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Gospel According to Matthew

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07 | 01 | 2014

A Biennale College – Danza special project
Venezia, Arsenale  4 - 5 - 6, 11 - 12 - 13, 17 - 18 July 2014

Highly anticipated debut for the Vangelo secondo Matteo, the Gospel according to Saint Matthew by Virgilio Sieni, a special project of the Biennale College – Dance. Various regions of Italy – Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Basilicata, Puglia – participated in planting the initial seeds of the production, which was then developed, composed and created at the Biennale as part of the Biennale College – Dance programme. The production will premiere at the Teatro alle Tese over the first three weekends of the month of July.
“To prepare a new work in the spirit of the College is not the same thing as working on a commission for a new choreography to show at a festival, explained the President of the Biennale di Venezia  Paolo Baratta - it requires engagement in a group exercise within which each person puts himself on the line as an individual, where the creative capacity of each person finds space for expression and a place to evolve within a continuous dialogue that takes place on the inside and the outside. The Vangelo secondo Matteo in this sense represents an extremely important example, not only for what it will give, but for the way in which it was built”.
The rehearsals were structured as an extended educational workshop that took place all over Italy, a process of creation by the performers together with choreographer Virgilio Sieni and his assistants. During the first phase the 27 tableaux that constitute the production originated in the various native cities of the people involved; a second phase took place and continues these days at the Arsenale, in which the different groups alternate their rehearsals on the sequence of stages built in the Corderie, revealing the phases of creation to the visitors of the Architecture Biennale.
The complete production will be presented during the first three weekends of July at the Teatro alle Tese in three cycles of 9 tableaux each: on July 4th at 8:00 pm the first cycle of 9 tableaux will makes its debut, and there will be a repeat performance on July 5th and 6th; the second cycle will make its debut on July 11th at 8:00 pm and will be repeated on July 12th and 13th; on July 17th at 8:00 pm, the last tableaux will make their debut with a repeat performance on the 18th. On Sunday July 6th and Sunday July 13th the Vangelo secondo Matteo will be repeated at 12 noon (instead of 8:00 pm), bringing together the dance audience and the visitors to the Architecture Biennale: at the special price of 16 euro (instead of 25), it will be possible to attend the performance and also visit the Architecture Exhibition in its two venues. There is also a cumulative pass for admission to all three cycles (three evening performances) at the price of 24 euro (instead of 45).
“Last year – recalls the choreographer and Director of the Dance Sector Virgilio Sieni – we developed a geography of itineraries disseminated through the Venetian campi, highlighting the transmission between place and gesture in an amalgam of languages between dancers and common people. That experience led this year to the development of the project Vangelo secondo Matteo, which extended these methodologies to the national level.
Through an intense cycle of practices focused on creation, we intend to present a series of questions on the concepts of community, gesture, place and detail”.
It is a true community constituted by the 163 performers – which include dancers, elderly people, children, blind people, craftsmen, mothers, fathers and children – of the episodes from the Gospel: from the Annunciation of the angel to the Entry into Jerusalem, through the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, in a polyphony of choreographic actions simultaneously performed in the naves of the Teatro alle Tese, where the audience may wander and stop to look at them like pictures at an exhibition. “Gestures and faces, adjacencies and gazes – remarks Sieni – will create a fresco that seeks to highlight the sense of community, of living by donating the gesture of dance to the figure and to the body”.
The Vangelo secondo Matteo is a production of the Biennale di Venezia.
All the activities for the Dance Sector for the year 2014 are made possible thanks to the support of the Fondazione Prada.
Also collaborating in the production of the Vangelo secondo Matteo are the Fondazione I Teatri di Reggio Emilia, Ert Emilia Romagna Teatro, Teatro Pubblico Pugliese, Crest, Regione Toscana, CID Centro Internazionale della Danza and the Festival Oriente Occidente, the City of Matera, the Comitato Matera 2019, the Soprintendenza BSAE of the Basilicata region, Basilicata 1799/Festival Città delle 100 scale.

Gospel According to Saint Matthew
Credits >>

Evening shows (8 pm): € 15
Sunday shows (12 noon): free admission for visitors of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition at the special price of € 16 (instead of € 25)

On Sunday 6 and 13 July, it will be possible to attend the Gospel According to Matthew and the 14th International Architecture Exhibition at a special price: € 16 (instead of € 25) - the ticket may be purchased at the Arsenal ticket office.