired by artist and poet William Blake’s idea of innocence as a state of mind, approaches its fourth year of touring and hundredth performance with this new tour is coming to Johnstone.

This adventure for toddlers, inspired by William Blake’s childhood and poetry, lets them romp and play and is full of songs, giggles and animal noises by the much celebrated music magician Paul Bradley of Three Cane Whale fame and a firm favourite of BBC Radio 6 Music’s Cerys Matthews.

Innocence creates a space for physical discovery and musical exploration, children of all ages interact and respond to the company’s accomplished dancers and their peers as they become tigers and lambs with grown-ups also being inspired to play around. Proof, as William Blake asserted, that innocence is a precious state of mind not limited only to children.

Photo credit:  Maria Falconer
Photo credit: Maria Falconer

Scottish Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Fleur Darkin was inspired to create the piece by watching children dance and her aim was to create a performance that allowed children to participate and have as much fun as the adults. She said: “I was interested in creating an experience that sees the world from three feet high, and to give the children a chance to call the shots. Children and their parents/friends can dance together and choose how to play inside the show. Families can expect a playful atmosphere and magical space where dancers prowl among them.

“Innocence came from being a mother. My children have really shown me how to re-see the world. I came across the story of William Blake, who saw angels in a tree on Peckham Rye at seven years old. His parents didn’t believe him and he got into trouble for “lying”. I wanted to create real-life angels for children to believe in, because adulthood and experience are much over-rated. And actually, parenthood is a much happier experience when you have time to see the world as your child does.”

Scottish Dance Theatre is Scotland’s national contemporary dance company and is part of Dundee Rep Theatre. Under the direction of Fleur Darkin, this risk-taking, innovative company commissions the most exciting choreographers – from all over the world – to make bold new works with their committed team of outstanding dancers. They work with artists of outstanding calibre in the fields of music, design and the visual arts to produce dance of the highest quality that engages with audiences of all ages and abilities. The company is celebrating its 30th birthday year with a series of events inspiring and involving the community in Dundee and creating a legacy for future generations. There are many ways to get involved, see and the company’s social media channels for updates.

“Turning into birds, leaves and rain storms keeps the children absorbed while the dancers’ instincts prevent that rush of excitement spilling over into chaos” ★★★★★ The Express

Touring dates

5th April Johnstone Town Hall,

25 Church St, Johnstone PA5 8FA

Time: 2pm | Cost: £3

Age guidance: For those aged 3+ | Running time: 50 minutes approx.

Renfrewshire box office: 0300 300 1210