10 remarkable productions

Extra Life

By Gisèle Vienne

A production of DACM / Company Gisèle Vienne
in co-production with Ruhrtriennale, Théâtre National de Bretagne – Centre Européen Théâtral et Chorégraphique, MC93 – Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis Bobigny, MC2: Grenoble – Scène nationale, Théâtre national de Chaillot, Maillon – Théâtre de Strasbourg – Scène européenne, Tandem – Scène nationale de Douai, Points Communs – Nouvelle Scène nationale de Cergy Pontoise, CN D Centre national de la danse, Comédie de Genève, Le Volcan – Scène nationale du Havre, Centre Culturel André Malraux – Scène nationale de Vandoeuvre lès Nancy, NTGent, Printemps des Comédiens – Cité européenne du théâtre Domaine d’O Montpellier, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Comédie de Clermont, Internationales Sommerfestival Kampnagel – Hamburg, Triennale Milano Teatro, Tanzquartier Wien, La Filature, Scène nationale de Mulhouse. With the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels.

World premiere: 16 August 2023 (Ruhrtriennale)

Extra Life © DACM / Company Gisèle Vienne

How to express something that is beyond all expression? In “Extra Life”, Gisèle Vienne’s synthesis of the arts, two siblings share a traumatic past and move through striking landscapes of the soul.

Audience Talk
Tuesday, 7.5.2024 after the performance
Impulse: Mai Wegener (Psychoanalyst)
Jury member: Sascha Westphal
Moderated by Florian Malzacher

There are indications of sensitive and/or health-relevant content.

Two siblings are sitting in a car. It is nighttime and they are eating crisps. Slowly and cautiously, they approach a family trauma – the sexual abuse they suffered in childhood. It is the attempt to find expression for something they kept silent about for a very long time and that is stuck inside them like a foreign substance.
Gisèle Vienne’s theatre language is intense; it is an artistic synthesis of choreography, light, sound and space. “Extra Life” painfully penetrates deep-seated layers of consciousness. The trauma of the abused siblings is rendered tangible while simultaneously and eerily addressing the socio-political component of repression.

Statement of the Jury

A bleak no man’s land beyond the outskirts of the city. Clara and Felix are stranded here after a whole night of dancing. The siblings had grown apart but now, for the first time, they are able to talk openly about what Uncle Charly did to them. This much is certain in Gisèle Vienne’s “Extra Life”. Everything else fans out in associative splinters in Yves Godin’s breathtaking lighting design. Over and over, Godin uses individual spotlights and colourful laser beams to create new spaces that never become concrete locations. They mark landscapes of the soul through which Adèle Haenel, Theo Livesey and Katia Petrowick move in slow motion. Thus, Gisèle Vienne and the performers consistently dissolve time as we know it. It does not pass, but rather opens up in many different, diverse directions. Present and past, reality, dreams and nightmares become one. The persistent trauma of the abused children expresses itself in equally poetic and painful images and becomes tangible through art.

Tojuror Sascha Westphal’s video statement in the Berliner Festspiele Media Library (in German)

Artistic Team

Gisèle Vienne – Concept, Choreography, Direction, Scenography
Adèle Haenel, Theo Livesey, Katia PetrowickCreation & Performance in co-operation with Gisèle Vienne
Caterina Barbieri – Original Music
Adrien Michel – Sound Design
Yves Godin – Lighting Design in collaboration with Gisèle Vienne
Adèle Haenel, Theo Livesey, Katia Petrowick, Gisèle Vienne – Text
Gisèle Vienne, Camille Queval & French KissLA – Costume Design
Etienne Bideau Rey, Nicolaus Herlin – Puppet Making

Antoine Hordé – Stage Manager
Adrien Michel – ​​​​​​​Sound Manager
Samuel Dosière, Iannis Japiot – ​​​​​​​Light Managers
Sophie DemeyerAssistant
Samuel Dosière – ​​​​​​​Technical Coordination
Anne-Lise Gobin, Camille Queval – ​​​​​​​Production & Touring Alma Office
Cloé Haas, Clémentine Papandrea – ​​​​​​​Administration

Thanks to Elsa Dorlin, Etienne Hunsinger, Sandra Lucbert, Romane Rivol, Anja Röttgerkamp, Sabrina Lonis, Maya Masse, Andrea Kerr, Giovanna Rua, Lina Hinsky & Erik Houillier

Gisèle Vienne is associated artist at TNB – Théâtre National de Bretagne, at Chaillot – théâtre national de la danse, at MC2 Grenoble, at Volcan – Scène nationale du Havre.
The Company Gisèle Vienne is supported by ministère de la Culture et de la Communication – DRAC Grand Est, the Région Grand Est and Ville de Strasbourg.
The company is supported by the Institut Français for international touring.