Review: Embrace

IT’S 7.30pm on a balmy October evening at the Botanic Gardens. The mood is ethereal. Gathered at the North Gate, around 30 people are about to walk through a hedge and into a magical world of faerie-like wonderment.

Danuta Ramos aerialis t at Embrace. Pic: Comp

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Over the next 75 minutes, they’ll discover glowing tents that ‘speak’ about environmental issues, brightly-coloured tree nymphs that emerge from giant baubles, and a secret neon-lit garden that reminds us to feel more and think less. They’ll also get to indulge in a complimentary cup of spicy chai masala tea.

Inspired by a group of Indian women who succeeded in creating environmental change (banning the felling of trees), the connecting message in all that’s seen and heard would seem to be this, not only can one person change the world, they can influence people about issues close to their heart in a positive, innovative and entertaining way too. And that’s precisely what Vision Mechanics achieve here.

The event is led by likeable storyteller Kim Bergsagel whose chirpy, hippie-chick demeanour initially gives the impression she may once have been a children’s TV presenter. Give it a few minutes, though, and you’ll realise she’s merely trying to lift the gloom in a weary world.

As well as Bergsagel’s playful sense of adventure, what makes this enchanting night tour of the Botanics (you receive a torch) that little bit special is the sense of mystery.

Highlights include traditional Indian dancing surrounded by candlelight, an emotionally-moving piece of animation that sheds light on the origins of the first ‘tree-hugger’, and multi-coloured ‘flowers’ that tell the tale of inspiring people.

Get a nice night and it’s a relaxing, uplifting experience. Let’s hope the Botanics put on more of this kind of entertainment.

Embrace it.

• Run ends tomorrow