Crowd

Cast

Conception, choreography and scenography Gisèle Vienne
Stage assistants Anja Röttgerkamp & Nuria Guiu Sagarra
Light Patrick Riou
Dramaturgy Gisèle Vienne & Dennis Cooper

Music selections from Underground Resistance, KTL, Vapour Space, DJ Rolando, Drexciya, The Martian, Choice, Jeff Mills, Peter Rehberg, Manuel Göttsching, Sun Electric & Global Communication
Live mix, edits, playlist selection Peter Rehberg
Sound diffusion supervisor Stephen O’Malley

Performers Philip Berlin, Marine Chesnais, Kerstin Daley-Baradel, Sylvain Decloitre, Sophie Demeyer, Vincent Dupuy, Massimo Fusco, Rémi Hollant, Oskar Landström, Theo Livesey, Louise Perming, Katia Petrowick, Jonathan Schatz, Henrietta Wallberg & Tyra Wigg

Technical manager Richard Pierre
Set manager Antoine Hordé
Sound engineer Adrien Michel
Light manager Arnaud Lavisse

Thanks to Margret Sara Guðjónsdóttir & Louise Bentkowski

Production and touring Alma Office Anne-Lise Gobin, Alix Sarrade & Camille Queval
Administration Etienne Hunsinger

Music in order of appearance:
Underground Resistance The Illuminator (Underground Resistance, 1995)
KTL Lampshade (exclusive, 2017)
Vapour Space Gravitational Arch Of 10 (Plus 8, 1993)
DJ Rolando Vibrations mix (Underground Resistance, 2002)
Underground Resistance Sweat Electric (Somewhere In Detroit, 1994)
Underground Resistance Twista (Underground Resistance, 1993)
Drexciya Wavejumper (Underground Resistance, 1995)
The Martian The Intruder (Red Planet, 1992)
Underground Resistance Code Red (Underground Resistance, 1993)
Underground Resistance Lunar Rhythms (Somewhere In Detroit, 1995)
Underground Resistance Hi-Tech Funk (Underground Resistance, 1997)
Choice Acid Eiffel (Fragile Records, 1992)
Jeff Mills Phase 4 (Tresor/Axis, 1992)
Peter Rehberg Furgen Matrix/Telegene (exclusive, 2017)
Manuel Göttsching E2-E4 (Inteam, 1984)
Sun Electric Sarotti (R&S Records, 1993)
Global Communication 14 31 (Ob-selon Mi-Nos) (Evolution, 1994)

Partners

Producer DACM

Coproducers Nanterre-Amandiers CDN // Le Maillon, Théâtre de Strasbourg – Scène européenne // Wiener Festwochen, Vienne // Le Manège Scène nationale de Reims // Théâtre National de Bretagne, Rennes // CDN Orléans/Loiret/Centre // BIT Teatergarasjen, Bergen // La Filature Scène nationale de Mulhouse

With the support of CCN2 – Centre Chorégraphique National de Grenoble and CND Centre national de la danse

Presentation

Evolving out of reflections on violence and the relationship that we can maintain with it, this project focuses on the various ways that a particular community can deal with (or not deal with) the way in which it is expressed. Drawing on different kinds of celebrations and rites, religious or secular, from the most archaic to the most contemporary, we intend to develop a piece that analyzes one potential model.  By doing so, we will examine the need for violence as an integral part of civilized society as well as the possible and/or necessary venues for its expression. This project is in line with our existing body of work, which for many years has dealt with issues connected to violence and its representation.

 

The context that we are taking as an example is a party spontaneously organized by a group of young people in 21st-century Europe. The intensity of the music and the excitement that brings these people together in this place create a situation conducive to a kind of emotional roller-coaster, or more precisely, a large number of interrelated upheavals.

 

We are working with Dennis Cooper in devising a subtext for the 15 young people onstage, interpreted mainly through dance, in a piece where popular dance style is the main activity of the group and where no dialogue will be audible.  The subtext offers as many stories as there are persons onstage, and the movements of each individual convey several simultaneous narratives, as do those of the group as a whole.  The interrelationships and the articulation of the individual emotions that each person on stage experiences and those produced collectively by the group itself will be meticulously observed by the audience.

