Mark Tompkins

Stayin Alive

Performance at the festival LE MOI de la danse.

For Mark Tompkins, Stayin Alive is much more than a disco hit, it is a manifesto of resistance. A leading American artist and choreographer since the 1980s, he is under the impression that now that he’s aging, he is being told to disappear: that he has to leave now that his body can no longer keep up. He turns this into a violent, rough performance in which he talks, recounts, and sings more than he dances about childhood, youth, love, sex, AIDS, and age. And wonders, “How Do I Face the Final Curtain?”


Conception & interpretation : Mark Tompkins
Scenography, costums, dramaturgy : Jean-Louis Badet
Staging : Frans Poelstra
Technique direction : David Farine
Lighting : Titouan Lechevalier
Music : Steve Miller, Bee Gees, Prince, Gloria Gaynor, Rolling Stones, The Doors, Beatles
Mark Lewis and the Standards : Nuno Rebelo & Mark Tompkins
Mark Tompkins voice, Nuno Rebelo guitar, Vitor Rua guitar, Alex Cortez bass, Samuel Palhitos drums
Is That All There Is : arrangement Sarah Murcia contrebasse, Benoît Delbecq piano
Production : I.D.A.
Coproduction : CN D Pantin – Les Subsistances – Lyon – TanzQuartier Wien

Pour cette pièce, Mark Tompkins a été accueilli en résidence aux Subsistances du 13 au 23 février 2018

An American dancer, choreographer, singer and teacher, Mark Tompkins founded the I.D.A. company in 1983. Over time, his way of making unidentified performance objects that mix dance, music, song, text, and video became his signature. Solos, group pieces and concerts that mix dance, music, voice, text and video are steps of this journey initiated in the 70s, and continued with the complicity of set and costume designer Jean-Louis Badet since 1988. His passion for real-time composition has led him to work with many different dancers, musicians, video makers, and light designers. Renowned for his teaching, he travels extensively around the world. In 2008 he received the SACD Choreography Award for his entire body of work. Fascinated by the tension and resonance between high and low entertainment, his shows are often inspired by popular forms such as cabaret, music hall, musical comedy, and burlesque: Black’n’blues, Opening Night, and Showtime. But they also address the topics of ambiguity and ambivalence: Le printemps and Bambi. He sings and dances in the concert Never Mind the Future with Sarah Murcia and musicians, and is working with choreographer Mariana Tengner Barros in A Power Ballad and Resurrection.