Mohamed El Khatib Stadium[Theatre]
Mohammed El Khatib brings together 53 supporters from RC Lens Football club for a unique aesthetic experience. Ranging from the deeply intimate to the deeply political, this documentary performance pays tribute to his football-loving father, sets the cat among the pigeons in terms of the many clichés about the world of football and draws up an anthropological map of stadium agora.
By enabling us to hear, directly, the voices of individuals who dedicate a considerable chunk of their existence to football supporter-related activities, the director overturns the working-classicist mythology that fuels a certain condescendence in relation to football lovers. The piece is backed up by a host of different trajectories and testimonies, and an in-depth insight into the highly-coded behavioral patterns prevalent in the stands. Mohammed El Khatib forages through this tightly-knit structure in search of complex values, social links, and the role that the contemporary ceremony of the match plays in the imagination. Honing in on the choreographic and visual element of this extended family, he creates a movement-led, documentary and choral score in order to build up multiple portraits of a crowd in movement. With its focus on the relationships between the individual and group at the heart of a ritual, Stadium dismisses all received notions in order to set in motion an astute exploration of the definition of the word “public”. For what is this “public”, if not an aggregate of individuals that a mixture of circumstance and sociopolitical determinations has brought together before a single, spectacular offering?