The Rebellion of the Silent Sheep


 – or "The Luxury of Sadness" * A (dance) performance or a kind of concert inspired by “the longing”

The Arabic world is rebelling and fighting for democracy, human rights or religious power. Spain, Greece and other European countries are fighting bankruptcy and mass unemployment; whilst we are in Switzerland, doing business as usual and feeling guilty about all the possibilities and the freedom of thought we have. And even worse, we nonetheless still have the feeling of longing, which comes and haunts us: Our personal longing for perfection and love.

What is it about and what is “longing” made of? Inspiration for this composition originates from the song ‘The Longing’ by the Eels. A piece of music is its own world; it creates, in just a few minutes an atmosphere and in the case of a song perhaps even a short story, a happening or the infectious pulse of despair. Jessica Huber’s piece tries to share and express this inspiring – yet at times frustrating – feeling of longing, by deconstructing “songs about the longing” into text, pulse, movement and singing. In an intimate black box the performers present a series of mini-performances (or kind of `songs’).

The title is ‘The Rebellion of the Silent Sheep,’ but it could just as well be a name of a 'Band' or a ’kind of Concert'. What is clear is that it is about the feeling of longing - and the desire, which arises, when emotions are harder to explain than to share.

“And yet, there is a totally different quality vibrating beneath the lightly thrown words and cheeky gestures. … It is this mixture that gives the evening depth and a serious, explosive power. “


*the show can be done entirely in English or French*


“That which is rebelling and forcing expression, is the undefined and at times astonishingly clear and torturing emotion of desire. Choreographer Jessica Huber draws music from their bodies of her three outstanding performers, bringing them, amongst other things, to sing. Literally: the characters each present their favourite song in their unique way, on an intimate, black box stage.

Jessica Huber succeeds in balancing every last detail in the piece. And yet, in addition to the lightly thrown words and cheeky gestures, a totally different quality resonates – doubts grow inside the hitherto ‘silent sheep.’ It is that mixture that gives the evening depth and explosive force.”

Maya Künzler, Tages Anzeiger, November 26, 2011



“The performers bring the audience closer to what they think, feel and expect. We laugh when Barbara Schlittler sings that she still had dreams when she was 25 and that today – when she has everything she needs – she is unhappy, because she no longer has any dreams. We cry when Géraldine Chollet searches for a man, ‘30 – 35, good-looking,’ to take her in his arms, just for an evening or just for the moment. Nothing counts beyond the moment, in which everything happens: music, emotions, movement and love.
The American rock band, Eels, has a line about longing, ’The longing is a pain, a heavy pressure on my chest.’ However, perhaps longing is in the knees and sorrow lies in the chest. What then, if the knees wish to go farther to catch up the longing, while sorrow, because of missed opportunities, holds back?  The body fights with itself, while at the same time longing for forgiveness. ‘The longing is a friend / A way to stay close.’ In this performance choreographer Jessica Huber and her crew succeed in showing the audience that it is possible to dance about music, to understand dance and to write about that which has been understood.

The rhythm comes from within us, it pumps through our veins that activates our bodies – like music-lovers filling a concert hall, which would otherwise be nothing but an empty room.”

Fabienne Schmuki,  Kulturkritik, November 26, 2011


Concept and choreography: Jessica Huber
Performance and choreographical collaboration: Géraldine Chollet, Chris Durussel, Mathis Kleinschnittger, Barbara Schlittler
Lighting: Guillaume Gex
Feedback: Philippe Weissbrodt
Set design: Mickaël Henrotay Delaunay
Costume: Nina Willimann
Music: Gabriel Furé, Chris Durussel, Lila Dawns, Timber Timbre, Sonny Bonno, Barbara Schlittler
Production: A®TEM /Yvonne Dünki, Valentine Kuntschen

Duration: 60 min 

A coproduction with Tanzhaus Zürich and Südpol Luzern Residency: Théâtre Sévelin 36 Lausanne, Dansomètre Vevey

With the support from: Stadt Zürich Kultur, Fachstelle Kultur Kanton Zürich, Pro Helvetia Swiss Culture Foundation, the Sophie and Karl Binding Foundation

Link to Mathis Tap / killing the beat :

Link to Barbara's Song "The luxury of sadness":

Link to the full length video: