Mark Tompkins / I.D.A. [FR]

Black'n'Blues - a minstrel show

Black'n'Blues - a minstrel show
Black'n'Blues - a minstrel show

14.01 – 15.01.2011

Blackened faces

Mark Tompkins is a devotee of twentieth-century American entertainment, ranging from vaudeville and slapstick to stand-up comedy and rap. In Black'n'Blues he goes back to one of its predecessors, the minstrel show or blackface minstrelsy, which was hugely popular in America after 1830. White men with blackened faces, thickly rouged lips, woolly wigs and white gloves imitated black men and women. These spirited parodies portrayed Afro-Americans as lazy, superstitious and unintelligent. After the American Civil War black minstrel shows also appeared: black actors with black make-up adopted the white stereotypes in shows that were hailed as ‘the real thing’, ‘with recently freed slaves’.

Black'n'Blues brings both white and black men and women to the stage. It uses the features of the minstrel show – masks, cross-dressing, singing, dance, speeches and music – but examines various power relationships: white and black, man and woman, oppressor and suppressed, slave and master. The performers sing, dance and act in a minstrel show that is resolutely contemporary.

• The American-French choreographer Mark Tompkins is invariably inspired by cabaret and music hall, cross-dressing and eroticism. He has already appeared in the Kaaitheater with Song and Dance, ANIMAL and Hommages.


artistic direction Mark Tompkins | with Goeffrey Carey/Mark Tompkins, Mathieu Grenier, Séverine Bauvais, Dorothée Munyaneza, Yulia Tokareva, Isnelle da Silveira | scenography & costumes Jean-Louis Badet | light & technical direction David Farine | musical arrangements Mathieu Grenier | administration, diffusion Amelia Serrano | administrative assistant Sandrine Barrasso | thanks to Evelyne Menaucourt, Yulia Tokareva, Nicole Gautier | coproduction Cie I.D.A., Parc de la Villette - Résidences d’Artistes 2010, Centre de développement chorégraphique du Val-de-Marne, Centre Chorégraphique National de Tours - Bernardo Montet au titre de l’accueil studio, avec le soutien du Théâtre Edwige Feuillère à Vesoul pour une résidence de création, et l’aide financière de l’ADAMI.  La Cie I.D.A. Mark Tompkins est subventionnée par la DRAC Ile-de-France / Ministère de la culture et de la communication au titre de l’Aide à la compagnie.

The music and songs from BLACK’N’BLUES cover a vast period from 1830 to the present, and notably Minstrel songs from 1830 to 1860, Coon songs from 1900, Blues from the 20’s and 30’s, Soul and R&B from the 50’s and 60’s and Rap from the 80’s until today.