I had the good fortune to be in Paris when the movie “Chocolat” came out last February (2016), which portrays the famous turn of the century clown duo Chocolat et Foottit. To celebrate the release, there was an exhibit on the duo at the Maison des Metallos. here are a few photos I snapped.
There is a lot written about the duo. John Townsen has a great post about them on his fabulously extensive blog, All Fall Down.
Dominique Jando also has written an excellent introduction to the Duo’s work in Circopedia..
Pioneer of Hospital Clowning
Not as well known is the fact that Chocolat is perhaps the true father of Hospital Clowning. Although not the first circus clown to go visit children in the hospital (Fratellini et al), he was the first to visit regularly going to the children’s ward at the hôpital Hérold in Paris twice a week for many years starting in 1908. This model of regular visits is one of the foundations of contemporary health care clowning. The exhibit documents this with a panel describing his work along with several photographs
Chocolat at the hospital circa 2010.
©Photo M.-L. Branger. Roger-Viollet.