Saltbush © TPO / Insite Art
logos - Click to enlarge, open in a new window


Compagnia TPO & Insite Arts in co-production with the Teatro Metastasio Stabile de Toscane

Artistic co-directors: Davide Venturini (Italy) & Jason Cross (Australia)

Music: Lou Bennett (Australia/Yorta Yorta/Dja Dja Wurrung)

Choreography: Deon Hastie (Australia/Tjapukai) 

Dancers: Rosealee Pearson (Australia/Yolngu), Sani Townson (Australia/Koedal Saibai) 

Video artist: Delwyn Mannix (Australia/Wangkangurru) 

Digital designer: Elsa Mersi (Italy)

Technical designer: Rossano Monti (Italy) 

Artistic collaborations: Edoardo Donatini (Italy) and Francesco Gandi (Italy)









Représentation d'un danseur Makishi - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
Makishi © Maison des Cultures du Monde
Représentation d'un danseur Dogon - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
danseur Dogon © Maison des Cultures du Monde

events for young visitors

In connection with its temporary exhibitions and collections, the museum offers families and schools performances inspired by or derived from elsewhere.

During the Autumn half-term holiday, in connection with the exhibition The origins of Aborigine painting, Australia – Tjukurrtjanu (10 October 2012 – 20 January 2013), you can discover the pictorial and musical universe of the Australian Aborigines, with Saltbush.

In the spring, two performances of  Masks and drums of Africa are reserved for school visitors: a Makishi masked dance in May and a Dogon masked dance in June.


from Wednesday 31 October to Sunday 4 November 2012

Before the arrival of the British in Australia, the continent consisted of more than 250 Aborigine countries with different languages. The story of Saltbush accompanies the journey of two friends speaking different languages and crossing Australia on foot: a river, a city, a desert, to the shores of the Ocean. Their knowledge and understanding of Australia grow as they pass through these different Aborigine countries. During their journey, the two friends are guided by a narrator, who serves as a spiritual guide.


Photo extraite de Saltbush
Saltbush © TPO/Insite Arts

Throughout the performance, the young spectators are several times invited to join the three actors on what they call a "magic carpet": 40 Aborigine drawings are projected onto the ground, showing the outlines of an Australia that is as real as it is mythical and imaginary.

an interactive journey

Saltbush is an interactive journey through the culture and landscape of Aborigine Australia, celebrated in stories, dance, music and song. The Australian theatre company Insite Arts, directed by Jason Cross, and the internationally renowned Italian company TPO, have worked closely with Aborigine and non-Aborigine Australians to achieve a completely new creation. 

The watching children are invited to explore, play and dance with the actors as the landscape changes around them. Saltbush offers the opportunity for an immersive experience, and the young spectators participate in the visual beauty of this original journey in four paintings animated in dance. 

The show is set to music by the Australian Aborigine artist Lou Bennett.

useful information

  • event from 4 years
  • Claude Lévi-Strauss theatre, musée du quai Branly
  • 2 performances per day, at 2.00 pm and 5.00 pm
  • prices for events for young visitors: full price € 8/€ 6 reduced price

click here for the ticket office


Masks and drums of Africa: performances for school visitors

In partnership with the Maison des Cultures du Monde, in the context of the Festival de l’Imaginaire


Makishi, masked dances of the peoples of the Zambezi

Performance for school groups, followed by a discussion with the artists
Thursday 16 May 2013 at 2.00 pm

In southern Africa, the Makishi masked dances are still practised in the villages, during initiation rituals and on festive occasions. These large-scale graphic masks, representing animals, ancestors and frightening or comical mythical characters perform a virtuoso dance accompanied by a choir and drums. After an hour of these spectacular dances, pupils will be able to talk to the artists and wearers of the masks.


Dogon masked dances 

Performance for school groups, followed by a discussion with the artists
Thursday 13 June 2013 at 2.00 pm

Among the Dogon of Mali, the Awa initiation society celebrates every two or three years the end of the period of mourning for the people who have died during those years. Along the paths comes a procession of dancing symbolic masks, such as the "sister of the masks", the "Dogon cross" and the "house with two storeys", but also representations of humans and animals. To an accompaniment of singing, drums and yelping, the masked dancers seem literally to fly over the ground.


useful information

  • prices: € 5 per pupil, free for teachers and accompanying parents
  • reservations: Maison des Cultures du Monde, +33 1 45 44 72 30
  • duration of each performance: 1.5 hours (one hour for the performance and 30 minutes' discussion with the artists)

click here for the ticket office