It seems important to me, at the heart of the Company’s research, to encounter – through movement – children for whom simply being in and with the world is a challenge. If in our performances we play with what is strange, the communication of what is intimate and troubling, perhaps we have something to share with children whose limits are agitated, for whom what’s strange is often painful, for those who are often marginalised?
It all began with a desire to bring our artistic approach to converge with the care for autistic children. The first ever workshop took place on a Thursday in 1999. Since 2008, Nicole Mossoux, Elodie Paternostre, Trees Traversier and Virginie Verdier have monthly meetings with the children from the Corto Centre (Mont-sur-Marchienne) in Charleroi Danse’s studios for two sessions of shared movements.
In addition, Elodie Paternostre (Névé asbl) and choreographer Fré Werbrouck conduct workshops for the teenagers of the Acis Clairval House in Barvaux, as well as for the adults at the Centre les Hautes Ardennes in Vielsalm.
During the workshops, we invite the children into gestural explorations, conducted in close relationship to the music. Focusing on their movements and canalizing them through spatial and rhythmic patterns bring the children to a heightened awareness of their bodies while opening up their creative potential. Establishing a group dynamic allows the creation of visual and tactile links between them. The notion of the group, even if it is chaotic with autistic children, is an important aspect of this endeavour. Close physical contact with each other is encouraged, as well as rhythmic coincidences and interactions at a distance in order to establish a connection, however fleeting, between them. The children evolve in a defined space. They are presented with the opportunity to express themselves in total freedom and hopefully discover pleasure through movement and rhythm.