Four Little Girls


Blending dance and puppetry, Four Little Girls looked at life and death from a child's point of view. It was based on Pablo Picasso's 1948 text, "Playscript 32", adapted and directed by choreographer Ariette Taylor.

Four Little Girls toured Australia during the 1988 Bicentennial celebrations and toured South America and South-East Asia from 1994 to 1997.

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Ariette Taylor interviewed by Russell Starke with scenes from Four Little Girls. Segment from Showbiz Artz © SBS TV, 1988.

Excerpts from 1993 promotional showreel compiled for publicists Meredith King and Associates.

white plywood shapes against black background
Flat shapes become a dancing girl
Four life-size paper dolls against a black background
Four paper girls unfold
girl dances in front of life-size paper girls
First Little Girl
girl sits halfway up a red wooden ladder
Third Little Girl imagines Heaven
four girls stand together smiling
" I'm happy."
"The sun stuffed with mulberries, full of ribbons ..."
small girl asleep on large raised disc of yellow stretch fabric
Lying in the sun
two girls chase lengths of white cloth swirling mid-air above them
The future calls, the girls answer "Coming!"
four puppet heads in a simple sailboat
Setting out for parts unknown
girl with Goat and Bride puppets
"Handsome young man, good-looking sweetheart"
girl pushes Goat puppet away
"I hate you!"
giant bird plucks at its breast drawing red ribbons of blood
The bird that ate itself
devils and satyrs play a card game on a coffin table
Gambling for souls
girl stands tense as hellish creatures dance behind her
Imagining hell
puppeteer costumed as satyr carries tall, twisted red candelabra
Demon parade
puppeteer costumed as giant horse
The Horse
girl confronts large eagle puppet
Fourth Little Girl and eagle
girl looks up at large eagle puppet
Conversation with the eagle
three girls chatting and laughing on a round couch decorated like a cake
Three Little Girls
close-up of three laughing girls
puppeteer offers girl puppet dove
Reaching for the dove
black-clad puppeteers carry sleeping girls in smoke and orange light
four girls watch as paper dolls, lit from candles, burn away
Paper dolls burn and vanish
four girls and four puppeteers stand onstage as audience applauds
Curtain call, Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne 1988
eight girls assembled at airport entrance
Two casts at Adelaide Airport, 1988
production team with goat puppet
Production team
set model with ladder, large faces and paper doll.
Set model
set model with paper doll and red coffins, candelabra and barrow
Set model, Hell scene
large abstract face in style of Picasso
Set model
woman stands on workbench beside tall red candelabra
Building Hell
long view from hall balcony: people, props, sets and active smoke machine
Rehearsal, Fitzroy Town Hall 1988
puppeteers in black hood and costume operate life-size goat puppet and cardboard girl
Rehearsing the Goat
three people manoeuvre a complex cat's cradle  of elastic rope connected to a large round rotating base
girls posing
Two casts rehearse the beach scene
Show advertised on billboard over theatre entrance
Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne 1988
advertising billboard next to a road with text and black and white photo of final scene
Bangkok, 1996
four girls in theatre foyer
Bangkok, 1996
UNESCO award, Bogata, Columbia 1994