A new genre of musical, created in July 1983 at the Festival de Châteauvallon Danse, “Délices” stages three female love stories, in a script adapted from the short story collection “Délices, chroniques incertaines” by Hervé Gauville (CDC, 1983).
Seven tableaux inspired by some of literature's best-known love stories (“Héloïse and Abélard”, “Orpheus and Eurydice”, “Letters of a Portuguese Nun”), follow one another, in the form of video projections produced by Charles Picq: “Un soupçon de jalousie” (A hint of jealousy), “Héloise et Abélard”, “Correspondance”, “Orfeo et Euridice” (Orpheus and Eurydice), “Palatino”, “Considère, mon amour, jusqu'à quel excès tu as manqué de prévoyance” (Consider, my love, just how much you have lacked foresight), “Femme seule en Italie avec un noyé” (Lone woman in Italy with a drowned man). Projected intermittently on a screen at the back of the stage, the films plunge the dancers into a new world: “visions of oversized leaves rustling in the wind, dunes cresting like waves in the night, a wet and cold bathroom, and finally, a railway which sinks into the greenery and uncoils itself (...)” .
In addition to the innovative idea of using a script and a filmed backdrop, something unheard of at the time, the uniqueness of “Délices” also lies in the presence of actors who mixed with the dancers – in particular the voluptuous Brazilian actress Vera Lucia Motta, whose performance “was seen as a scandal for the dance world” .
“Délices” was also Régine Chopinot's first collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier, fashion's enfant terrible at this beginning of this decade, coming as he did from the punk scene. Gaultier, captivated by “Swim one”, confided to Libération that: “I like her way of using the body without aesthetic bias, her way of sometimes confronting gestures considered as ugly, of reversing the codes and the values of movement […] her dance and my costumes: the same vision, the same distortion of meaning.”  Here Jean Paul Gaultier designed “deconstructed costumes whose pieces seem to burst out in every direction. The diversity of the body types is assured, in particular by the performance (...) of the voluptuous Brazilian Vera Motta Buono, poured into a salmon pink bullet bra corset.”  The collaboration with the designer on many more iconic pieces- “Rossignol” (Nightingale), “Le Défilé” (The Fashion show), “KOK” and later “Anna", “St George” and “Façade”, a collaboration which continued until the 2010s with “Very wetr” – helped turn Régine Chopinot into a media phenomenon of 1980s whose works went far beyond the sphere of live performance.
“Délices” used many innovative methods to help make it an ambitious, unmatched work. For Régine Chopinot, this piece was also a milestone which marked a new step on her creative path: “It's the first time I felt that I had nothing to prove to myself, and that I tried to do something different
 A. Suquet, « Chopinot », Le Mans : Cénomane, 2010, p. 27.
 A. Suquet, op. cit., p. 31.
 R. Chopinot, interview with Brigitte Paulo-Neto, « La danseuse et le créateur », Libération, June 1984 ; quoted by A. Suquet, p. 34.
 A. Suquet, op. cit., p. 31.
 Quoted by Patrick Bossatti, « “Délices” au Théâtre de la Ville », Les Saisons de la danse, No. 160, January 1984.
“Until now, Régine Chopinot has been recognised as the creator of short, effective pieces, written in a very personal and purely choreographic language (“Appel d'air” (In-draught), which was awarded a medal at Bagnolet in 1980, “Simone”, “Swim one”, “Grand Ecart” (“The splits”), etc.). This time, her work extends beyond the field of choreography. “Délices” is designed like a sort of mutated musical, firstly because the cinema plays a new role in this work – it alone constitutes the set. The videos projected on a giant screen are no longer used solely to support the images of the dance. They put the bodies into perspective. What's more, by creating their own images, they reveal a truly cinematic narrative, which, although they do not tell a story, do not upset the traditional methods of perceptions in modern dance any less. Another new method: the recourse to an actual script. The plot of “Délices” is based on seven short stories: four chronicles from the life of a woman (Un soupçon de jalousie, Correspondance, Palatino, Femme seule en Italie avec un noyé) accompanied by three great myths or love stories (The Ballad of Héloïse and Abélard, Orpheus and Eurydice and “Considère, mon amour, jusqu'à quel excès tu as manqué de prévoyance”, variations on the “Letters of a Portuguese Nun”). Lastly, the presence of actors, especially that of Vera Lucia Motta Buona, a large lady from a troop of Brazilian transvestites, together with Régine Chopinot's usual dancers (Michele Prélonge, Philippe Découflé and Monet Robier), all wearing Jean Paul Gaultier's grotesque costumes, contributed to distorting the order of things. All in all, “Délices” is ambiguous and not particularly easy to watch.”
