Interview: Chiffonnade director Michèle Dhallu – 'Children are so open-minded, much more than adults'

French company Carré Blanc bring their delicate dance show for younger audiences, Chiffonnade, to the Fringe

Fringe interview: Chiffonnade – 'Children are so open-minded, much more than adults'

Why make dance for children and families? 'Dance is a non-verbal way to communicate and share emotions,' replies Michèle Dhallu, artistic director of French company Carré Blanc. 'As babies, we're mostly in this non-verbal state. Adults are too, except we forget it most of the time. Body language is so clear, so sincere, that it suits children. And they're so open-minded, much more than adults, and difficult – because patience means nothing for them.'

Performed by the 'generous, clever and spontaneous' dancer Suzel Barbaroux, Dhallu's Chiffonnade uses different fabrics to conjure environment, character and atmosphere. But what motivated the creation of this dreamy, 30-minute solo? 'Becoming a mother and seeing my daughter growing,' explains Dhallu. 'Like every child she had this desire to discover, a tremendous curiosity and need to understand. Chiffonnade is a metaphor of growing.'

Wherever the show is presented, what Dhallu enjoys most is, she says, 'to look at the audience and see a father with a baby on his knees, both of them smiling, eyes wide open and sharing the same pleasure.'

Institut Français d'Ecosse, 6–28 Aug (not 10, 15, 22), 10.30am & 11.30am, £8 (£6). Preview 5 Aug, £6.


  • 3 stars

Carré Blanc Cie Chiffonnade is a choreographic creation rich in raw material which can be felt, touched, rustled, pleated, torn, that can be worn or used to disguise, and transform our appearances in the eyes of others. Cocooned within a sphere, a character and a multitude of fabrics become partners in a dance evoking…


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