There is a Chinese inscription featured beside the logo of the Carnevale del Teatro that La Biennale and I chose to dedicate in 2006 to China.
That inscription means crisis, and consists of two ideograms. The first means danger, the second opportunity. Together they communicate, at least to me, that the times we are living in can offer us new adventures and, if we can seize them, new opportunities. This is true for relations with China, but for theatre as well, for the artists and for culture. It is true for everyone in this increasingly globalised world who is grappling with the dangerous new lack of attention to artistic creativity. I am approaching this adventure as part one of a much larger and innovative project, which in 2006 will attempt to bring life back to the city of Venice, and not just in terms of theatre. This city craves revitalization, it wants to be repopulated with students who can truly become an active part of it, with artisans and artists (the etymology of the two words is the same) who choose to stay here for shorter or longer periods of time, but in any case to build, with the Venetians, a veritable “island of the intellect”, a Kantian definition that was suggested to me in a recent encounter by Massimo Cacciari.
On the other hand, I don’t know of any other city in the world that can, like Venice, make theatre and piazza coexist. This is yet another reason why we decided that in 2006 the International Theatre Festival, dedicated to Gozzi and Goldoni, will take place from July 14th to 28th, so that we can use the theatres and the city squares. Venice City of Theatre. I have to be careful not to let the word Utopia, a term that is almost too dear to me, slip again for this dream. Possible Utopia. It will be of great credit to La Biennale – if it is successful – to have started it, and to the city of Venice and the Venetians, if they succeed in becoming the protagonists of new encounters, new knowledge, new cultural stimuli that could reconnect to the words used by Marco Polo in Il Milione when speaking of China: maraviglia et diversitade.
Director Theatre Department