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Sylvie Vartan Florilège (Vidéo 2011)

50 years in the spotlight



This video shows everything that sets Sylvie apart from the other figures of her generation: her ability to dream, to imagine herself in a fantasy land and, like a director, to give herself the technical means to realise her wishes and share them with others...

"On stage I dare to do anything - in life, nothing".

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Vidéo Sylvie Vartan : Florilège


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From her childhood in Bulgaria, Sylvie still remembers the shows she was taken to see. Stories of witches, haunted castles, dragons... Her DNA still carries the imprint of the Slavic world, of the icons, and the taste in theatre costumes.


Later, in France, she discovered american cinema, Charlie Chaplin, sword-and-sandal, the hollywood actresses. This gave birth to her desire to become on of these heroines who have adventures and loves more intense than real life.


Having become a singer "by accident" and finding the sole act of singing somewhat unsatisfying, very early on she had the idea of 'creating more of a show'. The memories of the past, looming over her, would come to life over the course of an evening...


Her universe rotated around the great heroines of every era and every architype of the 'femme fatale' was included. In turn she became Jeanne Harlow, Mata Hari, Dédé d'Anvers, The blue angel, the Queen of Sheba...


Dancing was one element that slotted into a staging conception packed with lights, costumes and theatricality. From the end of the 60s, to embody her various personalities, Sylvie Vartan drew several styles of choreography. In 1968 she tap danced, in 1969 we saw her jerking in Italy...


Feline and sensual with Jojo Smith, swaying easily with her Harlem dancers, her body loosened up to the rhythm of the syncopated dance music...


Later, under the direction of Howard Jeffrey, her imagination served as a gateway to every style of music. She passed from the very broadway number 'Pour lui je reviens' to the burlesque duet with Carlos  'Dilindam'.


In the costumes by Yves Saint-Laurent, she became the Blue Angel, lascivious tempter of sailors, moving to aggressive Blacksploitation sensuality for 'Shaft', to rock energy for "Proud Mary". Adorned in a streak of black she ended with hints of the realist singers.


We saw this 'chameleon' Sylvie in the Italian shows 'Punto e basta'. A dozen different dance routines in which she revealed the whole palette of her dancing talents. The most complex routine, 'Da dou ron ron', was also the most rock. The speed set by the professional dancers for this track was no problem for her.


Sylvie Vartan Palais des Congrès 1977 Ballet disco robe rouge Bob Mackie

In 1975 at the Palais des Congrès she performed her most theatrical dance routine, 'La drôle de fin', a tango parody where for the first time she embodied the 'absolute femme fatale'...


The lovers of the early Sylvie noticed the change, seeing their idole growing away from them. On the stage of the Palais des Congrès the dance routines now unfolded on a whole new scale...


For the Star, there was no risk of being outshone by the stage or the dancers. She fed off of her narcissism to become the person everyone dances around.


Sylvie Vartan au Palais des Congrès 1977 "Cet instant est à moi"


It was a radical change. The aim was no longer necessarily to dance well, but to be everyone's focal point.


If we compare "Tout l'bazar" to "Lui", two dance routines with similar themes, the difference is notable.


The proximity to the audience at the Olympia allowed for a highly sexual dancing style...


At the Palais des Congrès, her personality was no longer expressed in her own performance, but conveyed by the staging of the routine.


The style of the sets recalls egyptian carvings, where everything has to be seen and understood at a single glance...


Right from her entrance onstage the eyes of the singer embraced the whole room in a gaze fixed on an imaginary horizon.


In 1977 a pop music show had never mixed dance and song to this extent, in France or in the United States.


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Sylvie Vartan, 50 years in the spotlight: Florilège

Video conception and production of sylvissima.com

Sylvie Vartan was the pioneer of a style that would become a new 'school'... For her, it was about projecting her personality and blending it into every part of the show. The fusion took place and Sylvie Vartan became a 'Dancing Star', the dream became a reality...


This vision of hers brings to mind other stars like Barbara Streisand, for whom concerts or films served to live out a fantastical version of their own life. What better way to make your childhood dreams reality than living them out in front of a crowd?


From show to show Sylvie Vartan created a style, developed it, enriched it with new aspects, sometimes going too far.


In 1983 for "Raining men", dressed in a cape in the style of a Japanese Kabuki, she became a man-eating empress. Her style solidified into a scintillating parody of the personality she had created. In the end, like at the Olympia in 1972, she returned to the simplicity and raw feeling of just singing...


At a first glance, Sylvie Vartan had succeeded in everything, but approaching her fourties, had she spotted the trap that so many others had fallen into before her?


One year after a three month spell at the Palais des Congrès, for the television promotion of her new album 'Des heures de désir', she got out her most beautiful dresses one last time before shutting them in their case indefinitely...


The time had come for a break that would last 7 years. She left her fans with memories of beauty, fantasy and light. To this day some are still nostalgic when they think back to these 25 enchanting years. The 90s would be a decade of change.


Sylvie Vartan went to sing in the country of her birth, and came back transformed. Since then she hasn't stopped trying to reconciliate her Star personality with the real life woman that she never stopped being.


She went on to more adventures, more shows, taking failure and success in her stride...


After 50 years in the spotlight, by tearing down the barriers that kept her and emotions apart, he went from Star to Diva...


Sylvie Vartan Olympia 2009 "Diva"

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