Devised and directed by
After Disabled Theater, performed by an ensemble of mentally handicapped actors, and Cour d’honneur, which put the audience center-stage, Jérôme Bel’s latest piece starts out from the same question: how do you bring into the performance space those people and those bodies that are generally left out? And could we use all the resources of the theater – including its conventions, its spaces, its styles and its professionals – to expand the range of what can be presented, and so (re)create a democratic instrument that everyone can use… starting from the simple desire to sing, to dance, and to play? In this piece, Jérôme Bel stages one of the most “ordinary” theatrical experiences: the gala – that festive and collective moment, whether an end-of-year performance, or an amateur play. He plays around with this form as a journey through different styles and fragmentary stories, and takes stock of “ordinary” dance acts that actually reveal a range of unique relations to movement and voice. What makes us dance? Can we watch someone dance, however precariously, free of judgments of “well done” or “poorly done”? The result is a gala full of holes, patched up, scattered with moments of introspection – a living, evolving gallery of portraits. Gala brings together professional and amateur performers who have no fear of “doing another fail” or of “doing an even better fail…”. Gala ranges through theaters like a “mirror strolling along a highway”, challenging our concept of subjects, and even the act of looking.
Gilles Amalvi, for « Le Festival d’Automne à Paris » (Paris Autumn Festival)