Having being initiated to body language by Isaac Alvarez, to circus arts with Annie Fratellini, to mime with Marcel Marceau and to dance with Matt Mattox.
Philippe Decouflé has worked as dancer with Alwin Nikolais, Karole Armitage François Verret, Régine Chopinot.
He created his first production, Vague café, that won the International choreographic contest of Bagnolet and his company was born the same year in 1983.
Philippe Decouflé then created several short productions (Surprises, Fraîcheur limite, Soupière de luxe, Tranche de cake) Decouflé's fame spread in France and throughout Europe.
In 1986, the success of Codex confirmed the blossoming of the company and contributed to defining a more and more singular artistic identity. Codex was inspired from an illustrated encyclopaedia, drawn at the end of the 1970s by a young Italian, Luigi Seraphini : the fantastic animals, the imaginary plants and the living vegetables were to inspire Philippe D. and his costume designer Philippe Guillotel in the years to come.
He also found of cinema and designed a few “dance videos” â€“La voix des légumes, then Jump with Charles Atlas ; a few years later, he wrote and directed a short film â€“ Caramba as well as music videoclips True Faith, for New Order and She Drives Me Crazy for the Fine Young Cannibals.
1989 is the year of the “Bleu, Blanc, Goude” parade on the Champs Elysées in Paris celebrating the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution for wich one Philippe D. created the Danse des Sabots choreography directed by Jean-Paul Goude.
The same year, the audience cheered Philippe D. for his Polaroïd commercial that won him a Silver Lion at the Cannes Advertising Film Festival.
The next year, Philippe D came back to stage productions with Novembre presented at the Theatre du Musée Grévin and then with Triton created at the Festival d'Avignon. Driven by a great crew, this last show was about a reinvented circus, based on a Joseph Racaille music : unbelievable acts followed one another while Philippe Guillotel was designing his costumes in live.
The research on unexpected forms and materials lied at the core of those productions and Decouflé's deepest artistic identity was thus further established. The collaboration with Philippe Guillotel (a plastic artist, during a long time member of DCA) who created stunning costumes, gave way to a still more personal artistic and choreographic identity.
In 1992, Philippe Decouflé was chosen for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the XVIth Olympic Games held in Albertville, France. Under the benevolent gaze of Jean-Claude Killy and Michel Barnier, he relied on his company in order to realize this big project. He is supported by long term collaborators such as Pascale Henrot, interdisciplinary assistant, Eric Martin for ice skating, Hierman Diephuis and Magali Caillet for aerial art form, Véronique Defranoux et Jérôme Bel at folklore, and Christophe Salengro in charge of writings and animals.
Jean Rabasse, joined the team as set designer and Philippe Guillotel is still by his side as costume designer. 500 enthusiastic volunteers contributed to the success of the ceremonies.
In 1993, the company created Petites pièces Montées where he explored the space on stage by wondering “how to have the dancers get in and out through the Flies and have them arise from the stage floor”. He then directed a new short film : Le P'tit Bal performed by Philippe D. himself and Pascale Houbin whose performance illustrated Bourvil's famous song « C'était bien » with a fake sign language.
In 1995, DCA found its home in Saint-Denis outside Paris in a former heating station hence nicknamed « La Chaufferie ». There were settled : rehearsal rooms for the artists, workshops for the technicians and staff offices. The place was to gradually become an exceptional laboratory thanks to the encounters and exchanges of many different artists, designers, technicians and inventors.
Ultimately Decouflé's imagination turned once again to the odd animals and weird plants of Codex : he imagined Decodex, another production that symbolized a new long term collaboration with the MC93 de Bobigny.
In 1996, Philippe Decouflé, Pascale Henrot and Jean Rabasse left to Japan to to work on a musical Dora, the cat who lived a million times. The same year, Decouflé directed an important publicity campaign launched by France Telecom.
He widened the scope of his creations in 1997 with a children workshop, L'art en Parade held at the Georges Pompidou Center. In Cannes he staged the Opening Ceremony for the 50th anniversary of the International Film Festival. Back in Saint-Denis, he created Marguerite, a show that foreshadowed a future production, Shazam!
In 1998, Philippe D. directed Abracadabra, an cinematic essay, and staged Shazam! This show has been given more than two hundred times in France and abroad. 1998 is also the year of Triton et les petites Tritures, inspired from the 1990's Triton, was staged under a big top in St Denis.
In 1999, he designed about a hundred visuals for the French television channel, France 2.
