A French theater company is bringing a magical children’s show to Beijing.
Mademoiselle Rêve (Miss Dream) combines live performance with stop-motion animation to create a visual and poetic spectacle for children age 6 months to 5 years. The show takes us on a journey through the seasons and the cycle of life, and is described as a “hymn to nature, which survives and endures.” We asked animator and director Renaud Dupré where the idea for Mademoiselle Rêve came from.
“My girlfriend Emilie [Chevrier, who plays the main role of Sidonie] wanted to talk about the cycle of life. She was already performing for very small children, so we wrote a story with no words.”
Then there’s no language barrier?
“The only words in the performance are ‘ni hao!’ All the rest is music and poetical imagery.”
How long did the show take to develop?
“From when we first had the idea, we wrote the story in half a day… then it was two years before it was performed! Of course we weren’t working only on Mademoiselle Rêve during that time, but we had to create the animations, then there were rehearsals on stage. And if things didn’t work we had to go back and reshoot the film. It was a very big job.”
The animals are full of charm and character. Where did they come from?
“We made them all ourselves, from junk, from recycled materials. We wanted to use old things but they have to be able to move for the video, so it was an interesting challenge!”
How have children responded to the show?
“The good thing is that even though the children are very small, they don’t move around much, they just listen and watch. There’s something happening all the time, and the show is only half an hour long. At the end we put the lights on and they can look at the animals, ask us questions, we talk about the animations and so on.”
Are you taking the show around the world now?
“This is the first time we’ve taken it out of France! We’ve performed it a hundred times in France, now we have three weeks in China, and after that Belgium. We’ve had interest from Spain and Taiwan, so this is just the beginning.”
Photos: Inside Out Theatre