dedicated to ‘Splendid’s’ by Jean Genet
direction Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò
with Silvia Calderoni (Jean), Ilenia Caleo (Rafale), Sylvia De Fanti (Bravo), Federica Fracassi (il Poliziotto), Ondina Quadri (Pierrot), Alexia Sarantopoulou (Riton), Emanuela Villagrossi (Scott), I-Chen Zuffellato (Bob)
radio voice Luca Scarlini and Daniela Nicolò
text Magdalena Barile and Luca Scarlini
with Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, Comune di Bologna
in collaboration with Biennale Teatro 2016; L’arboreto – Teatro Dimora, Mondaino; Santarcangelo Festival Internazionale del Teatro in Piazza; Teatro Petrella, Longiano
with the support of Mibact, Regione Emilia-Romagna
show included within the project HELLO STRANGER | 25 years of MOTUS
Bologna, October – December 2016
2016 Special Project promoted by the Municipality of Bologna and Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione
RAFFICHE was born from the impossibility of restaging Jean Genet’s Splendid’s fourteen years after Motus’s “historical” performance, with an only female cast. The rules of international copyright expect of theatre makers to respect the sex of characters, as they are indicated in the script. Even with an author like Genet who, for his whole life, fought for the necessity of metamorphosis, of betrayal and ambiguity. From this surprising denial exploded the desire to work on the themes of identity and revolt, of the refusal to adhere to a preconceived deference towards the separation of reality in male and female. An original script by Magdalena Barile and Luca Scarlini starts from the same narrative situation (a group of rebels besieged in a hotel – whose name remains from the original, only the name as a homage to the French playwright) to tell of mutating and subversive identities, creatures that have suspended the will to define themselves. Characters who have, for a long time, used performance as a form of political activism, and who now, in a situation of threat and constant persecution from powerful conservative lobbies, have moved on to another kind of struggle. They have taken up machine guns, without foregoing their natural elegance, to state “another” vision of society, without pre-established roles and heterocentral control. A show for hotel suites, that stages, really close to the audience, almost a touch away, the pungent and exciting breath of revolution, the sexy smells of transmodern witches. Not only are they back. They remain with us to sing a tune other than preconceptions, stereotypes and prohibition.
In memory of the Raffiche Queen: Damir Todorovic
Motus was founded in Rimini in 1991 by Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Francesconi Nicolò. Both were studying in Urbino, where they met while taking part in the university theatre group “Atarassia” and E.A.S.T. (European Associations of Students of Theatre). Following their graduation (respectively in History of Economics and Sociology), they moved to Rimini where was born the idea of founding an independent group initially called “Opere dell’Ingegno” (“Works of the mind”).
In spring 2007 Motus began a specific exploration, almost documentary in nature, of adolescence, coming to life through the X(ics)Racconti crudeli della giovinezza project, which included four shows, a film and eclectic performative moments. The outlook thus shifted to the city outskirts and today’s disoriented youth, dispersed in the metropolitan scenario, to seize and give voice to those forms of anomalous resistance among adolescents of the French, German and Italian banlieues. X.01 movimento primo premiered at the Venice Dance Biennale in June 2007, X.02 movimento secondo was presented at the Théâtre de la Ville di Valence in France, X.03 Halle Neustadt at the prestigious Festival Theater der Welt in Halle, Germany in June 2008 and finally, X.04 Napoli in April 2009 at the Teatro San Ferdinando in Naples.
In 2009 began the Syrma Antigónes project, developed in a relationship of continuity with the previous production Ics (X) Racconti crudeli della giovinezza: the idea of this work was to focus on an analysis of the relationship/conflict between generations, taking the tragic figure of Antigone as an archetype of struggle and resistance. Three contests arose from the project – neither shows nor performances but “contests”, meaning confrontations/clashes between two actors: Let The sunshine In, Too Late and Iovadovia. The journey however was completed in autumn 2010 with the opening of Alexis. A greek tragedy… at the Festival Vie di Modena. A very long and successful tour followed: France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Eastern Europe and then even further, Brasil, Argentina, New York and Montreal… Precisely in Montreal, where Alexis received a wild success, the show was awarded the price for Best Foreign Performance for the season 2011-12 by the Jury of the Association of Theatre Critics of Quebec (A.Q.C.T.) in November ’13.
During the summer of 2011, Motus has opened a new research path called 2011>2068 AnimalePolitico Project, in order to intercept worries, leaps, images and projections of this “Tomorrow that makes all tremble”, darting into an intricate landscape of revolutionary artists, writers, philosophers, comics writers and architects who have imagined (and still try to imagine) the Upcoming Near Future. The first Public Act, called The Plot is the Revolution, was a touching scenic encounter between “two Antigones”, Silvia Calderoni and the mythical figure of contemporary theatre, Judith Malina (Living Theatre). This experiment – not really a show but a dialogue between different generations, experiences and physicalities – was presented at the Teatro Petrella in Longiano as part of the Santarcangelo Festival 2011.
Judith was the first guest of a research path of exploration that was articulated through public actions, workshops, residencies. The performance When was presented at Les Subsistances in Lyon in March 2012, as part of the “Ça tremble !” Project. In July 2012, following a creative residency at the Centrale Fies, the work has been further elaborated and has grown in complexity as it was fragmented in three different acts, happening at three different moments during the day. W.3 Public Acts [Where, When, Who] is thus presented at the XXIII edition of the Festival di Dro in July 2012. This trilogy draws inspiration from A Scanner Darkly, a novel by Philip K. Dick investigating themes like surveillance, viral proliferation of ever growing sci-fi-like systems, “obsessive digitalization” of public (and private) spaces. For almost two years, Motus has navigated across injuries, conflicts from today and hallucinated visions of tomorrow, between utopias -distopiae and a little adrift between ages, reading Huxley, DeLillo, Ballard, Dick, London, Thoreau… During the journey the fuse was finally found: Shakespeare’s The Tempest, play-within-the-play, and, amazed and irreverent, Motus’s directors decided to mangle it to go even deeper into that urge overflowing from each character: the desire of freedom. The show NELLA TEMPESTA premiered at Festival TransAmériques in Montréal (Canada) on May 24th through 27th 2013.
AnimalePolitico Project is not over yet, as during the Fall 2013 it continues with the presentation of a new performance called Caliban Cannibal (October ’13).
All of Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò artistic work goes hand in hand with an intense program of public meetings, lectures and masterclasses at Italian and foreign universities, precisely in connection with the company’s complex theatrical and video projects.
We recall in particular in 2014: the Atelier d’instruction “Poétique de la scène” held at La Manufacture – Haute école de théâtre de la Suisse Romande (HETSR) in Lausanne that gave birth to LIWYĀTĀN, freely based on Leviathan by Paul Auster and LAND GUAGE – A Workshop on Documentary Theatre held at La MaMa Umbria International in Spoleto, as part of the 15th Annual International Symposium Theatre.