To introduce children to the world of classical music in a nontraditional way, the Seán Curran Company performed “Everybody Dance Now” at the Tsai Performance Center on Saturday for more than 200 children and adults.
The performance featured dancers clothed in bright colors moving to music from pianist Judith Gordon and Rob Kapilow. Kapilow, who also functioned as the program’s creative director and an energetic master of ceremonies, taught the audience the basics of dances including the rumba and a Russian saber dance.
“Listen to the music, move your feet and the next thing you know you’re a dancer too,” Kapilow said during the performance.
The audience responded enthusiastically, stomping their feet, clapping their hands and even joining dancers onstage. The program encompassed the music of composers ranging from Aaron Copeland to Johannes Brahms.
Kapilow said he was happy with Saturday’s performance because “Boston’s a great crowd.”
He said getting children to move was “a very natural way to respond to music … the kids are great; it’s the parents who are ever hard.”
Kapilow said he once hosted a radio show in which he invited listeners to call in and explain why they hated classical music. He said he found it was often because of a bad first experience with the art form and said he “wanted to make [children’s] first experience really good” by creating a show that was “classy, high quality, but fun at the same time … educational without feeling like a lecture.”
Choreographer Seán Curran, who met Kapilow after a performance of Stomp, said he agreed with Kapilow’s philosophy of teaching classical music to children.
“I want to be an ambassador for the art form,” he said.
Curran said he wanted to create “something that tickles a child’s eye, but make it compelling for parents [as well].”
Dancer Nora Brickman, who met Curran at the Boston Conservatory, said the children were a great audience.
“This is kind of a new thing for us,” she said.