It’s hard to believe, but Hi5 has been around since 1999 and this incredible phenomenon in kids’ entertainment is still going strong. The ‘Hi5 House of Dreams’ tour will hit Malaysia from December 10 to 13 and it’s going to be a big one, as it will also b
First of all, welcome back to Malaysia. Can you tell us the story behind the current tour? What can kids expect to see? Dayen Zheng Our show is called ‘Hi5 House of Dreams’ and this time it’s a narrative format. We take the kids on a journey and it’s a story that we tell. The previous shows that we brought to Malaysia were concert style but this time we tell more of a story. Mary Lascaris It’s a big sleepover party so we’re asking all the kids to wear their pyjamas and bring their teddies. And it’s all going to be like a big sleepover and we’ll have a bit of fun with our dreams. So it should be fun!
Why do you think Hi5 appeals to so many different cultures? ML I think that singing and dancing is a universal language, so it doesn’t matter where we are in the world. And that’s what’s so special about Hi5: There’s so much music and colour and dancing, it doesn’t matter where you’re from. Kids can get involved and they can always have a good time. DZ And each cast member has come from a different background. So I’m Korean and Ainsley’s half Lebanese and Italian. [ Turns to Tanika] Half Singaporean... Scottish [ everyone laughs]. So I think each child can relate to each cast member because we’re all so different and have such different qualities and personalities. We can relate to a child. Stevie Nicholson And also the educational component of the show; we work so hard not only to entertain but to educate as well. And I think what Hi5 has done well since it started and continues to be really strong at is making learning a fun experience, using the songs and the writing and the television show, and that’s a really fun way to present a stage show. It’s a really nice environment.
The shows are so high energy. How do you think the singing and dancing help to educate kids? ML Well I think kids learn when they’re having fun. You can teach so many things through a game, through a song. And it’s just so evident when you can see the kids learning right before your eyes. Through the TV show, it gives us the space to really grab a concept and then use five areas of learning: body moves, puzzles, music, shapes and word play. And so you take those five elements of the child’s education and you make it into something amazing. Something as simple as a bunny or family, and we use that whole week to explore that whole concept, and they just think they’re having a great time. Ainsley Melham And singing and dancing is something that’s really incredible because it teaches coordination, it teaches a child selfawareness in terms of their body, it teaches them to have a voice, to communicate, language, emotional expression... ML ...to take direction... AM Absolutely. Without even being aware of it, you’re learning all that when you participate. And it’s a social thing as well, when you get a bunch of kids together and they’re singing and dancing, all of a sudden you find these social interactions that possibly you wouldn’t find maybe just sitting down, playing or talking in a classroom. It’s really wonderful to watch. ML There are a few moments on stage where we might have a partner work, where Stevie will grab my hand and we’ll do a spin. And it’s just beautiful to see, sometimes kids in the audience don’t know each other but they grab each other’s hand and start spinning around because we’re doing it! And it’s just so beautiful to watch that! Tanika Anderson It does teach the idea of love. The song ‘Love’ is so simple and it teaches them that. It’s such a basic concept. Being able to share that around with everyone and seeing the audience connect with each other and be kind to one another. It’s really nice. ML And I think the parents get a lot out of it too. It’s probably one of the only concerts ever where they can come to the show and dance with their children and be loud and interactive and have that family time. It really is a family show. Even the TV show, sitting in the lounge room, all that language is promoting so much interaction between the parent and the child.
We work so hard not only to entertain but to educate
To read the full interview, head to timeoutkl.com/kids.