(“Si c’était de l’Amour”)
Each dancer is hosed down before entering the dirt-covered stage. Some of them arrive alone; others arrive already engaged in frenetic conversation. Onstage, the fifteen dancers move slowly, rhythmically with one another—one organism ebbing and flowing in time to the persistent thrum of house music. They all come from different origins, much like the characters they depict, but here, they collide. This is ‘Crowd’, choreographer Gisèle Vienne’s hypnotic and evocative dance piece on the 1990’s rave scene.
Onstage, night after night, performance after performance, theatre after theatre, Vienne masterfully directs the dancers, replicating a display of chaos, a party of her own design; but backstage, the dancers’ characters persist, contaminating and obscuring the dancers’ relationships in real life. As the tour unravels, the distinction between stage and life erodes and relationships entangle. The characters and their intimacies, rages, and isolation transfer across realms.
Lucid and dark, If It Were Love explores the blurred line between life and art and the impossibility of extricating them. Chiha’s sixth feature film is an electrifying and dizzying rabbit hole, that heightens the best and worst, the isolation and symbiosis, and the highs and comedowns, of parties.
– Laure Benderl, Damn These Heels programming committee member