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REVIEW: PHILIPPE DECOUFLÉ'S 'CONTACT'

 

By Patricia Boccadoro

PARIS, 9 MAY 2015 — With songs, sketches, video effects, and dance, dance, dance, Philippe Decouflé’s latest show, Contact was an explosion of energy and joy. With costumes by Laurence Chalou, each more improbable than the next, Decouflé’s troupe of artists, acrobats, dancers, actors and musicians presented a glorious ‘comedy musical’ at the Theatre of St.Quentin-en-Yvelines in April.

Created at the National Theatre of Brittany in September last year, Decouflé has worked and perfected Contact resulting in 1 hour 40 minutes of magic and poetry, interspersed with doses of his inimitable humour. With innovative choreography touched by grace, and kaleidoscope effects created by cameras being manipulated by the interpreters themselves, projecting mind-boggling images behind the dancers, his ideas, five a minute, are each more stupefying than the precedent. The spectacle, fast-moving, takes one’s breath away.


Philippe Decouflé’s Contact

With an original score by the musicians, Nosfel and Pierre Le Bourgeois, playing live on stage at either side of the action, Contact opens with an introduction of pure dance full of elegance, grace and lightness with the interpreters in evening dress and at their most glamorous best. It is sheer enchantment, a demonstration that Philippe Decouflé is one of France’s finest choreographers.

Who is this woman, in a long, cream-coloured dress, which now takes on the appearance of a shimmering rectangle, giving place to a square, and ending with the illusion of a diamond, illusion being a characteristic of Decouflé’s art?  References also to his early training and love for the circus can be seen in these two daughters of the air, ballerinas, flying high above the stage on extendable elastic ropes hanging down from above the stage before one’s eye is caught by an angel on roller skates. It becomes impossible to know where to look, so much is happening simultaneously.


Philippe Decouflé’s Contact

Contact is a poetical blend of dance, cabaret, and circus, where one is thrust for a short space of time into a world of magic. It is less a musical comedy than a superb show by 20 immensely gifted artists.

Patricia Boccadoro is a senior editor at Culturekiosque. She last wrote on the Bengali choreographer Akram Khan and the Flamenco dancer Israel Galvin. .



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