Mini Studio Club makes kids dance

BEIRUT: Dancing jelly fish, Dabke, cowboys and thousands of bubbles: Mini Studio Club presented an eclectic kiddy cabaret Wednesday as part of the City Kids 2012 exhibition in Dbayyeh, which will continue through Sunday.

“Who knows how to dance Lebanese Dabke?” director Kikky Satel shouted to a crowd of noisy children, as a line of men and women in kaftans and fezzes danced onto the stage.

Dozens of businesses catering to the demands of children and expecting mothers have come together for the City Kids 2012 expo, which opened Wednesday afternoon at La Marina in the port of Dbayyeh.

The main affair is TV program Mini Studio Club’s musical variety show for toddlers and young children, in addition to shopping and games for children and their parents inside the exhibition tent.

The event is open to the public daily from 3-9 p.m., with the Mini Studio performance at 6 p.m. Tickets to the show cost LL17,000.

More than a hundred children and parents packed into the center of the stadium Wednesday evening.

A strong breeze blowing off the ocean and plenty of trees made the open-air theater cool and shady in spite of the summer sun.

Some actors mingling in the crowd and others on stage joined the young audience in raucous rounds of “Old McDonald” and the “Chicken Dance” in French.

The spacious, grassy amphitheater allowed children to try their own interpretations of Mini Studio’s modern Dabke and Brazilian samba numbers.

The actors performed to music in three different languages – Arabic, French and English – similar to the TV show, Satel said.

“We talk in three languages, not to teach them a language, but so that kids who speak Arabic and French or Arabic and English or only Arabic can understand,” she said.

Many parents even stood up to twist along with emcee Joelle.

The kids also had a chance to play games for small prizes – such as chocolate or an invitation on stage.

Hoards of smiling children proved there was plenty of fun to be had inside the exhibition space as well.

A handful of children drew an audience to a small stage, complete with a professional band, as they belted out Michel Telo’s “Ai Se Eu Te Pego.”

Others munched hotdogs, popcorn and ice cream, while mothers eyed organic baby food and state-of-the-art car seats.

The dozens of stands offered children eye candy of all sorts: paintball, racecars, face painting, kiddy clothes and accessories, handmade clocks and electronic games.

Parents-to-be also had their fair share of tempting offers: maternity clothes by Mario Mia and Plan & Bois, even a stand for Smart Cells, a company that stores stem cells from the placenta for later medical use.

For those who will miss Mini Studio in Dbayyeh this weekend, parents and children will have another chance to watch their performances, which will show all summer in Ehden and Harissa, Satel said.

“We have shows all over Lebanon. There’s lots of interaction with the kids, games and shouting back,” she said.

“The performances are very alive.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 29, 2012, on page 2.




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