Zimmermann & de Perrot: Martin Zimmermann / Dimitri de Perrot
Stage setting for the play 'ÖPER ÖPIS'
Dancers and Artistes at Full Tilt
How can we stage our relationships and their interdependencies? Martin Zimmermann, director and choreographer, and Dimitri de Perrot, musician, have been working together as a duo for over 10 years. The award goes to them for their innovative achievements in the field of set design, but what Zimmermann & de Perrot create is more than just a stage set; it is essentially another character in their productions. Tellingly, they describe themselves as 'inventors and craftsmen'. De Perrot is self-taught; Zimmermann studied at the Centre national des arts du cirque in Paris. Exceptional stage sets and unusual titles have a tradition in their work: to wit, the gigantic record player in 'Gaff Aff' (2006) and the wooden towers in 'Chouf ouchouf' (2009). A key element in 'ÖPER ÖPIS' (2008) was an unstable platform of eight metres square, fixed only in the centre. The seven performers, five dancers and circus artistes and the two directors, share the limelight with an eighth protagonist, the platform itself. When the performers move about, shifting their weight, the entire platform tilts. The piece is a metaphor for the fragility of human relationships, a kind of condition humaine. The balance that stabilises encounters between people is compromised. The floor is literally pulled out from under the characters' feet. Zimmermann & de Perrot have an absurd sense of humour, which they apply to characters that really interest them. With great virtuosity, they successfully translate circus acting, sensuality and physicality into stage productions that subvert conventional concepts of art. They have attracted international attention and 'Chouf ouchouf' has been invited to the 2010 Theatre Festival in Avignon. In 2009 they won the Swiss Prize for Dance and Choreography, the 'Pro Tanz' award.
Dimitri de Perrot
Zimmermann & de Perrot