Léwé ou l’enfance de l’art has evolved from the training Danse de Création. The starting point in the performance is a recognizable idea for all children: What do I want to become when I grow up? Below it is a more severe theme: child slavery, still widely occurring in Benin (in 2011 was more than 20% of children below 14 years old working under poor circomstances).

Whilst other children dream of a profession as a lawyer, doctor or pilot, Léwé wants to become a dancer. However the combination of dancing and going to school is not that easy in Benin. Especially not for girls. Lewe however is stubborn, runs into trouble at school and with her father and she’s turned out onto the streets. A spooky man finds her there and turns her into his house slave. Here it is her stubbornness and power that safes her; Léwé sees a chance to escape and by dancing she knows how to develop her personality. Thanks to her free spirit and creativity she succeeds to break through the resistance of her father and teacher. She can go back, both home and to school, and continue to dance. One day she might become a much better lawyer or engineer, or maybe a dancer.


The performance Lewe has a special design: together with 16 professional dancers 4 different classes of primary schools are perform a scene in the show and finish all together in a spectacular final scene. Between 2008 and 2010 these scenes were rehearsed in many schools in the country by the dancers, combined with workshops in creative and cultural education, followed by the performance. This way Léwé has been performed over 30 times in schoolyards for a big crowd, as not only the whole school but all parents came to watch.

Lewe has reached about 100,000 children and parents alike. The program ran from 2008-2010 and was supported by Nuffic, the Dutch Department of Foreign Affairs and DOEN Foundation.