FLUIDE GLACIAL (June 1990) :
“As you have no doubt noticed, contemporary dance is not a topic that we go on about much in this column.
“But sure, these somersaults by Decouflé, choreographer of Codex and director of a couple of wacky videos (for New Order and the Fine Young Cannibals) resembles more like a carnival attraction, a cartoon, or pure Dadaist cabaret than some stuffy Béjart-style ballet. In short, it's modern dance for people who don't like modern dance. So last March, at the Grevin Museum Theater, a few of us were able to see Decouflé's new show, called November, just to make sure we weren't in the wrong season. In fact, it was a kind a rough draft for a big show he is presenting in and which is meant to be called Triton.
Anyway, it starts with the priceless Christophe Salengro, disguised as a court jester and wrapped in locks and chains, powdered snout and scarlet ears, filling in for Mr. Loyal, and starts off on a long-winded rigmarole about the origins of jerk dance.
After a intermission featuring a silent film from the “belle époque” (La Vache qui rumine by Georges Rey 1910), we're off again: unlikely Popeye and Olive Oil couples dressed part neo-antique Toltec costume, part Flash Gordon, entangle themselves in a rubberized java dance, a woman with an Assyrian-Babylonian beard dislocates her loins, a rocket-girl blasts off towards the mesmerized audience. Christophe Salengro returns to do a little demonstration of traditional French square dancing, while projections of psychedelic confetti and rays of wavy zebra stripes stroboscope across the body of a white-clad female dancer who wriggles across a stage enveloped in darkness. All this is interspersed with interludes from avant-garde cinema from generations past (the short films Jeux des reflets et de la vitesse [Reflection and Speed Effects – pretty much what it says on the tin] by Henri Chaumette, 1924, and Free Radicals – scratched straight onto film stock by Len Lye, 1958)
“Set to the electronic orchestrations of bourrée and gavotte dances by the industrial group of Spot and Caro, called Parazite Système Sonore, the whole spectacle can be consumed with the same sense of jubilation as a good old episode of Bozo the clown...”
CHOREOGRAPHER: PHILIPPE DECOUFLÉ
ASSISTANT: PASCALE HENROT
PERFORMERS: MARION BALLESTER - MURIEL CORBEL - VÉRONIQUE DEFRANOUX - MICHÈLE PRÉLONGE - HERMAN DIEPHUIS - ERIC MARTIN - CHRISTOPHE SALENGRO
STAGE MANAGER : SERGE LONGUET
SET : PIERRE-JEAN VERBRAEKEN
LIGHT : SERGE MAURIN
SOUND : SPOT
COSTUME : PHILIPPE GUILLOTEL
FILMAKER : DOMINIQUE WILLOUGHBY
PHOTOGRAPHER : ANTOINE LE GRAND
PRODUCTION DIFFUSION : CATHERINE GIRARD
ORIGINAL MUSIC : PARAZITE SYSTEME SONORE ET MUSIQUE FOLKLORIQUE SERBO-CROATE