Ch. A., « De délices en mutants », Libération, 17 January 1984
“Once upon a time (..) “Délices”, a kind of choreographed photo novel, which the audience's gaze synthesises. An ambitious work which, this summer, sometimes divided the audience, unable to see sufficiently, in depth, its second, if not hidden, meaning. Film images on a large screen and a woman at the window. Run, dance, wait. It's not Chopinot. She will arrive a little later. Each woman has her own love story and Hervé Gauville wrote about them all in turn, in prose or in verse, reinventing the myths of Héloïse and Abélard, Orpheus and Eurydice, the Portuguese nun, and other myths of the unlucky in love. Some are beautiful and some a little dark. (...) From the literary text to the film, from the film to the dance, the story progresses well. The choreography enriches the story with its nuances, its ruptures, its curves and its sometimes dizzying peaks. Because ultimately, it is the choreography which brings “Délices” together and which translates this hidden, intimate meaning, which verges on despair, war, death as well as love, all the while whispering (...).”
Lise Brunel, « Les délices amoureux de Régine Chopinot », Le Matin, 17 January 1984
Updating: February 2013
Régine Chopinot, born in 1952 in Fort-de-l'Eau (today known as Bordj El Kiffan), in Algeria, was attracted to choreographic art from early childhood. After studying classical dance, she discovered contemporary dance with Marie Zighera in 1974. She moved to Lyon where she founded her first company in 1978, the Compagnie du Grèbe, which included dancers, actors and musicians. Here, she created her first choreographies. Three years later, she was awarded second prize in the Concours chorégraphique international de Bagnolet (Bagnolet International Choreographic Contest) for “Halley's Comet” (1981), later known as “Appel d'air”. Her next pieces of work “Délices” (Delights) and “Via”, introduced other media including the cinema to the world of dance. In 1983 with “Délices”, Régine Chopinot began her longstanding partnership with the fashion designer, Jean Paul Gaultier, which would characterize the period, which included works such as “Le Défilé” (The Fashion show) (1985), “K.O.K.” (1988), “ANA” (1990), “Saint Georges” (1991) and “Façade” (1993). In 1986, Régine Chopinot was appointed director of the Centre chorégraphique national de Poitou-Charentes (Poitou-Charentes National Choreography Centre) in La Rochelle (where she succeeded Jacques Garnier and Brigitte Lefèvre's Théâtre du Silence), which went on to become the Ballet Atlantique-Régine Chopinot (BARC), in 1993. Régine Chopinot made a myriad of artistic encounters: from visual artists like Andy Goldsworthy, Jean Le Gac and Jean Michel Bruyère, to musicians such as Tôn-Thât Tiêt and Bernard Lubat.
At the beginning of the 90s, she moved away from – according to her own expression – “ultra-light spaces” in which, at a young age, she had become acknowledged, in particular through her partnership with Jean Paul Gaultier. She then became fascinated with experimenting on confronting contemporary dance with natural elements and rhythms and on testing age-old, complex body sciences and practices, such as yoga. In 1999, as part of “associate artists”, Régine Chopinot invited three figures from the world of contemporary dance to partner with her for three years on her artistic project: Françoise Dupuy, Dominique Dupuy and Sophie Lessard joined the BARC's troupe of permanent dancers and consultants-researchers, as performers, pedagogues and choreographers.
In 2002, she initiated the “triptyque de la Fin des Temps” (Triptych of the End of Time), a long questioning of choreographic writing and creation subsequent to her creation of a voluntary state of crisis of general notions of time, of memory and of construction. “Chair-obscur”, her first chapter, focused on erasing the past, the memory, whilst “WHA” was based on the disappearance of the future. “O.C.C.C.” dealt with the “time that's left”, with what is left to be done, with what can still be done, in that simple, yet essential spot called performance. In 2008, “Cornucopiae”, the last work created within the Institution, concluded the end of a form of performance and opened the doors to another approach to sensorial perception.
