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Dancing with crocodiles

13 year old Aurora Skåre was a staff member of DANS in Paris to see Akram Khan's very first family performance.

Portrett Foto Chotto Desh Foto Karianne Skare 2 10

I was in Paris with my mom to see the performance Chotto Desh, made by British choreographer Akram Khan. It was not easy to get to the theater since neither of us was known and there was also a train strike. In the end, we drove into a taxi and luckily came to the show on time!

There is only one dancer in the show, but two are switching. Nicolas Ricchini from France and Dennis Alamanos from Greece.

Chotto Desh Jean Louis Fernandez048

When they let people in the hall we saw more adults than children in the audience. It seemed a bit strange since Chotto Desh is a dance performance made for children. It's about a boy and his challenges and dreams of the future. It was not easy to understand the talk from the voice-over in the performance since everything was in French. I understood when the boy disagreed with his family, because the voices were loud and strict. Together with the dancer on stage there were pictures and cartoons-like animals and surroundings that made it possible to understand the story even though I did not understand the language. Although there was nothing but the dancer on stage I understood what he would convey through the body language and the sounds of the speakers. It was a lot of active dance, with high jumpes and fast motion, but also soft and dreamy.

It was impressive how exact the dancer and comics were, the show was so exciting I forgot that there was only a dancer on stage. The audience loved the performance! The dancer had to get out on stage five times to receive applause. The audience would not stop to clap.

When we met the dancers after the performance it was surprising to me that that Nicolas, who had danced that night, did not seem tired even though he had been dancing on stage for almost an hour.

I think it was difficult to ask interesting questions to the dancers since I had not understood everything, but they made me feel interesting and important.

Portrett Foto Chotto Desh Foto Karianne Skare 2 9

We talked about the performance and about their life on tour. Dennis and Nicolas have toured Chotto Desh for three years, the show we saw was number 292. It has been shown in many countries such as Sweden, England, the United States and France. Soon they will go to Japan and then to Norway in October! They hope the show can help children in a way by inspiring the dance and maybe helping children who have to make difficult decisions in their lives.

I think it was nice that the dancers were so good friends since they travel so much and look at each other's performances every night. They give each other feedback and try to make the performance better and better each time. I asked if they think it's a difference to play a performance for children than for adults, and they think so.

Children are more spontaneous in their reactions. They break into laughter and come with sudden feedback. Perhaps especially when they are with their friends from the class and not the parents. It gives us a lot of energy when we stand on stage, says Dennis.

Portrett Foto Chotto Desh Foto Karianne Skare 2 15

I look forward to seeing the show again in Oslo. Especially since it's English voice-over so I can understand the whole story.

Chotto Desh, 29.–30. September 2018

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