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The Full Monty

Monday, June 07, 2010

(Should a pair of butts or tits is enough to shock you, please emoticon here !)

Last Saturday, we went to see one of Philippe Decouflé’s creation.

Philippe Decouflé is a French choreographer, (
) his previously show dances I’ve seen were very different from this one ”Cœurs Croisés” (Crossed Hearts, literally. It is also a name ringing a bell, when we heard this name we think of Playtex and bras… we had so many commercials about “cœurs croisés de/by Playtex” that if you say “cœurs croisés” to a French person, they would automatically continue the sentence by “Playtex,” a sort of catchphrase.)

And this notion of “bra” or “sans bra” has its importance in this spectacle. This time, Philippe Decouflé has tackled the cabaret, the burlesque, the art of strip-tease; it is not the first time he has explored this area, he has already revamped the Crazy Horse show (a Parisian erotic cabaret, much better than Moulin Rouge if you ask me.)

The pitch for this spectacle is:

“An adept of derriereology (‘derrière’ means bottom in French, so it is the science of butt), that science of concealed self-delusion Philippe Decouflé explores here the frontiers of intimacy and exhibitionism with the question: why the hell do we get undressed anyway? And it’s a good question when we consider global warming and the mind-body dichotomy. This show offers an array of eye-opening, playful images that attempt to give a response.”

So why do I blog about this spectacle?

Philippe Decouflé doesn’t only hire “typical” dancers, he likes “real people”; in each of his spectacles you can see 'nonstandard' dancers; this spectacle is no exception.
I am going to address only one aspects of this show, so rich in ideas and symbols.

Throughout the spectacle, the dancers are less and less dressed, while all the sexualities are explored through dance, we are shown naked bodies, all sizes and shapes, proving that sexuality, eroticism, and sensuality are not reserved to perfect bodies, that you can be sexy or make of yourself a laughing stock whatever your perfections or imperfections are.

At the end of the show, the cast all got naked on the stage, the full monty, while we were giving them a well-deserved round of applause. I noticed that one of the contortionists who seemed to have an absolutely perfect body that anyone could have envied her, had cellulite. One of the dancers might had a Caesarean section. Another dancer personifying the vamp figure of the blonde Marilyn was a bit chubby.

Absolute perfection simply doesn’t exist, even among dancers who train their body every day.
My point is we should get rid of the false icons, these glossy images in magazines which poison us and blur our vision.
Know your body and accept it, and you can be super sexy just as you are, it is really a question of attitude. Build your own image, never contingent on a printed image.

By the way, his spectacle is not forbidden to persons under 18 years over here, there were teens in the theater.
And yes, there are “explicit” tits, male and female butts, and genitals, females with females, males with males, females with males, and more (I leave this part to your imagination, haha!)
Yet it is tastefully done, suggestive, poetic, funny and sometimes hilarious in the real tradition of American burlesque shows, never vulgar or pornographic: it is A R T with capitals!

An extract from this show shot during the rehearsal and broadcast at 7 p.m during our national/regional news (and don't be surprised, no, we don’t blur tits and butts on TV even during national news!)


Some of his previous shows:

His Crazy Horse choreography (might be considered as explicit abroad, even if it is an extract from our evening news broadcast.)


Philippe Decouflé says that even if all of the Crazy Horse dancers have what it is supposed to be a perfect body, many of them don’t like themselves, and are hung-up.

Some extracts from his more "classical" shows, so you can see what he usually does:






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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v DDOORN
    Thx for sharing this great lesson on the PERFECTION of IMPERFECTION!

    Now: if only it was this easy for my heart to understand what my head KNOWS to be so reasonable...! :-)

    Hope you're healing okay and wishing you BOATLOADS of money for putting up with that!

    2259 days ago
    Hooray for bodies, of all types and styles.
    I'm so glad that my temple uses all the Goddess folk there- we range from 18-55, from 120 pounds to 350, and have surgical scars and all the other things- plus a couple of 'perfect' bodies- but the younguns with the 'perfect' bodies are the most uptight about their 5 pounds of fat.. sigh. It's essence, not form- it's energy, not the body that makes the Goddess glow.
    2260 days ago
    This is very nice and entertaining. Thanks so much for sharing this.
    2261 days ago
    This is SO COOL! Thanks for all the links. From what I know of burlesque over there the Crazy Horse does seem like the sh*t (a good thing). Our Dita Von Teese performs over there at that venue every so often.
    2262 days ago
  • v BIGGIRL2082010
    Dang - wish we had that HERE! :) Instead I get to settle for stuff that doesn't really qualify as erotica - or else we have porn. Hmmm.

    I do wish more magazines and even just TV in general had "real" people - and not just for comic relief. Maybe this is one of the gazillion reasons I stopped watching TV years ago. Now I'd rather pay to go to the theatre or opera - nothing like a burlesque in town, I don't think. But maybe I haven't looked ... gotta go hunt for something now!

    Thanks for sharing!


    2266 days ago
  • v RSWIFE
    I wish more real bodies were glorified here in the U.S. I have a pre teen daughter that already looks at movie stars and ads in magazines and proclaims,"Mom, why can't I look like that. "I wish I looked like that." Even though I tell her about airbrushing and camera tricks she still sees those pictures as the standard. It is very sad. I love this blog.
    2271 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/8/2010 7:56:17 AM
    That was really interesting and I love that he uses "regular" humans. I caught some flack from a friend of mine because my girls wander in and out of my bathroom even when I'm showering. But I remember clearly a terrible shock I had in my 20's when I saw my late 40's mom in her underwear. I didn't know that's how older women looked. It's funny now to call her "older" when she was only in her 40s! So cool. Really enjoyed your reflection on this too!
    2271 days ago
  • v JANTWO
    I agree with SHEENADEE, the stop sign made me want to read more!!!! emoticon
    2271 days ago
  • v LYNNANN43
    I went to Europe for about a month when I was 17. At first I was shocked by the billboards and ads. And then those beaches! But by the time I left, I realized how uptight we Americans were about the human body.

    Thank God I had this experience at the age I did. I helped me to become much more comfortable with myself and to not be so uptight about things.

    Thanks for sharing your experience about this wonderful show with us! It brought back such wonderful memories for me:D
    2271 days ago
    Of course, that stop sign did nothing but make me read further, faster. LOL Sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing & describing it so vividly.
    2272 days ago
    2272 days ago
    You are a braver woman than I! We have some burlesque out here and I tried it out but it's run by the same guy who owns six gentleman's clubs in the area, so it's really same stripper different stage and rarely tasteful or classical. I like the ideas that drove the show you have described and am very happy you got so much out of it!
    2272 days ago
  • v MISS_VIV
    Thank you so much for a beautiful blog. I will spend a lot of time here watching his productions.

    2272 days ago
  • v LEELYNN2
    sigh... looks like a great time. Thanks for sharing!
    2272 days ago
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