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

Time Out Malaysia Kids - - Culture -

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 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

as well

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