DCA, Shazam

Review in Issue 11-3 | Autumn 1999

Philippe Decouflé’s Shazam incorporates live dance, film projections, text, comedy and live music. It is an ambitious cocktail of forms for a one and a half-hour show with no interval, but the result is a stunning, subversive and highly enjoyable piece of dance theatre.

Sequences of movement take place everywhere: in the far recesses of the stage, through curtains, on film, within picture frames, and behind screens. Originality comes when the opening filmed Dali-esque sequence is later replayed for the audience. Then, the filmed close-up version is shown on a screen above the stage while the dancers create the effect below. The audience witnesses both the craft behind the art and the final artistic product before their very eyes. It is a clever device of simultaneous demonstration and representation.

Similarly, at regular intervals, the audience is treated to a visit from a male dancer, wearing only a suit jacket and his briefs. Each time a different dancer humbly apologises for the unfinished state of the performance and then launches into either a description of how movement, music or even light can be used as tools of communication. This is a hilarious means of subverting the audience’s expectations – it forces them to think about what they are watching in a way that is appealing and entertaining

A performance full of beautifully crafted images and moments, Shazam is a highly stimulating and satisfying theatrical experience.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jul 1999

This article in the magazine

Issue 11-3
p. 23