Into Perspective. Dialogues on Theatre
The project Into Perspective. Dialogues on Theatre stems from the collaboration between Emilia Romagna Teatro Foundation and the Department of the Arts-La Soffitta of the University of Bologna and is curated by Gerardo Guccini, Claudio Longhi and Rossella Mazzaglia. It consists of a series of conversations voicing artists, intellectuals and cultural operators’ perspectives on the role of the performing arts in this very moment of radical changes we are all experiencing.
The initiative is divided into thematic cycles, based on different critical concepts highlighting today’s current challenges such as the connection between the body and the world, that will be dealt with during the first series of dialogues, or that between trace and memory, productive and environmental ecosystems, spectatorship and participation.
The guest artists of the first step of the project, dedicated to Body-World, are: the Flemish collective FC Bergman (in dialogue with the Italian stage director Lisa Ferlazzo Natoli); choreographer Cristina Kristal Rizzo (in dialogue with Fabio Acca, researcher); actress, director and playwright Chiara Guidi (in dialogue with Gerardo Guccini and Enrico Pitozzi, academics); British stage director Matthew Lenton (in dialogue with Sergio Lo Gatto, dramaturg and theatre critic), choreographer and dancer Virgilio Sieni (in dialogue with Rossella Mazzaglia, academic, and Lorenzo Donati, theatre critic and researcher).
With the spread of the emergency from Coronavirus, the course of time has undergone a deep crack uncovering new frontiers of the real. In this modified (and still to be modified) world, oscillating between a pandemic and post-pandemic situation, what are the conditions and fate of theatre and dance? And what kind of requests and tools can the performing arts provide out of their negotiation between aesthetic needs, concrete creative practices and social urges?
Moving from these questions, Into Perspective. Dialogues on Theatre will provide the opportunity to listen to the thoughts, proposals, suggestions, desires of the most interesting figures of the Italian and International performance scene. Some of the invited speakers are Marco Martinelli, Gabriele Vacis, Armando Punzo, Michele Di Stefano, FC Bergman, Gabriel Calderón, Arthur Nauzyciel, Lisandro Rodriguez, Silvia Gribaudi, Davide Enia.
Through the composite alternation of individual and group testimonies – under the sign of a dialectic between the local and the global, the personal and the collective, passion and profession – the linguistic, thematic and spectatorial modes of theatre will be inquired in relation to the emerging world issues, thus unearthing and outlining a sense of plural reality also calling into question the idea of Europe as a fact-finding project and as a set of different and complex identities.
The first cycle of dialogues is dedicated to the fraught and stratified notion of Body-World. In this case, the two terms are not taken separately, but considered in reference to their relationship, for the ways in which the body affects the imagery and practices of the world and vice versa, and for the ways their relationship may have changed following the Coronavirus emergency.
The choice of the body, as the threshold from which to start, derives from its centrality in the performing arts. In its connection to the world, it also opens up multiple lines of thought, going from the biological body as a bordered body (confined and shelled) to the organic body, as animal, permeable incubator, both vulnerable and contagious; from the body as a physical place, isolated and lonely (particularly in the final moments of life) to the circular ubiquity of the present communication processes; from the forms of physical contact, having been erased or highly reduced, to the exponentially amplified network connections; from the neat separation between private and public in the real world (where the first is equaled to a place of security and the second to danger) to their dizzying hybridization in the digital world.
In the bottom line, the central issues inquire on the forms of resistance, mimesis, resilience or contrast that post-pandemic art can express in the construction of the body on stage, which represents a projection of other possible worlds in itself.
