Crowd: Singapore International Festival of Arts

Written by on June 3, 2019

Intriguing, thought-provoking, just amazing, is the only way I can describe how the performance of Crowd by Gisèle Vienne was. I had the honour of being invited to watch Crowd which was only showing on 1 and 2 June at Victoria Theatre as part of the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA).


Crowd is set in a party, where each dancer has a unique identity, coming from different walks of life. Backed only by electronic dance music beats, the performance is mostly done in slow-motion with occasional bursts of energy, each dancer having full control of every muscle in their body as they slowly move through space.


The props they used were all real elements, making use of beer and beer cans, chips, the explosive reaction coke would have with mentos, and even some element that triggers smoke that came out of their jackets. Even the stage itself was a sand pit where the dancers danced as if none of the elements affected them, even though the sand was flying everywhere.


Though it may come across as confusing at times, Crowd was crazy to watch as it brought out the most authentic and raw parts of humanity. It portrayed sensitive topics (especially in Singapore) such as homosexuality, sexual intimacy and violence. With every character having their very own unique identity, you can never see everything even if you watch it several times. There are just so many layers to this performance that explores the depths of humanity itself.

At the end of it, I could not understand how 15 dancers managed to dance in slow-motion for one and a half hours straight, rolling around in sand, chips, beer and dirt. Regardless, it was definitely an amazing performance that really makes you take a step back and observe the people around you more.


Written by: Catherine

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