Dance for young audiences is still very much in its infancy in South Africa. While Nicola Elliott can be credited with creating the first dance piece for under-2s (Fingers and Toes, My Body Knows) which has been invited to tour to Ricca Rica Festa in Japan later this year, there have been few other local choreographers brave enough to tackle the youngest audience. Thus, ASSITEJ SA was delighted to help broker a partnership between two leading dance companies interested in work for this age group: one South African and one French!
Michele Dhallu, the artistic director of acclaimed French dance company, Carre Blanc Cie, spent a month in South Africa sharing skills with one of our most important contemporary female dancers, Lulu Mlangeni of Vuyani Dance, a widely-travelled, cutting edge contemporary dance company led by Gregory Vuyani Maqoma. “Chiffonade" has been given a new, South African life, and Lulu fills the work with a vibrant energy and accessibility, which makes this captivating dance piece entirely engaging for 1-4 years old.
Due to Michele's generosity, Vuyani Dance will now be able to tour this new production of “Chiffonade" to children nationally, supported by ASSITEJ SA. We are hoping to be able to raise sufficient funds to support widespread touring of the beautiful work, while also using it as a vehicle to get more South African artists interested in creating original dance work for the early years. Michele was also able to run a workshops for South African dancers, choreographers and theatre-makers, which was very well received.