In accordance with government regulations are all box offices of the National Theatre since 22 October closed.
Crowd, by Gisèle Vienne, a piece for fifteen dancers, muscles its way into a body of work which, over the course of several years, has been dissecting the vast spectrum of our fantasies, emotions, and dark sides, in addition to our inherent need for violence and our sensuality. Flying in the face of the different artistic disciplines, the journey she leads us on to a cathartic onstage experience.
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.
By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.
From the beginning of April 2020, the underground car park is closed due to reconstruction. The length of the reconstruction is estimated at a year and a half.