conception, set and costumes Leila Gharib, Sonia Brunelli
coreography Sonia Brunelli
orginal live music Leila Gharib, Francesco Brasini
performers Alessio Mazzaro, Livia Rossi, Marzia Dalfini, Sonia Brunelli
lights and device Dafne Boggeri set elements realization Plastikart
costumes realization House Of Spectra
theoric collaboration Piersandra Di Matteo promotion Sarah Parolin| yak.

Xing/Live Arts Week (Bologna) coproduction steirisches herbst festival (Graz), Far° Festival des arts vivants (Nyon) production residency Santarcangelo 12 • 13 • 14 Festival Internazionale del Teatro in piazza, Interzona (Verona)

Running time 50′

Victory Smoke is the latest production by Barokthegreat, based on the image of the Victory. The dramatic action is based on the idea of hunting: dissimulation, waiting, and reactivity. Western art has transformed the Victory into the icon of  Triumph which, today, embodies the insistent form of a result obtained by any necessary means. It symbolizes the effectiveness as an existential practice, subjection to a constraint that sees performativity as a model of relational behavior. Barokthegreat’s creation features it in this embodiment, setting up a precise choral choreography, a compositional dynamic that carefully orchestrates the relations between individuals and collectivity. The whole performance is imbued with an ancient, tribal energy and is punctuated by the live intervention of two musicians. The underlying trigger is the idea of the hunt, seen as a catch without prey, a tactic, an unknown identity, the pure sense of exaltation. Rather than focusing on hunting tactics that would guarantee success and efficiency, Barokthegreat offers intuitive images—at times abstract or organic—that transpose the thrill of the chase and the elation which follows it.

Barokthegreat was founded in 2008 by the  musician Leila Gharib and the dancer and choreographer Sonia Brunelli. The company makes its way through the vast fields of the performing arts putting a particular emphasis on the origins of movement, the physicality and ritual function of music, the architecture of space seen as a possible habitat. Among its productions: The Origin (2008), Fidippide (2011) and Indigenous – a sound drama co-produced with Santarcangelo•12•13•14 and presented in the framework of Santarcangelo’s 2012 edition. With the editorial project Indigenous, Barokthegreat introduces the production of zines that, with the stickers’ serie, contributes to the group’s landscape definition through the collaboration with artists, designers and writers.
Since 2012 Barokthegreat proposes an experimental year-long program for dancers and performers in the city of Verona where the group is currently based.  With the editorial project Indigenous, Barokthegreat introduces the production of zines that, with the stickers’ series, contributes to the group’s landscape definition through the collaboration with artists, designers and writers.
Read Massimo Marino’s review

Massimo Marino, BOBlog, Corriere di Bologna, April 13th 2014

It is an exploration of an arbitrary territory, defined by a vacuum of light, which is the result of a mystery form of pentagon shadowing the lights. It is a drawing of bodies which can recall known gestures if you think that the performance is dedicated to the hunting, to the search for something (even the gold), to the waiting for the prey. Or rather not. To load the shotgun, its recoil, to move the sieve to divide the precious metal from the sand: you can see them, if you really want, but it is not important. In Victory Smoke by Barokthegreat, the choreographer Sonia Brunelli and the musician Leila Gharib draw a time travelled by black larva, which repeat rituals transformed in mobile experience, separating the signs from their meanings, reduced to symptoms or just behaviors. Geometrical explorations, circular movements which generates a vortex of spirals which almost recall that primordial hunting which is the human sacrifice in the labyrinth, the protecting oneself and the careful advancing, the measuring the space through the body, drawing the perimeter and making that lights and shadows limit us. Every action is merked by electric guitars, once persistent until the enthralling or unbearable distortion, once twisting towards more melodic landscapes, once pulsating like nights when we perceive also, from the dancers, calls of birds and wood.

Yet we let the need of bringing back to the known, representative world seduce us: the dance of Sonia Brunelli and Barokthegreat is nervous experience. Mathematics and beating, kidnapping and exact execution.

At a certain point that presence which followed closely every action, the nature, its spaces, its voices, its mysteries, its swarming reveals. In the semi-darkness an imaginary being arises, maybe a monster, maybe a tree, a living trunk, anxious night and primordial imagine. The victim appears, among sound explosions and arpeggio, the prey and its hunter (or maybe it is only that our damned habit of bringing the dream to the known, the abstract to the illustration, not to expose the surplus).

Then the shadow, which marked the whole action, reveals, from the top, overturned, a white mountain, in the fog, in the wind, which penetrates the bodies. After the lyricism of the tops and the white which almost take the view away, this psychic and mental dance, propitiatory and electric ends with a solo of geometrical gestures: like a ceasing, an attempt of showing, an attempt of grasping the wind by the hands: the victory smoke of the human being, anthropologically hunter.

I saw Victory Smoke in the white environment of Mambo, the Museum of modern art of Bologna, among the installations of Live Arts Week by Xing (in Bologna until April 13th). In this festival, interested in the most experimental frontiers of the body, the sound, the behavior, and this year also committed to retrace sequences of expanded cinema, the production of Barokthegreat was one of the greater lure moments.