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Philippe Decouflé

Mixture of cultures and lights:
Imagination crossing the boundaries of performing arts and video

Acclaimed for his contemporary dance based on elements of circus and pantomime, Philippe Decouflé enthralled audiences around the world with his direction and choreography for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1992 winter Olympics in Albertville. As part of the program celebrating the opening of YCAM, he presented a dance piece themed around a mixture of different cultures.
"IRIS" was conceived during a long-term residency program, and as suggested in the title (referring to the colored part of the eye), the piece was realized in collaboration with creators from various ethnical and cultural backgrounds. The resulting blend of Eastern and Western cultures and world-views illustrates a mystically fantastic reality transcending cultural, temporal, and various other boundaries.
November 1 - 3, 2003
Studio A



Philippe Decouflé



Philippe Decouflé

This dance piece unfolds like a picture book combining multiple choreographic elements of dance, live music and video.
Set up on stage are a Japanese-style house and telegraph poles, creating a very Japanese, familiar yet not necessarily nostalgic atmosphere. Appearing in this setting are several dancers, each of which begins to talk to the audience in his/her own native language (Japanese, Chinese and French in this case).
The performance unfurls in an acoustic setting mixing sounds of insects and birds with guitar play and singing, and against a visual backdrop of footage of the dancers' choreographies, and an "eye" projected onto a large screen in the back in reference to the piece's title, with additional projections of abstract lights and shadows. The colorfully choreographed dance - from dynamic group performances to gracefully flexible solo performances of dancers with outstandingly high physical ability - create a mystically fantastic atmosphere, and at the same time, lay out the possibilities of the human body.
Direction, Composition and Choreography: Philippe Decouflé

Assistant: Chie Ito

Performer: Masahiro Kohama, Kaori Ito, Miya Kim, Muriel Corbel, Alexandra Naudet, Stéhane Chivot, Jean-Baptiste André, Christophe Waksmann, Oliver Simola, Jiang Yang, Fei Bo, Lu Xin-yun

Original music: Claire Touzi Dit Terzi, Tao Hiboo

Set design: Kunio Shachimaru, Pierre-Jean Verbraeken
Lighting design: Hisashi Adachi
Costume design: Sonoko Takeda
Organic counselor: Pierre Dubois Gance

Sound engineer: Yasuyoshi Hosokoshi
Technical manager: Seiichi Yagi
Stage manager: Akinori Sagawa

Assistant lighting designer: Satoe Morishima
Assistant technical manager: Yoshiyuki Sonoda

Interpreter: Ayako Shibata, Hiromi Ishikawa, Yo Hayashi, Ka Ei

Scenery construction: Toho Stage Craft
Stage crew: Nike Stage Works
Lighting crew: Impression
Sound crew: Aoi Studio
Video crew: Takashi Kimura

Administration: Dominique Laulanné
Technical coordination: Lalhou Benamirouche



Organized by:

  • Yamaguchi City Foundation for Cultural Promotion


  • The Japan Foundation
  • Kanagawa Arts Foundation
  • Compagnie D.C.A.
  • Centre national de création et de diffusion culturelles de Châteauvallon
  • Théâtre National de Chaillot
  • Festival Montpellier Danse 2004
  • Fòrum Universal de les Cultures Barcelona 2004

In association with:

  • Yamaguchi City
  • the Board of Education of Yamaguchi City

Grants from:

  • Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan (FY 2003)
  • Association Francaise d’Action Artistique (AFAA)

Co-produced by:

  • The Japan Foundation
  • Théâtre national de Chaillot
  • Fòrum Universal de les Cultures Barcelona 2004
  • Teatre Nacional de Catalunya,
  • Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg
  • Festival Montpellier Danse 2004

Special support:

  • Centre national de création et de diffusion culturelles de Châteauvallon

Technical support:

  • YCAM InterLab

Produced by:

  • Kanagawa Arts Foundation
  • Compagnie D.C.A.
  • Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]
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