Unifying the concepts of dance, kite, and puppet movement with her themes of seasonal movement and the Earth’s energy flow, “Celebration of Flight” was awarded Best Show at the 21st UNIMA Congress & World Puppetry Festival in Chengdu, China. The show features puppets, kites, and flags both from independent artists as well as the Jim Henson Creature Shop and GuildWorks.
The show opens with dancers intent on keeping our Earth in balance with the motion of the elements. The Earth soon hatches, birthing a baby whooping crane. The story unfolds as the hatched chick discovers the world around her; chasing dragonflies, finding worms, and even getting swarmed by black flies. The flow of the natural world around the young chick guides her growth, teaching her to walk, hop, and finally make short flights. Soon she joins the greater migration of the elder cranes and uncovers her global role in the dance of the planet’s seasonal tilt.
Heather Henson is a committed conservationist and Board Member for the International Crane Foundation. Her love for both the science and spirituality of our Earth has led her to explore the life of the endangered whooping crane and its environment in “Celebration of Flight.” The show artfully weaves together the elements, plants, and creatures in this microcosm of our biosphere as a way to illustrate the interdependence of all life on Earth. Interactive components pull the audience directly into the show, nurturing connections where few words are used but much is shared.