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A new take on 'Little Red Riding Hood' at Millennium Stage

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Entertainment,Music,Marie Gullard

Watch with your ears and listen with your eyes. No riddle here; but rather a gentle directive to young audiences who will gather to watch Traffik Theater at work as they present the story of Little Red Riding Hood on Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage Monday evening.

As part of the Kids Euro Festival, the largest children's performing arts fete in the country, Traffik Theater is one of free, family-friendly events that have been presented throughout since Oct. 17. The program runs to Nov. 14.

"What we hope children will take away from Kids Euro Festival is that while it's a very big world and there are lots of differences between countries, there is also a lot we have in common," said Marie-Helene Renaud Zavala, the project direct of the event who also represents La Maison Francaise in the Embassy of France. "These performances and workshops can introduce them to all of Europe in just one month, and as far as we know, there is no cultural festival in the United States that can do that."

Geared specifically for children ages two through 12 and their families, Kids Euro Festival gathers together 27 embassies of the European Union and 30 American cultural institutions in a partnership that brings imaginative live shows of puppetry, dance, music, theater, storytelling, as well as films and reading workshops to dozens of local neighborhoods. Twenty-five D.C. Public Library branches and most of the Prince George's County Memorial Library locations, will serve as event venues. The Library of Congress, the National Children's Museum and the Kennedy Center are also participants.

Onstage
Little Red Riding Hood
Where: Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW
When: 6 p.m. Monday
Info: Free; 800-444-1324; 202-467-4600; kennedycenter.org; kidseurofestival.org; 202-944-6006

Traffik Theater's Little Red Riding Hood this evening is in the pure Traffik style of telling stories in a minimalistic way, with words, cello music and a few simple objects to create a world of imagery where children develop their own particular fantasy. Dan Tanson and Michael Boulanger, who together display award-winning directing, producing, and musical performing skills, make up the Luxembourg-based Traffic Theater, just one of the many artists committed to the massive entertainment project.

"We hope that the Kids Euro Festival will spark their creativity and interest in the arts," noted Zavala, who envisions the project as a creative nudge to future performers and audiences.

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