Zimmermann and de Perrot
The theater of Zimmermann & de Perrot 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 Swiss Choreography Prize (2009), the Cultural Advancement Prize of Canton Zurich (2010), the Swiss Design Prize (2008 and 2010 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.
We build our pieces from little things, everyday things, things that happen when a person feels unobserved – we hunt them out and gather them together. And that’s where we go to discover characters, spaces, sounds – a small gasp, a moment of distractedness, a constriction of the heart.
For our pieces we use everything that comes our way, and let it work its way through the meat grinder.
We call it theatre because we haven’t found a better word.
We like distortion, we turn everything upside down.
We seek the possible in the impossible.
We risk and we fail.
We like little things.
For us, objects are living beings.
We are little wannabe greats who are suddenly in over our heads.
We fool around at the edge of the abyss.
We laugh our heads off and are deadly serious.
We ride roughshod over physical pain.
We are extremely diligent and quite painstaking.
We let it rip.
Sweat and tears, good luck and bad.
Zimmermann & de Perrot – Zurich 2011