Underneath their technical and formal perfection, Gisèle Vienne’s unclassifiable pieces are often perceived as being “unsettling” or “disturbing”. Since Showroomdummies (2001), they have been unrelenting in their enquiry into the eternal duality at the core of our humanity – Eros and Thanatos, Apollo and Dionysus – the necessary thirst for violence and sensuality embedded in every one of us, and the place of the erotic and the sacred in our lives. Crowd is a new phase in this single-minded research. Focusing on a choreography devised for fifteen performers brought together over the course of a party, this broad reaching polyphony brings to light (a dim, blinding one) various mechanisms underlying such manifestations of collective euphoria, and “the way a specific community handles or not the acts of violence”. Gisèle Vienne, who first trained in music and then moved on to study puppetry, feeds off her interest in philosophy and visual arts and brings to the stage a fragmentary universe characterised by the coexistence of several realities. The jerky, halting movements of those that inhabit this universe draw upon urban dance and puppet theatre in equal measure, and Dennis Cooper’s dramaturgy and the DJ set by Peter Rehberg have the combined effect of bringing our perception into disarray. For audience members, this blurring of the boundary between interiority and exteriority is akin to waking up in the midst of a full-on rave. Both resolutely contemporary and archaic in terms of its cathartic dimension, Crowd is the meeting point for a dialogue with our intimate selves.
Conception, choreography, and scenography: Gisèle Vienne
Lights: Patrick Riou
Dramaturgy: Gisèle Vienne and Denis Cooper
Music selection: Peter Rehberg
Performers: Philip Berlin, Marine Chesnais, Sylvain Decloitre, Sophie Demeyer, Vincent Dupuy, Massimo Fusco, Rémi Hollant, Oskar Landström, Theo Livesey, Katia Petrowick, Linn Ragnarsson, Jonathan Schatz, Henrietta Wallberg and Tyra Wigg (alternately with Lucas Bassereau, Nuria Guiu Sagarra and Georges Labbat)
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