Starting Thursday, October 20, New York City dance troupe The Woolgatherers will perform Revel’s End: A Tempest Dance Party. This original production takes place on a crowded dance floor, accompanied by an abundance of glitter, light storms, contemporary dance and live DJ set unique to each show.
No two performances will be alike, thanks to the use of controllerism: the music for each show will be mixed live, working off the energy of the audience and affecting the dancing of the cast. In that way, Revel’s End is much more like a concert than it is a traditional play, similar in many ways to Punchdrunk’s hit Sleep No More.
“This is not a play that will go on if you throw tomatoes at us,” director Grace Herman-Holland tells Bushwick Daily. “If you throw tomatoes at us, we’ll turn the bass way up, and throw them back.”
The Tempest, which was Shakespeare’s final play, tells the story of a group of misfits who find refuge on a magical island. For Herman-Holland, the play also serves as an allegory for the current political race. “The characters of The Tempest find themselves oppressed and imprisoned in the very land to which they fled to escape from violence—just as American immigrants are now facing threats of discrimination and expulsion,” she explains.
For Herman-Holland, the overarching goal of the show is clear. “We hope that Revel’s End will open up lines of communication and exchange. I want audiences to dance with us, drink with us, talk to us. Eighty percent of this show is made in the moment by our audience: their energy, their movements, their choices about where to look, when to sing along, when to walk away. Our country is fragile right now; we want to create a space for communication and listening—and the best catharsis of all: dancing.”
Revel’s End’s six-show, limited engagement run was originally going to take place at a Bushwick venue, but after a last-minute change, the show will debut at Studio 501 at CAP 21 on Thursday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. Subsequent performances will take place on Friday, October 21 at 7: 30 p.m., Saturday, October 22 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, October 23 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at revelsend.brownpapertickets.com.
Featured image: Revel’s End cast members in character. Courtesy of Revel’s End.