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 DecouflÃ©, 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 BÃ©jart-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 DecouflÃ©'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 aboutÂ the origins of jerk dance.
After a intermission featuring a silent film from the “belle Ã©poque” (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 â€“ pretty much what it says on the tin] by Henri Chaumette, 1924, and Free Radicals â€“ scratched straight onto film stock by Len Lye, 1958)
“Set to the electronic orchestrations of bourrÃ©e and gavotte dances by the industrial group of Spot and Caro, called Parazite SystÃ¨me Sonore, the whole spectacle can be consumed with the same sense of jubilation as a good old episode of Bozo the clown...”
CHOREOGRAPHER: PHILIPPE DECOUFLÃ‰
ASSISTANT: PASCALE HENROT
PERFORMERS: MARION BALLESTER - MURIEL CORBEL - VÃ‰RONIQUE DEFRANOUX - MICHÃˆLE PRÃ‰LONGE - 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