FIRST CYCLE BODY-WORLDfirst:
FC Bergman meets Lisa Ferlazzo Natoli
Cristina Kristal Rizzo meets Fabio Acca
Chiara Guidi meets Gerardo Guccini and Enrico Pitozzi
Matthew Lenton meets Sergio Lo Gatto
Virgilio Sieni meets Lorenzo Donati and Rossella Mazzaglia
The conversations with Italian artists will be held in Italian; the ones with international artists will be held in English, with Italian subtitles
FC Bergman was founded in 2008 by six actors / theatre-makers / artists: Stef Aerts, Joé Agemans, Thomas Verstraeten, Marie Vinck, Matteo Simoni and Bart Hollanders. Simoni and Hollanders have since left the core team and now work on an adhoc basis with FC Berman. The company quickly developed a theatrical language all of their own, which apart from being anarchistic and slightly chaotic, is essentially visual and poetic. In their shows the floundering, ever-striving human being has often taken centre stage. In 2009 FC Bergman won the Young Theatre Prize at Theater Aan Zee with its adaptation of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming. With Walking along the Champs-Elysées with a tortoise so as to have a better look at the world, but it is difficult to drink tea on an ice floe if everyone is drunk FC Bergman was short-listed for the Dutch Theatre Festival (2010). In 2011 FC Bergman created 300 el x 50 el x 30 el at Toneelhuis, a production still on the repertoire. Terminator Trilogy, created in 2012, was again a site specific work that toured internationally. Back in Toneelhuis (where FC Bergman is a collective in residence) they created an impressive music theatre project, Van den vos (December 2013), together with Liesa van der Aa, Muziektheater Transparant and Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop (DE). In 2015 FC Bergman made a site-specific show Het land Nod (The Land Of Nod): “In this atmospheric, scriptless production FC Bergman measures up to the greats: the mystical naturalism of Romeo Castellucci, the disconsolate absurdism of Christoph Marthaler, and the dancing dynamics of Pina Bausch. And all that gives Het land Nod visual grandeur” – Wouter Hillaert in De Standaard ***, May 9th 2015. The show was invited to participate in 2016 in the Festival of Avignon (FR) and the Zürcher Theater Spektakel (CH). It remains on repertoire in the 2017-2018 season, just like 300 el x 50 el x 30 el, which is being reprised in the Bourla Theater in 2017.
Meanwhile, FC Bergman is working on JR, another site-specific project, based on the eponymous cult novel by William Gaddis. NTGent and KVS are coproducing this project, which will have its premiere in March 2018.
Cristina Kristal Rizzo
Cristina Kristal Rizzo is a dancemaker based in Florence, Her interests concern choreography in an expanded field, something that she has approached through experimental practices and creative process in multiplicity of formats and expressions. She has been active on stage as performer and creator since ’94. Co-founder of the collective Kinkaleri with which she shared the creation and planning of all the production from 1995 to 2007, touring the international contemporary dance scene and receiving several awards such as the Premio Lo Straniero and the italian theatre award Premio Ubu. Since 2008 she undertook an autonomous career of production and experimental choreography, converging her body research towards a theoretical reflection with a strong dynamic impact. The first project she signed as an author is Dance N°3 (coproduced by Roma Europa and Festival and Aperto Festival), with exchanges of body writing between the choreographers Eszter Salamon, Michele Di Stefano and Matteo Levaggi.
Concentrating in this first phase on the necessity to regenerate the act of creation itself, between 2010 and 2011 she produces several choreographic objects half way in between performance, dance and visual arts. From 2012 she also participates at several collateral projects: she is developing with the scholar Lucia Amara the research project LOVEEEE (in collaboration with Xing) consisting on a series of performances lectures on the theme of ‘grace’; she is invited as host choreographer at Biennale Danza in Venice for the project Atleta Donna; she is an interpreter for a production with the Moroccan choreographer Taoufiq Izeddiou for Août En Danse in Marseille; she is host choreographer for the project Miniature Officinae for Marseille Capitale Européenne de la Culture; she is invited as choreographer for the project Digitalife Human Connections by Fondazione Roma Europa at the contemporary art museum Macro Testaccio in Rome; she is invited as choreographer by Ater Balletto for the production of a new creation TEMPESTA/THE SPIRITS and for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino she signs the choreography of ORFEO E EURIDICE with music by Gluck and the direction of Denis Krief at Teatro della Pergola in Firenze.
In 2015 she realized with the production of Bolzano Danza Festival and the Museum of Contemporary Art Museion in Bolzano, the multimedia event performance TECHNO CASA PLUS collaborating with the visual artist Riccardo Benassi. She also developed the special project BALINESE DANCE PLATFORM for Santarcangelo Festival 14 and 15.
