Interview with Gisèle Vienne, Crowd

Crowd is an emotional rollercoaster.”


(Photo by Patric Chiha)

Gisèle, what goes through your mind when you create a new work?

I’m permeable to what’s happening around me and what is going on in my mind. I’m also permeable to how I feel: my desires, my emotions, my love, are probably the greatest inspirations for my work.

In my work, and especially for Crowd, I try to create space for strong personal experiences, both physical and intellectual, where the audience can question their emotions and their intimacy.

Crowd is described as a “deep dive into the dark side within us”. What happens in Crowd?

Crowd depicts a rave party where young people encounter strong emotional experiences. There are several layers in the piece, but one major layer is the narratives.

We have 15 young people on stage who create this gallery of personal portraits. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, which talks about love, desire, violence and loneliness, and many contradictory emotions. It also deals with the question of how these emotions are shared and “communicated” in a social setting.

Crowd also questions the need for contemporary rituals or the need to reinvent rituals in contemporary culture. Specifically, in alternative youth culture, this appears as Rave Culture and Techno parties.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in creating Crowd?

Crowd is about how time is perceived or distorted through our emotions. One of the beautiful challenges in this piece was executing the “retouched” movements – slow, cut out loops that are inspired by special effects or movie editing techniques – which was a great technical challenge. But it is not about “imitating” these retouched movements, it is about finding a way to perform them in a very sensitive, very organic and personal way.

Why should people come to the Singapore International Festival of Arts?

It’s the first time Crowd will be performed in Singapore and it’s a great challenge to bring over this piece with 15 dancers. We’ve played in several countries and received beautiful feedback and it’s probably the only time we are going to play in Singapore.

The Singapore International Festival of Arts is doing a fantastic job curating beautiful performances from all over the world. Art is obviously a very essential food for humans, and Singaporean audience shouldn’t miss it.

Gisèle Vienne is the choreographer for Crowd. The Franco-Austrian artist’s practice explores the relationship between art and the sacred and what is inexpressible in human relationships.

Don’t miss Crowd by Gisèle Vienne (France) taking place from 1 & 2 Jun, 8pm. Click here for more. 


  • 2019