The 1992 Ceremonies

  • What is a "Decouflerie" ?
  • Was the choreographer of the opening ceremony an established artist ?
  • How many characters took part in the ceremonies ?
  • Who was the costume designer ?
  • How many dolls were on the dress of the little girl who sang the Marseillaise ?
  • What were the colours of the ballet "la parade ?

It was a thirty year old choreographer, Philippe Decoufle, who revolutionised the traditional opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games. In the vast ephemeral theatre, the setting sun illuminated a central mast, while thousands of figures in the red and white of the Savoie flowed out of giant "soubassophones". This spectacle enchanted the 33 000 spectators, and the press dubbed it a flight of "Decoufleries".

The success was largely due to the talent of Philippe Guillotel, an idiot savant of costume design. The complexity of his creations transformed the dancers into improbable characters, with the face in motion and the body elongated by the costume : Man-bird, snowball women, elastic dancers with winged heels, insect stilt walkers, skiers on rollers… A manipulator of material and form, Philippe Guillotel designed 3000 costumes for the opening ceremony, and 1200 for the closing ceremony.

Fabricated from foam and lycra, these original costumes, and the first sketches of the designer, are to be found in the House of the Winter Olympic Games. And how many dolls ? 80 ? 110 ? 150 ? For you to guess !