In 2001, Shazam! was finally performed at the Paris Opera.
The same year Philippe D. created Cyrk 13 with the 13th class of the National Center of Arts Circus in Châlons-en-Champagne (France), a show that has been touring under big top in France and Europe until 2003.
In 2003, he created and performed Solo at the GREC Festival in Barcelona.
That same year, thanks to Maimi Sato, Philippe Decouflé and his team went back to Japan. The company opened the 10th Kanagawa Arts International Festival with a new production called Iris, a show mixing Japanese, Chinese, and French artists.
In 2004 a DVD is released Kaleïdoskop, presenting most DCA's experimental videos and short films.
2004 is also the year of a new production, Tricodex, created for the dancers of the National Ballet of the Lyon Opera. The show was performed all around the world.
In 2006, Philippe Decouflé presented L'autre défilé at the “Parc de la Villette”, an extravagant “fashion show” of costumes from the Paris Opera and the Comédie-Française staged for 120 amateurs.
Besides he created Sombrero inspired by an important work on shadows and alluding to black and white cinematography.
In 2007, he created Coeurs Croisés a show with cabaret and strip-tease artists.
Then, the same year, he directed a huge parade La Mêlée des mondes where a thousand of motivated amateurs, invaded the streets of Saint-Denis dancing the “Haka” for the opening of the Rugby World Cup.
In 2009, he directed a new production Désirs that was presented during several years for this Parisian cabaret Crazy Horse.
In 2010, Philippe Decouflé created Octopus at the Théâtre National de Bretagne where he was associate artist. It was a show for 8 dancers and 2 live musicians, Labyalla Nosfell and Pierre Le Bourgeois.
In 2011, Philippe Decouflé was invited by the Cirque du Soleil to direct Iris a show about cinema played at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, USA. This show has nothing in common but his name with the 2003 DCA's Iris. On this occasion, he was followed to America by his long term collaborators, Pascale Henrot, Philippe Guillotel, Jean Rabasse, Olivier Simola and Christophe Waksmann, Daphné Mauger, Patrice Besombes. The music of this show was written by Danny Elfman.
Back to France he created Swimming Poules and Flying coqs, “a water ballet performed by divers without experience“, presented at the Saint Georges swimming pool in Rennes, during the Festival Mettre en Scène.
In 2012, La Grande Halle de La Villette in Paris offered a monograph with shows and a huge exhibition, Opticon, celebrating the company's work.
The exhibition presented interactive video installations, half way between contemporary art and fairgound stall.
This big event inspired the show Panorama.
2014 is a very active year marked by an Asian tour of Panorama and the creation of Contact, a show performed by a large and multigenerational troupe and a live music by Nosfell and Pierre Le Bourgeois.
Philippe Decouflé is also the special guest of the exhibition Micro-Macro, produced by the Maison des Arts de Créteil, presented in Lille, Maubeuge and Créteil, which gathered more than 150 000 visitors. New Opticons are created on this occasion.
In 2015, for the opening of the Philharmonie de Paris, which welcomed in its news spaces the exhibition « David Bowie Is ... », he payed tribute to this icon with “Wiebo”. He created a hybrid show, halfway between concert and performance, performed by twenty dancers, musicians, circus artists and three invited singers (Jeanne Added, Jenny Beth â€“ Savages, Sophie Hunger).
In 2016, Contact was still on tour in Korea and Japan and Philippe answered to a new order from Cirque du Soleil. He created a Broadway musical for 38 performers, entitled Paramour, at the Lyric Theater, becoming the first French director to present a performance on 42nd Street.
In the second half of the year, the Company presented a series of performances, Courtepointe, a first version of Nouvelles Pièces Courtes at the Théâtre National de Bretagne.
Philippe then left to Japan to stage another musical, an stage adaptation of a manga called « Watashi Wa Shingo » (My name is Shingo) of Kazuo Umezu. The show, created at the Kanagawa Art Fundation (Yokohama), is then performed at the National Theater in Tokyo.
2017 saw the creation of Nouvelles Pieces Courtes, the first of which was scheduled for 16 May at La Coursive, Scène Nationale de la Rochelle.
In parallel, Philippe Decouflé continues to collaborate on numerous projects, as recently with the director Bruno Dumont for the television movie Jeannette, adaptation of Charles Péguy's play The Mystery of Charity of Joan of Arc.
The Company remains an independent company, supported since 2016 by the Ministry of Culture as a national and international company and is associate artist to Chaillot - Théâtre National de la Danse until 2020.