Metro Boulot Dodo

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Esther Simpson, Paul Long, David Parkin, Steve Gibbs - Watch This Space
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Metro Boulot Dodo

A cross section of life and art

It takes a grand dose of humour and playfulness for UK based performance group to call themselves by a French slang description of a Parisian working person’s life – metro, boulot (work) and dodo (a dimminutive for sleep).
This phrase was coined from a poem written in 1951 by Pierre Béarn:
« Au déboulé garçon pointe ton numéro/Pour gagner ainsi le salaire/D´un morne jour utilitaire/Métro, boulot, bistro, mégots, dodo, zéro »
The expression refers to the doldrums of everyday life,certainly not a life that makes room for much creativity or art.
The Leicester based trio of artists are everything but the doldrums and far away from following any average convention of theatre and performance. The Daily Telegraph commented on their project FIB, that MDB reminded its audience just how intimate and intense theatre can be.
Metro Boulot Dodo is passionate about creating work for different environments. They work in theatres, galleries, site-specific spaces and outdoors. Over the last ten years they have produced a strong catalogue of arts projects that combine high production values with innovative and contemporary presentation. They cross genres and art forms, performance types and formulas.
With live performances, original soundtracks and new media, MDB created large-scale performances, as well outdoor installations. Their project ´Spring´ is a large-scale installation that takes the form of "an interactive garden." Spring is one of series of similar pieces named after the seasons.
MBD also blend performance with installation art. Their popular cross art project FIB is an installation dealing with truth and deception. It consists of 14 white boxes packed with far-fetched fabrications and unflinching honesty which includes intense one on one encounters with performers, truthful toilets, tiny cinemas and suicidal telesales workers. FIB was first shown in 2003 and has been a huge hit with audiences and critics.
MDB work with different audiences in a variety of spaces. They offer workshops to children and youth where learning and creating are based on “Do first, think later” when creating a performance. The group opens doors for experimentation in theatre and performance.
MDB often collaborate with individual artists to create innovative high quality cross art from performances. Their larger projects often involve additional artists who provide specialised competence and skills. They work with local performers who often use their native language in the performances as well as musicians and DJ’s.
MBD are one of the most innovative site-specific performance groups in the UK. Their site specific work has grown into an annual programme entitled Watch This Space, a companion project which is also integral to their working practice as installation and performance artists. Through Watch This Space, MBD explores unusual or interesting non-conventional venues for art. Commissions include a recent collaboration with EMPACT (East Midlands Project Advocating Cultural Tourism) to create a “Watch This Space” project in the roof of Lincoln Cathedral.
Hidden Tracks, another Watch This Space project, involves a 3 mile walk through the beautiful countryside between Fermynwoods Gallery and Lyveden New Bield, Northamptonshire, UK in which the walkers are accompanied by a sound track on an MP3 player that relates "historical secrets of a forgotten landscape." (Hidden Tracks refers to both the path of the walkers and the additional or "surprise" tracks sometimes omitted from the liner notes of CDs and DVDs).
Author: Annika Salomonsson

Works

Communication Breakdown

Production / Performance,
2007
Commission by Stockton International Riverside Festival involving public telephone boxes and a tour of the town.

Brick Pits

Intermedia project,
2007
An mp3 tour of a former brick pit (clay quarry) in Peterborough, UK.

Hidden Tracks

Intermedia project,
2007
A walk through the countryside of Northamptonshire accompanied by a sound track on MP3

Autumn

Exhibition / Installation,
2006
MDB´s first installation for a gallery. Visually stunning, a total immersive experience that tenderly illuminates the human condition.

Watch This Space- Ashby De La Zouch Castle

Production / Performance,
2006
An outdoor site specific spectacle at Ashby De La Zouch Castle.

Spring

Exhibition / Installation,
2005
An outdooor visual and sound installation for the street arts market. Spring premiered at The National Theatre.

Newsround

Film / TV,
2005
Short Film

Under Pressure

Production / Performance,
2005
MDB worked with 7 individual artists and were resident at 7 different art centres throughout the East Midlands for 7 weeks. The Project involved MBD creatign a new devised performance whilst on tour and culminated with a final performance at Phoenix Arts in Leicester.

Watch This Space- Belper North Mill

Production / Performance,
2004
A site specific multimedia performance tour of the basement at Belper North Mill.

Watch This Space- Lincoln Cathedral

Production / Performance,
2003
Commissioned by EMAPCT, MDB created this site specific multimedia performance tour of the Lincoln Cathedral loft space.

FIB

Exhibition / Installation,
2003
A cross arts performance installation for a small audience.

Blownup

Production / Performance,
2002
MBD devised theatre production. Critics choice in Time Out and Pick of the week in The Guardian

Watch This Space- New Walk Museum

Production / Performance,
2001
Site specific multimedia performance tour of the basement of New Walk Museum.

GAG- A nasty piece of work

Production / Performance,
2001
MBD devised theatre production. Appeared at the Dublin Fringe.

PUMPIT

Production / Performance,
2000
Site specific multimedia performance in collaboration with Bathysphere

The Final Fling

Production / Performance,
2000
MBD devised theatre performance

Inside Out

Intermedia project,
2000
MBD worked with Jamie Iddon from Blast Theory, Rachel Walton from Third Angel and Ben Slater on this artist project.

Reunion

Production / Performance,
1998
MBD devised theatre production. Won Total Theatre Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Festival 1988.

Anwhere Anyhow Anytime

Production / Performance,
1998
A site specific International collaboration with ARENA Festival Germany. MBD worked with 4 German artists over 2 months to create a site specific performance.

The Tupperware Tea Party

Production / Performance,
1996
MBD devised theatre production which toured UK and appeared in festivals in France, Germany and Serbia. Won teh 1997 ARENA Audience Award

Merits

ARENA Award Winners, Germany 1997 - The Tupperware Party
Total Theatre Best Newcomer 1999 - Reunion

Projects

This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

Black/North SEAS

The SEAS Platform 2008-2010

(02 December 05 - 31 December 10)

Www

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