Luna's Magic Flute was very, very cute.
At least that's what the families of the children performing in the dance recital thought after attending one of two sold-out performances Dec. 11 at Boise Contemporary Theater. For everyone else, it was everything modern and interpretive dance is supposed to be: a rough-hewn, work-intensive and visceral process that congeals into something intelligible and compelling.
The premise of Luna's Magic Flute is simple: Luna is the bearer of a magical flute that she uses to assist animals—played by a cast of 60 dancers, mostly children—to make them feel better about themselves. When Luna is unceremoniously robbed of her flute by a dragon, the animals she helped during her journey rescue the enchanted wind instrument and work together to restore it to her.
Watching children who ran the gamut of ages, sizes and skill levels prance, slither, gallop and march across the stage was obligatorily delightful. But the magic in Luna's Magic Flute grew out of the children actualizing the choreography of Leah Stephens Clark from Balance Dance Company. It was like watching flies suddenly break from their chaotic flight patterns to buzz around a room in intricate formations.
Shepherding the waist-high waves of children was Luna, played by Boise High School junior Rebecca Reed. The music, written by Blaz Pucihar and played by Jennifer Myers (flute) and Betsi Hodges (piano), was bright and clear. Their moving performance was the hardy backbone of the evening.
For a legion of parents glad to see their children on stage, that was more than enough to elicit a smile.