Concurrently to her choreographic work, Régine Chopinot worked, as a performer, with other artists that she was close to: Alain Buffard (“Wall dancin' - Wall fuckin'”, 2003; “Mauvais Genre”, 2004), Steven Cohen (“I wouldn't be seen dead in that!”, 2003). In addition, she trained and directed Vietnamese dancers as part of a partnership with the Vietnam Higher School of Dance and the Hanoi Ballet-Opera (“Anh Mat”, 2002; “Giap Than”, 2004). In 2008, the choreographer left the CCN in La Rochelle and created the Cornucopiae - the independent dance Company, a new structure that would, henceforth, harbour creation and repertoire, all the works of Régine Chopinot. In 2010, she chose to live and work in Toulon, by its port.
Since 2009, Régine Chopinot has been venturing, questioning and intensifying her quest for the body in movement linked to the strength of the spoken word, through cultures organized by and on oral transmission, in New Caledonia, New Zealand and Japan. These last three years have been punctuated by a myriad of artistic creations: choreographies and films resulting from artistic In Situ experiences were created as part of the South Pacific Project. A privileged relationship initiated in 2009 with the Du Wetr Group (Drehu/Lifou) bore its fruits with the creation of “Very Wetr!”at the Avignon Festival in July 2012 and went on to be reproduced at the Centre national de la danse (National Centre for Dance) in February 2013.
Last update : March 2012
Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq (1952-2012) entered working life in the 70s through theatre and photography. A- fter resuming his studies (Maîtrise de Linguistique - Lyon ii, Maîtrise des sciences et Techniques de la Communication - grenoble iii), he then focused on video, first in the field of fine arts at the espace Lyonnais d'art Contemporain (ELAC) and with the group « Frigo », and then in dance.
On creation of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon in 1980, he was asked to undertake a video documentation project that he has continued ever since. During the ‘80s, a decade marked in France by the explosion of contemporary dance and the development of video, he met numerous artists such as andy Degroat, Dominique Bagouet, Carolyn Carlson, régine Chopinot, susanne Linke, Joëlle Bouvier and regis Obadia, Michel Kelemenis. He worked in the creative field with installations and on-stage video, as well as in television with recorded shows, entertainment and documentaries.
His work with Dominique Bagouet (80-90) was a unique encounter. He documents his creativity, assisting with Le Crawl de Lucien and co-directing with his films Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux and 10 anges. in the 90s he became director of video development for the Maison de la Danse and worked, with the support of guy Darmet and his team, in the growing space of theatre video through several initiatives:
- He founded a video library of dance films with free public access. This was a first for France. Continuing the video documentation of theatre performances, he organised their management and storage.
- He promoted the creation of a video-bar and projection room, both dedicated to welcoming school pupils.
- He started «présentations de saisons» in pictures.
- He oversaw the DVD publication of Le tour du monde en 80 danses, a pocket video library produced by the Maison de la Danse for the educational sector.
- He launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created Numeridanse.
His main documentaries are: enchaînement, Planète Bagouet, Montpellier le saut de l'ange, Carolyn Carlson, a woman of many faces, grand ecart, Mama africa, C'est pas facile, Lyon, le pas de deux d'une ville, Le Défilé, Un rêve de cirque.
He has also produced theatre films: Song, Vu d'ici (Carolyn Carlson), Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux, 10 anges, Necesito and So schnell, (Dominique Bagouet), Im bade wannen, Flut and Wandelung (Susanne Linke), Le Cabaret Latin (Karine Saporta), La danse du temps (Régine Chopinot), Nuit Blanche (Abou Lagraa), Le Témoin (Claude Brumachon), Corps est graphique (Käfig), Seule et WMD (Françoise et Dominique Dupuy), La Veillée des abysses (James Thiérrée), Agwa (Mourad Merzouki), Fuenteovejuna (Antonio Gades), Blue Lady revistied (Carolyn Carlson).
Source: Maison de la Danse de Lyon
Choreography : Régine Chopinot
Interpretation : interprétation Régine Chopinot (danseuse), Philippe Decouflé (danseur), Michèle Prélonge (danseuse), Monnet Robier (danseur), Eric Larrondo (danseur), Laurent Fachard (comédien), Vicente Di Franco filho (comédien) et Vera Lucia Motta Buono (comédienne)
Set design : Rémi Nicolas
Text : Hervé Gauville « Délices, chroniques incertaines »
Original music : Laurent Stopnicki
Video conception : Charles Picq
Costumes : Jean Paul Gaultier
Settings : Robert Faurous-Palacio