- Director: Patric Chiha
- Writer: Gisèle Vienne [Dance]
- Producer: Charlotte Vincent
Oooh...dear hearts, be patient. The opening scene is a challenge...simply because, it's bamboozingly boring and goes on for far too long. Be patient, dear hearts...for what you are about to see should stun.
This is contemporary dance...at its very best. This is quite unlike any documentary [about dance] you are ever likely to see. In fact, to call it a documentary seems to do it an injustice...it's much, much more than mere document.
Everyone has danced at least once in their lives...but, what makes an actual dancer? The 3 D's of dance, that's what!
Dancers are, perhaps, the most vulnerable and strongest of all performance artists. They bare their souls and bodies. They, willingly and knowingly, step into the limelight...until their aged and racked bodies flick the switch. But...at least they can say that they danced with everyone watching.
Have you ever really danced? Really, really danced? When nothing matters, when nothing can touch you, when your body takes over and your soul is freed. The deepest of joys - 'deep joy' as the late Andy Weatherall and I used to describe it - RIP Andy x.
Where dance has truth, performance is a lie...Patric Chiha has taken liberties with facts and fictions, blending them together...perfecting the portrait of the dance...and, that of the dancer.
We're all a bit of a mess, dancers [a little bit] more than most. Think about it: To free your soul and feel that deep joy [in and out of character] on a regular basis...well, as they say, too much of a good thing...
Crowd is a piece that gives dance back to the people...still, performed by dancers. This film is a conundrum, it's a hybrid...it's a lie, it's the truth...but, however you want to describe it...it remains a scintillating piece of work about a scintillating piece of work!
The film about Gisèle Vienne’s dance piece “Crowd” is a techno party gone rave, awash with repetitive movements, physical and emotional encounters between fifteen bodies charged with sexual energy. The camera keeps us plunged into the heart of the choreography, repeatedly zooming out to allow for an insight into the rehearsal process. Through staged one-on-one conversations between the performers, we learn about the background story of their characters. In this way, the characters in the choreography become the characters of the film: there is a trans* boy, a “Nazi” boy that desires a gay boy, a girl attracted to troubled people, and a woman who exudes raw sexuality. Reality and fiction begin to blend. Loud electronic music accompanies the ecstatic bodies moving in slow motion. The cinema becomes a rave and an extension of the stage, and a dance documentary turns into an exhilarating neon-lit fresco of a young, international troupe.
Continuing his exploration of alienation, hyper-sensuality, emotional violence, human tenderness, and performance of (queer) sexuality, Patric Chiha has created a transformative film with a distinctive style, dripping with visual and emotional intensity.