Dimitri de Perrot


by Zimmermann & de Perrot
with Le Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger

Chouf Ouchouf is Arabic for: „Look, but take a real good look!!“

Any time that we confront the new and unknown, we find ourselves slipping into different – and complicated – emotional moods. We project certain unconscious desires and fears onto the other, insisting on the reality of our own perceptions and worldview. To feel more secure, we try hard to implement our own beliefs. But meanwhile, each of us also serves as a blank wall against which others direct their own projections. How can a real relationship take place under circumstances like this? In this desert, how to discover a real oasis instead of a mirage? Chouf Ouchouf enters into this labyrinth of questions and preoccupations. In a torrent of scenes, the topic is humorously twisted around, pushed steeply down, and then soars up into absurdity, to the point where gravity itself is de-commissioned. Chouf Ouchouf exudes intensity and emotion, inspiring and seducing the spectator to look sharp: at the stage and at oneself.

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The artist duo Zimmermann & de Perrot (Dimitri de Perrot / Martin Zimmermann) have developed, over the course of their many successful productions, a unique dialogue between bodies and music that goes beyond spoken language. They create the stage sets themselves – and these play a leading role of their own. It is in this artistic universe, which has evolved over a dozen years, that they directed the Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger, creating “Chouf Ouchouf"– a theatre piece for twelve acrobats and voices.

The Groupe acrobatique de Tanger was created in 2003 by Sanae El Kamouni. Her idea was to work with the acrobats of Tangier to create something new. She founded the Association Scènes du Maroc to produce further projects, and made a proposal to Zimmermann & de Perrot to develop a new piece in collaboration with the Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger.

The theater of Zimmermann & de Perrot (2006-2017) is based on precise observation, humorous repetition, distortion, and the artistically accomplished transformation of everyday interactions, giving the little things in life a big platform. Using bodies, objects and music Zimmermann & de Perrot compose funny, unconventional theatre pieces within a changing scenography. At the centre of their work is the human being – with all ist human fragility and contradictions. Their characters are driven to make the impossible possible. They are very physical and possess a marvelous artisanry as peformers. Their wordless theater is full of absurd humor and a deep love of detail. Objects are living beings. People are things. It’s not always obvious what it’s about, so you are compelled to think in unaccustomed ways.

The magic world of the directing team Zimmermann & de Perrot has performed over the years in renowned theaters and festivals across Europe and around the world: Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Festival d‘Avignon, Barbican London, Sydney Opera House, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, Grec Festival Barcelona, Schauspielhaus Zürich, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, Usine C Montréal, Hong Kong Cultural Center, De Singel Antwerpen, Greek Festival Athens, among others.

The two artists tour and create in a very intense rhythm; they have several shows on tour at the same time, performing in most of them. They are being talked about in the international press – magazines, journals and newspapers like the New York Times, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, El Pais, Libération, Les Inrockuptibles, ELLE, Télérama, The Guardian… In Le Nouvel Observateur Raphaël de Gubernatis celebrated their work as “poetic extravagance – dreamlike and acutely intelligent”. Thomas Hahn of the German magazine Ballettanz writes that every Zimmermann & de Perrot piece “breaks through all aesthetic boundaries, including the limits of tradition. Splendid!” Dance legend Mikhail Baryshnikov invited Zimmermann & de Perrot to New York. He described their theater as follows: Zimmermann & de Perrot offer the whole package, extraordinary design concepts and brilliant performances. I was really impressed. They are real innovators in my view. Both of them are great, great masters.” And Rosita Boisseau of Le Monde says that just as the style of Pina Bausch became known as “Tanz-Theater”, a new term could be invented for Zimmermann & de Perrot: “Theater-Circus”.

Zimmermann & de Perrot have won several awards, including the Foundation Heinz Spoerli Award 2013, the Swiss Choreography Prize (2009), the Cultural Advancement Prize of Canton Zurich (2010), the Swiss Design Prize (2008, 2010 and 2011 in the category of set design), the Swiss Innovation Prize (2008), among others.

Their team – on and off stage – presently includes about 40 acrobats, dancers, actors, technicians and many others; they also run their own production company. Zimmermann & de Perrot are independent and are not bound to any institution.

Concept, direction and stage design: Zimmermann & de Perrot
Composition: Dimitri de Perrot
Interpreted by the acrobates of the Groupe acrobatique de Tanger: Younes Hammich – chef des acrobates, Abdelaziz el Haddad, Jamila Abdellaoui, Adel Chaâban, Younes Yemlahi, Yassine Srasi, Amal Hammich, Mohammed Hammich, Mustapha Aït Ourakmane, Mohammed Achraf Chaâban, Samir Lâaroussi, Najib El Maïmouni Idrissi
Dramaturgy: Sabine Geistlich
Construction Decor: Ingo Groher
Light: Ursula Degen
Sound: Andy Neresheimer
Costumes: Franziska Born with Daniela Zimmermann
Costume construction: Franziska Born / Mahmoud Ben Slimane
Acrobatic Coach: Julien Cassier
Painting: Michèle Rebetez
Light direction: Jorge Bompadre / Cécile Hérault
Sound direction: Franck Bourgoin / Sebastian Geret / Andy Neresheimer / Susanne Affolter
Stage Manager: Jan Olieslagers
Production assistant: Sophie Da Costa
Director, Groupe acrobatique de Tanger: Sanae El Kamouni
Production Director: Alain Vuignier
International Producer: Claire Béjanin
Photography: Mario del Curto
Artwork: Flag
Artistic direction: Dimitri de Perrot, Martin Zimmermann

Production: Verein Zimmermann & de Perrot

Coproduction:Association Scènes du Maroc • Equinoxe, scène nationale de Châteauroux • Espace Jean Legendre – Théâtre de Compiègne • Le Volcan, scène nationale du Havre • Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg • MC2: Grenoble • Pour-cent culturel Migros

With the support of: City of Zurich’s department of cultural affaires, the cultural affairs service of Canton Zurich, Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council, Foundation BNP Parisbas, French Embassy of Morocco, by the institut français de Tanger – Tétouan, by the foundation BMCI and by Cie 111.

Final rehearsals at Palais Moulay Hafid in Tanger with premier on the 25 September 2009

UNLESS by Dimitri de Perrot
(Photo © Adrian Huber)

KLIRR by Dimitri de Perrot
(Photo © DdePerrot)

ÖPER ÖPIS by Zimmermann & de Perrot
(Photo © Mario Del Curto)

GAFF AFF by Zimmermann & de Perrot
(Photo © Mario Del Curto)

MYOUSIC - Creation Recording Sessions
(Photo © Peter Tillessen)

ANGSTGOT - EP by Dimitri de Perrot
(Poster by Suntic Record)

DJ Sets by Dimitri de Perrot since 1995 - Flyer collection
(© various artists)

DJ Sets by Dimitri de Perrot since 1995
(Photo © Unknown/Archiv DdePerrot)