She is a graduate in New York at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and at the studios of Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown. She collaborated with various artistic Italian platforms such as Teatro Valdoca, Roberto Castello, Stoa/Claudia Castellucci, MK, Virgilio Sieni, Santasangre.
Her work is supported by Regione Toscana and MiBACT.
Chiara Guidi is an actress and performer. She founded the Italian theatre company Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio in 1981 with Romeo and Claudia Castellucci, proposing an approach to theatre based on visual, plastic and sonic qualities. As an actress she has been developing an intensive research on the voice and how it becomes body, action, time, space, embracing music and text. Since 2008 she has been artistic director of Màntica, a festival of theatre and music in Cesena, Italy. Following up a long-term and award-winning research on theatre for children, in 2011 she initiated Puerilia, a festival devoted to children’s experience of theatre.
With the Socìetas Chiara Guidi produced plays which were performed all over the world at major international festivals and theatres. In 2013 Chiara Guidi received the prestigious UBU Award in Italy for the Màntica and Puerilia Festivals. In 2015 is appointed Artiste Associée at Théâtre Nouvelle Génération in Lyon (2015-2018).In close collaboration with musician and composer Scott Gibbons, Guidi shaped her own model of “Infant Theatre”, producing many successful performances such as Buchettino, after Charles Perrault, which still tours theatre and festivals all over the world. Among her latest creatiions: Edipo re di Sofocle. Esercizio di memoria per 4 voci femminili and Il regno profondo. Perché sei qui?, a reading performed with Claudia Castellucci, who is the author of the text; La terra dei lombrichi. Una tragedia per bambini (after Euripides’ Alcesti), Fiabe giapponesi and Edipo. Una fiaba di magia (conceived in collaboration with Vito Matera produced by ERT Fondazione).
She also published several books, among which: Buchettino, (Orecchio Acerbo, 2014), La voce in una foresta di immagini invisibili (Nottetempo, 2017) and, with Lucia Amara, Teatro infantile. L’arte scenica davanti agli occhi di un bambino (Sossella editore, 2019).
Matthew Lenton is the founder and Artistic Director of Vanishing Point. His work with Vanishing Point has been performed in over 20 countries across Europe, South America, Russia and China.
Other recent work includes The Merchant of Venice (National Theatre of Kosovo), Striptease/Out at Sea (Citizens Theatre Glasgow), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh), Mister Holgado (Unicorn Theatre, London) and Home (National Theatre of Scotland). Upcoming theatre includes Charlie Sonata (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh) in April and May and 1984, for Emilia Romagna Teatro in Modena, Italy.
In 2010, Matthew became the first British director of the Ecole des Maitres, a European director-led theatre laboratory for young actors from across Europe. The same year he directed Boy, a short film for Channel 4. He works regularly at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he sees his work with students as a crucial part of his own continued experience and as an opportunity to explore new material.
Virgilio Sieni‘s choreographic art, his works, his performances and his staging are already recognized as one of the most important theatrical experiments developed in the last few decades. The quality of his work lies above all in the fact that he confronts dance as contemporary visual expression, dismantling that constricted and nostalgic vocabulary of steps and figures that is the academic repertory, and with it those traditional, decadent ideas still fond of romantic atmospheres, their scenes, their spectacular flights and their sentiments. In this sense, his effort has been to step back from a form of dance and performance still subjugated to the laws of representation and acting and, in the wake of everything that has occurred and is occurring in contemporary art and theater, to render Italian choreography and its staging adult and international.
Sieni places the score and the combination, fixes the poses, in spatial scenes that have the same nature as installations or contemporary sculpture. A Sieni performance raises choreography to the level of true theater art; that is, it transforms the show into a rite and a celebration, loosing the language of the dancer in an expressive dimension that is not only the dramatic one of the scene but also the figurative and therefore iconic one of visual art.
The search for a personal language is not an end unto itself, it is not a mere stylistic exercise, but rather aims towards a process of transformation of material, technique and content into a form reduced to the essential but copious with regard to vocabulary and meaning. In Sieni’s work, it is evident how movement and the body are used in the search for a language made up of thousands of words and phrases, grammars, sings, images: a form in continuous expansion composed of figures and conjunctions that never conclude to end up in a repertory.