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Porteur – The Press

SUNDAY TIMES – "The delighted chortles of a toddler jolted my somewhat jaded senses at the Regal Theatre this week.. We're all so used to living in this Global Village with its instant entertainment and communication. Once in a while it doesn't hurt to slow down and revert to the world of childhood where an adult clowning around, is the funniest thing we've ever seen. Especially when the adult is a master of mime and clowning, such as Dimitri, and is also an expert juggler and musician. The plight of a man, plucking his mandolin successfully, who keeps losing his plectrum inside the instrument, becomes an exercise in hilarity. It's the kind of thing which could happen to anyone and, in the expert hands of Dimitri, evokes delight in all ages. .... He is recognised as one of this world's great clowns and he has the secret of sharing and caring - important attributes for any performer."
(Leslie Anderson)

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER – "Dimitri is a superb performer and is regarded by many as the father of contemporary clowning. Nonspeaking, he creates a tight little world that has its own eccentric logic. It is a quietly humorous place, in which his sympathetic character may be somewhat overwhelmed by events, but one that Dimitri, the master clown, controls with consummate artistry."
(Douglas J. Keating)

ENTERTAINMENT – "Clowning means the whole artistic performance of a clown: pantomime, acrobatics, magic, tricks, music and jokes. The other day, the master of clowning art, Dimitri, visited Japan again. In Porteur he shows mastery of many aspects of clowning and lovable miming. It is obvious that Dimitri has distinctive talents as a most endearing clown. On top of his remarkable skills, the most amazing and impressive is his musicianship, which is thoroughly shown in the second part. The musical clown can play all sorts of musical instrumets, ranging from wind instruments to guitars and concertina in the manner nobody would even dream of attempting. I found myself getting so excited to see the way he plays oddly charming music. His approach is totally unusual and unconventional. Dimitri plays the guitar in its front back and most amazingly four saxophones at the same time - in tune! ..... A whole routine of simple actions is interrupted by a failure or mistake, then the clown goes back at the very beginning of the routine. In this prototype action the repetition itself gives audience reassuring fun and even expectation of potential disaster. The fun repetition goes with the rhythm of the clown's universe, where time goes round and round. The movement of the clown does not draw a line going back and forth, but a circle, a spiral......In this performance of the musical clown there is a moment I would like to listen for and this is the moment I feel, I can see dreams handed down by the great clown." (Kazuko Kuniyoshi)

THE GUARDIAN – "It's somewhat depressing that Swiss clown Dimitri, something of an institution on the Continent, has taken this long to hit Britain, which he did with an almighty thud at the Shaw Theatre. Thuds come easily to Dimitri: he is a master of acrobatics, contortion, juggling, plate-spinning, and all sorts of musical instruments, ranging from mandolins, guitars and concertinas of varying sizes, to a quartet of saxes which he plays at once in a manner which makes Roland Kirk look like a one-armed bandit. Britain, bound by its own theatrical history and predilictions, has long been indifferent to the European performing arts of which the man is a prime example.......Simply, he can take your breath away, and do things that most of us wouldn't even dream of attempting. With functional lighting on a bare stage and with a handful of props, Dimitri plays with the audience and with anything else that he happens to find in the series of boxes and suitcases which permeate the act......The whole routine is a delicate sham of innocence: each object becomes a strange new discovery.... Dimitri is a sensation, a wizard of timing, skill and charm." (Steve Grant)

DAILY TELEGRAPH – "Dimitri, who performed to packed audiences at the Gardner Arts Centre, near Brighton, is a highly gifted clown and mime who is all too rarely seen in this country. For Dimitri, the word clown implies an artist of exceptional versatility, bringing to his comedy many years of intensive training in mime, acrobatics, music. At an early age he saw the famous clown Grock, and his own approach to clowning shows much influence from Grock, though he is very different from him in temperament and physique." (F.H.)

Photo (color): Yves Burdet

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