Kabinet K: the dance company letting children play with fire

Staged amid sharp rocks and tin cans on a desolate wasteland, Raw asks its young performers to rip up parental rules, evoking the resilience of those who survive on the margins of society

There’s a scene in Raw where a group of young children act out an impromptu picnic. As it progresses, you can feel the adults in the audience stiffen while the kids beside them stare at the stage in awe. Against every parental safety rule, the young performers smash open a can of frankfurters with small, sharp rocks, then mess around with lighted matches as they try to fire up an ancient primus stove.

Joke Laureyns, co-founder of the Belgian dance company Kabinet K, laughs when she describes the rehearsal where that scene was improvised. “I was thinking, ‘Oh, are we crossing a line here?’ And the children were giving us a little look: ‘Can we really do this, can we really have this freedom?’ But we let them go on. There was no real danger. When we work with these children, we make a situation of trust. It was beautiful to see how they played with the elements we gave them. We have an idea of what we might get from them, but there is always a degree of wonder at what comes out.”

Related: Edinburgh festival 2016: 21 unmissable shows for kids and their families

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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