Schwalbe is looking for Crowds

2013 - 2015

concept & performance Ariadna Rubio Lleo, Christina Flick, Daan Simons, Floor van Leeuwen, Kimmy Ligtvoet, Marie Groothof, Melih Gencboyaci | core group performers Sue-Ann Bel, Vincent van Woerkom, OMAR, Gina Beuk, Ytze van der Sluis, Romeo de Haas, Huseyin Badilli, Wil Hendriks, Kendrick Etmon, Felix Feenstra, Bernadette Faïfe-Wiersma, Margreet Bruining-Lindeijer, Vera Whistler, Bella Bouman, Merel van den Berge, Hennie Spronk, Barbara Willemsen, Lennart Blom, Pien van Welbergen-Danen, Cristel Stolk, Els Schotman, Marjan Tuk, Henk van Osnabrugge, Petra Eikelenboom, Petra Roelfzema, Levi de Kleer, Martijn Andernach, Suzanne Dankers, Joke Olthaar, Samuel van der Spek, Patricia Oskam, Jose Arnedo, Britt, Ilidia, Tom de Ronde, Len van Pillen, Leonieke De Groot, Gerben Vaillant, Angelika Geronymaki, Esther Schoonhoven, Santino Slootweg, Zweitze Zwart, Amir, Biniam, Firas Kalos, Renier Leenders, Frits Vogels, Princess, Tiffany Vicario, Brigitte Hoeve, Rick van der Steen, Laura van der Vlis, Hetty, Roosmarijn Mascini, Bram Hoestra, Petra Visser, Sijas de Groot, Lili Kok, Fardin Nazari, Jan Voorwinden and Philomeen Doolaard | technical production Marijn van Bussel | light design Joost Giesken | dramaturgy Anoek Nuyens | film Fanny Hagmeier | film edit on this website Floor van Leeuwen | photography Arno Bosma and Pepijn Lutgerink | production Jasper Hupkens | flyer design Van Honing | produced by Productiehuis Rotterdam | co produced by The Coproducers | second tour funded by Fonds Podiumkunsten | sponsored by Massage in bedrijf, KNOKKI audio technologies | performed at Grand Theatre Groningen, Theater Ins Blau Leiden, Verkadefabriek Den Bosch, Theater Kikker Utrecht, Theater a/h Spui Den Haag, Theater Frascati Amsterdam, Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Theater Festival, Kikker Kiest, Dutch Dance Days, Rabozaal Amsterdam, Theaters Tilburg, Theater de Veste Delft, 30cc Leuven, Theater de Vest Alkmaar, Podium Hogewoerd, Kaaitheater Brussels, Zwolse Theaters, Malta Festival Poland, TheaterTreffen Berlin (workshop), Forum 'ein gutes Leben für alle' Dresden (workshop), Mimar Sinan University Istanbul (workshop) and Theater D22 Istanbul (workshop) |

In 2013 Schwalbe and a group of 35 Rotterdammers worked together for 6 weeks and created Schwalbe is looking for crowds. In every city in which they performed, they invited local people to join in a mass movement on stage, resulting in large scale participatory performances, with up to hundred people, moving at various  speeds in circles. The performance won the BNG Bank Nieuwe Theatermakersprijs and was nominated for VSCD Mimeprijs and Dutch Dance Days.

In Schwalbe is looking for crowds the circle was built through the interaction of the participants, a conversation in speed, with different forms of togetherness. When a group starts walking together they usually take on the same rhythm, like a slow thumping army. The footsteps of the circle sound like rain, rain can be harder and softer, but drops don’t all fall at the same time. 

One of the first things we train is to bring your own rhythm into the group while listening to the rhythms of others. We train how to move together, create the lifting energy of a crowd without losing your own agency. A research that is never done because there is always something new to find. As a spectator you look at a highly energetic group of people, from 16 to 90 years old, going round and round in a swarm-like movement, with an ungraspable logic. You zoom in, seeing individuals in their journey and how they relate to others around them, and zoom out seeing the shape and energy change over time.

Seeing movement is experiencing movement. (..) In physical performances such as Schwalbe is looking for crowds, the body of both the performer and the spectator become signifiers.