Caroline Cornélis draws on everyday life to make elegant shows for young audiences. In 10:10, three dancers and a drummer recreate break time

Shows for young audiences are frequently set in fantasy and fairytale worlds, but the school playground is children’s daily domain of make-believe. A stretch of tarmac and a knackered climbing frame will host dozens of overlapping adventures, either continued next playtime or forgotten forever.

These mini playground dramas are the inspiration for a wonderfully assured dance production for over-sixes, created by Belgian choreographer Caroline Cornélis. It’s called 10:10, named after a popular time for morning break in European schools. The show begins with a musician sweeping sand to the edges of the stage before resting the brush against a drum kit, picking up a pair of sticks and pounding out a blistering solo. Three dancers appear at the wings, itching to rush on, as if anticipating the school bell. As the drumming accelerates, they storm a stage suddenly flooded with light. Break time begins.

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