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Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2014

Choreographer(s) : Decouflé, Philippe (France)

Video producer : Maison de la Danse


Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2014

Choreographer(s) : Decouflé, Philippe (France)

Video producer : Maison de la Danse


A creator of dreamlike metamorphoses, Philippe Decouflé draws from scholarly and popular sources alike, shattering rules by injecting elements of the spectacular, burlesque and bizarre into his art. With 'Contact', he has created a musical and visual comedy, a preposterous tale of our (super-) human passions. The sixteen dancers and actors summon up art, love, knowledge, greed and the divine; question the meaning of good and evil; explore the universal dual essence by injecting Faustian romanticism with Découfle's own particular brand of fantasy and the absurd. In this call to the audience's pleasure and imagination, only freedom counts, sung out through passion, fire and madness. On stage, contrasts are superimposed and atmospheres changed, from the chiaroscuro of Faust, a German tale by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, to the flamboyance of Jérôme Robbins' West Side Story. The colours of the costumes scream out of the broken black and white lines of the Expressionist set decoration. Pre-filmed or live-feed images – kaleidoscopic, shimmering or swirling – multiply the realm of perceptions and falsify the real. Dance, singing, music, acrobatics and magic combined with the video create phantasmagoria. Added to this, Philippe Decouflé deploys his original vocabulary in a permanent dialogue between joyful collective frescoes and restrained, intimate sequences, choreographed with skilfully orchestrated geometry and danced pantomime.

Source : Maison de la Danse

Decouflé, Philippe

Dancer, choreographer, director and art director

As a child, I dreamt of becoming a comic book artist. Drawing is usually the start of my creative process. I just throw out ideas and sketch out pictures that pass through my head. My culture is comics, musicals, nightclub dancing, and also Oskar Schlemmer, the Bauhaus choreographer. Discovering photos of characters from his Triadisches Ballett was a revelation for me. I had always wanted to work with simple geometric shapes like cubes and triangles. I liked seeing how these lines and volumes behaved with each other. Alwin Nikolaïs taught me the importance of light and costume, and the confidence you need to mix everything together. Technically, it was Merce Cunningham who taught me the most about dance. I was taking video courses he was giving in New York. It was fascinating. That’s where I learned how to solve problems of distance and geometry, and the basic principles of optics and movement. Tex Avery inspired me a lot in thinking up gestures that are almost impossible to do. I’ve always kept something of that desire to create something strange, extreme or crazy in my movements. I’m looking for a dance style that’s off-balance, always on the verge of toppling over. With influences like the Marx Brothers, for example, and in particular Groucho Marx, I’ve developed a taste for naughty risk-taking, and comic repetition of mistakes.

Source : Philippe Découflé

More information :


Choreography : Philippe Decouflé

Choreography assistance : Daphné Mauger

Interpretation : Christophe Salengro, Alice Roland, Clémence Galliard, Eric Martin, Alexandra Naudet, Stéphane Chivot, Flavien Bernezet, Sean Patrick Mombruno, Meritxell Checa Esteban, Violette Wanty, Julien Ferranti, Joannis Michos, Lisa Robert, Suzanne Soler

Stage direction : Philippe Decouflé

Set design : Jean Rabasse, Gladys Garot Frati

Text : Gestes et Opinions du Dr Faustroll, Pataphysicien (Alfred Jarry), Faust (de J.W. Von Goethe, trad. Gérard de Nerval), textes originaux écrits par Stéphane Chivot, Clémence Galliard, Alice Roland, Christophe Salengro

Live music : live Nosfell, Pierre Le Bourgeois

Video conception : Olivier Simola, Laurent Radanovic, Marcel Storr Les mégapoles, en accord avec Liliane et Bertrand Kempf, extraits de Faust, une légende allemande, de F.W. Murnau, version muette (UFA,1926), films originaux réalisés par Philippe Decouflé et Olivier Simola

Lights : Patrice Besombes, Chloé Bouju

Costumes : Laurence Chalou, Léa Rutkowski, Jean Malo, François Blaizot, Charlie Le Mindu, Eric Halley, Christophe Oliveira, Guillaume Troublé

Settings : Jean Rabasse, Gladys Garot Frati

Technical direction : Lahlou Benamirouche

Sound : Jean-Pierre Spirli

Other collaborations : Michel Merlin

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Frank Piquard, Estelle Le Goasduff, Juliette Medevielle

Production / Coproduction of the video work : 24 images, Oïbo / Compagnie DCA - Philippe Decouflé, La Coursive - Scène nationale de La Rochelle

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