 

Within the context of this dance party, the various expressions of violence will escalate.  The central issue will be to reach an understanding as to which kinds of violence come into play, their necessity, their impact and the way in which the group and the party will stimulate them, handle them, integrate them, and reduce them – or not.  This escalation of actions arouses an excitement that will stimulate the most diverse range of emotions.  It is the sheer number and the ambiguity of the emotions themselves that will be depicted and thoroughly analyzed, both those that generate the violence and those that the violence generates.  I am attempting to look at violence in its multifarious aspects – through a range of intensities and examples of the way in which it is expressed.  The pleasures, the desires and the erotic tensions generated by these types of situations are the central elements of this piece; they determine the behaviors of the persons onstage.  The relationship of these emotions to violence forms the central axis around which this group revolves.  In complex ways, it is the exhilarating and potentially liberating aspect of violence that we will for the most part observe in this piece.

 

The role of the party is to act as a very strong emotional stimulant to which the partygoers react in a visible way.  All this is to provide a means to examine the need for violence as an integral part of civilized society, and address its positive aspects.

 

By way of choreography and staging that divides up and stretches out the movement — and thus time along with it — the audience can precisely observe the details of these behaviors, while going through an experience that will arouse empathy.  The various plays of rhythm produced by the temporal distortions result in physical stimulation and a particular kind of excitement.  The situations presented correspond to numerous experiences in which the audience can find reflections of themselves.  The temporal distortion provoked by the nature of this choreography gives rise to a very strong feeling of sensuality and nostalgia.

 

The choreography realized for this purpose makes such very precise observations possible through the detailed analysis of movements that are often fragmented, stretched out, and modified.  These movements are made up of different gestural registers, so that in a very dynamic manner the resulting work articulates on the one hand, immobility, a tableau vivant, stopped motion, the breaking down of movement, and on the other hand its fluid and even accelerated development.  These choreographical composition games enable a detailed look at the action onstage, and produce a choreographic excitement through its own musicality, notably via these various games of rhythm which exist within the choreography, and also in connection with and even often in a tension with the music.

 

The music resonates with the space and the situation in a variety of ways.  It seems to be partly diegetic, even if its status in this respect is never absolutely certain.  The music apparently being played at the party consists of material from the world of techno, very dynamic, composed of both hard, erotic sounds and more sensual ones, whose purpose is to be a very strong stimulation for the senses and an equally strong incentive to dance.  The DJ set is made up of tracks mainly from the early 1990s made by Detroit musicians associated with the Underground Resistance label. Another part of the music, however, is apparently extradiegetic.  This latter part, an original composition by the duo of Peter Rehberg and Stephen O’Malley (a/k/a KTL) brings about another kind of temporal distortion and, while the DJ set provokes the emotion on the part of the group as a whole, this other composition evokes the intimacy within the group.  Thus, very strong emotion is to also arise from the sounds and vibrations created by the duo’s composition.  Their very singular work on sound and diffusion, conceived as a veritable audio sculpture, makes for a deeply physical and powerful sonic experience for the audience. Experiencing this fundamentally sensual composition is an invitation to examine the ways in which the party, the dance, and the music influence and stimulate collective emotions.  More specifically, it calls into question the empathy provoked by music and dance, and the relationships between violence and pleasure, as well as the role of the emotions.

 

A better understanding of individual and collective emotions is an essential experience that allows for a greater understanding of the behaviors within our society.  Theatre offers a space particularly appropriate to this type of experience.  The general intention is to understand the collective emotions that drive the group presented onstage (the performers), and those emotions that drive the group that is watching them (the audience), and to understand the need and the potential benefits brought about by this type of experience.

 

It is crucial for me to work on certain types of expression of violence that truly form a part of civilized mankind and that reveal themselves to be necessary, and thus for me to question the discourse that tends to portray violence as necessarily barbaric.  This likewise applies to understanding the relationships that are maintained between violence and positive emotions such as pleasure and excitement. Up until now I have been questioning the place of violence in an essentially intimate manner in my work; this stems from the feelings that likewise motivate the entire social group depicted in this new project. If the need for violence forms an integral part of civilized society, it is necessary to examine the various ways in which it manifests itself and is satisfied, and to think about how society can implement ways to integrate it, without jeopardizing the stability of the community.

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