The night went on until the last breath
Someone swore ’twas a giant, little death
We came, we tasted, we took a royal chance,
From the end to the beginning, all and evermore,
La décadanse

In lieu of typical Valentine’s Day celebration, we engage in a participatory performance art ritual inspired by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin’s song “La décadanse”. Our ritual, La décadanse is the magnificent and succulent display of richness inside and outside of us. Can we give as much to the first as to the last?

No film or cameras are allowed during the ritual so the documentation included here is only spontaneous before and after.

The Hosts

How does La décadanse fit in the context of Valentine’s Day? “Vday is such a trying to be perfect day, perfect looking, perfect love, etc. starting clean and white and ending up a total mess and revered and crowned in that messiness is such a contradiction to how the inner messages about love and relating are. Love is messy, and when you walk the path of it, you are bound to get tussled. It was also a great metaphor about the abundance of people and love in our lives, and really all we need to do is walk the path and let it come to us.”

In the lobby 4 of the 52 participanse are dressed in whites that can be stained.

Was it significant or meaningful for you? In what way? “Knowing that it would be an interactive show I had some anxiety about feeling put in the spotlight. But the actual experience helped me put aside my fears and totally become a part of something I feel was beautiful.”

The director, producer and the evening’s main host, Robert Wyald, after La décadanse.

Besides just liking the event (or not), what was your experience? “My experience was entering a room of beautiful people, feeling welcomed and cared for. Walking in to a gorgeous ritual that honors our regalness and our messiness.”

Our stencil graffiti logo by Rob Thoms on the stage floor with streaks of water from clean up.

“It felt like getting in touch with something feral and wild. But also, lovely and sacred – as you held it towards the end.”

A participanse white dress that was stained.

February 13 and 14, 2015
repeat as necessary

  • The Flight Deck · Oakland, California
  • Robert Wyald · Founder, Director, Producer, Main Host
  • Rob Thoms, Michael French, Kim Lembo, Sophia Knox-Miller · Co-hosts and Co-creators
  • The Audience · Participanse

Ritual Theatre, Immersive, Interactive, Performance Art