direction, set design and lights Cesare Ronconi
playwright Mariangela Gualtieri
body dramaturgy Lucia Palladino
with Arianna Aragno, Elena Bastogi, Silvia Curreli, Elena Griggio, Rossella Guidotti, Lucia Palladino, Alessandro Percuoco, Ondina Quadri, Piero Ramella, Marcus Richter, Gianfranco Scisci, Stefania Ventura
care and press office Lorella Barlaam
singing guide Elena Griggio
projections Ana Shametaj
costumes Cristiana Suriani
lights collaboration Stefano Cortesi
audio service Andrea Zanella
wood constructions Maurizio Bertoni
iron sculpture Francesco Bocchini
production Teatro Valdoca
with the collaboration of L’arboreto-Teatro Dimora di Mondaino, Teatro Petrella di Longiano
with the support of Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione
with the contribution of Regione Emilia-Romagna, Comune di Cesena, Fondazione del Monte di Bologna and Ravenna
Running time 1 h and 30′
Giuramenti is an emphatic and vital teamwork. It is a “body of bodies” and a “voice of voices” which dances and shows to the world its anxiety, love, passion and enigmatic wisdom.
Last winter, Teatro Valdoca spent three residence’s months with eleven young actors in order to train their body movements and voices. Through this experience, the company developed the play Giuramenti. A long analysis of the power of words and freedom is a call for the entire society to gather in the theatre. From the balconies, the audience observes the auditorium, which is turned into an empty stage, resembling a dark hole. Soon the performers will reveal their secrets in accordance to the thirty years long work of Teatro Valdoca.
The intense and tender solos of the individual performers stand out from the poetic verses or ritual a cappella of the choir. During the residence, Mariangela Gualtieri was inspired by Victor Cavallo, Czesław Miłosz and Zbigniew Herbert to write the texts of the play. In the young faces of the performers, she saw solemnity, boldness, anxiety, madness and passion.
<<The useless word puts on a show, – writes Mariangela Gualtieri – therefore, you have to try to create a show where the word is sacramental, within the tone of the oath. You have to live where the word is brought back to life, in an effort to give power back to the word. In order to do so, you need the art of the theatre, living bodies, hearts open to art and meeting, heads that know how to be quiet and become a temporary theatre community, which agrees in the will of growth and expression. Eventually, the community of the audience comes and make the dream come true>>.
Teatro Valdoca – historic artistic core of the experimental theatre in Italy, founded and lead by Cesare Ronconi and Mariangela Gualtieri – isn’t new to groupings of young people. This shows that in the vital course the age has no importance, and death is defeated by the breathing art, the leaping soul, that oath to Life that we can only accomplish together.
<<It’s a very energetic theatrical work, kicking, – she goes on – but also full of tenderness, concern and affection for the world and whatever fills it up. A gigantic love vow to theatre, art, and what keeps us close and alive».
The whole experience behind the creation of Giuramenti will also result in the documentary film, “Gli indocili” (“The Untamed”), whose script is by Mariangela Gualtieri and Ana Shametaj, a young video-artist who also directs the film. “Gli indocili” produced by Jacopo Quadri for Ubulibri, in collaboration with Teatro Valdoca and Stemal.
The Valdoca Theatre company – founded in the early eighties – is the result of the collaboration between Cesare Ronconi, director, and Mariangela Gualtieri, poet and playwright. Born as a collective, the Collettivo Valdoca was a music and theatre company whose members had no defined roles.
The two founders’ interest for theatre developed in the seventies, when, thanks to a grant, Ronconi and Gualtieri came in contact in Poland with Kantor’s works before his company, Cricot, came to Italy, participated in Wroclaw in the unforgettable Tree of People by Grotowski’s Laboratory Theatre and attended the play Apocalypsis cum Figuris performed by Grotowski’s group of actors.
In the same period, in the US, they came to know the experiences of Peter Shumann with his “Bread and Puppet” Theater and the works of Bob Wilson, Richard Foreman and the “Squat Theatre”, recently arrived from Hungary.
For the founders, however, the most surprising figure and most important point of reference was already then Carmelo Bene.
Those years were characterised by a strong restlessness whose outlets were solitary travels around the world (Brazil, Burkina Faso, Spain, North America) and a long stay of the whole company in a small village in Tanzania.
Since its beginnings, the company collaborated closely with the most appreciated artists of the time: mainly painters, sculptors, composers and musicians. A particular care was also devoted to the sound amplification set-up.
In 1985 Valdoca, after meeting the poet Milo De Angelis, founded a Poetry School directed by him. Through the school, during its three editions, the company met with the major Italian poets: Fortini, Luzi, Bigongiari, Loi, Cucchi, Sicari, Rosselli, Merini, Majorino and others.
It’s after these meetings and as a result of other defining personal experiences that Mariangela Gualtieri started writing verses, suspending her role as actress and acquiring that of playwright, while Cesare Ronconi coupled his direction with an unbroken pedagogical activity which would allow him to train directly its actors and dancers.
The most distinctive trait of Valdoca’s poetic is the epic character of its actors, always reaching for the super-human and the sub-human, thus stretched between hero and divinity on one side and animality, infancy and deformity on the other; by their renounce to a narrative, to social themes, current affairs and news.
The actor, then, is often a dancing body, whose voice, movement and stillness is heavily loaded with expressivity. Beside the decisive role of the actor, there’s the peculiarity of the word given to him: a word that’s always poetic verse, unprecedented, fitting with the written direction, a verse often written in close proximity to the stage and to the demands of direction.
The frequent presence of live music, the attention to the scene’s present, the simplicity of the projects, together with the characteristics mentioned above, transform the company’s performances into events loaded with ritual qualities, where the interplay between the scene’s forces and energies lead the audience inside the experience of its vision and convert the public into a participating and listening community.