The 46th Festival
“Second Act” by Antonio Latella: the 46th International Theatre Festival, to run in Venice from July 20th to August 5th, is titled Actor / Performer. “Perhaps, as we find it increasingly difficult to understand why, for example, a production of theatre-dance cannot be defined as theatre, or vice-versa a production that we may define as ‘theatre’ also features performers at work, I believe that the object of the discussion may be circumscribed to two factors – vectors of the stage, the actor and the performer, and in particular where is, and is there still, a distinction between performer and actor”.
Choreography, direction, music, the plastic arts, juggling, puppet art, mime. The disciplines multiply and intersect in the shows presented at the Festival.
The authors include: Clement Layes, a French artist living in Berlin, born in 1978, studies in choreography, theatre, the circus arts, whose productions explore the humour in everyday life and its objects; Gisèle Vienne, a forty-year old French Austrian, studies in choreography and direction and a specialization in puppet art, who focuses on the interaction between the disturbing immobility of the artificial body and the dynamic nature of the natural body; Simone Aughterlony, forty years old, originally from New Zealand and now working between Berlin and Zürich in choreography and the performing arts, builds spaces that generate new forms of narration; Swiss artist Thomas Luz, born in 1982, a director and musician who experiments with a personal form of musical theatre; Davy Pieters, 30 years old, Dutch, a director who studied at the Theatre Academy in Maastricht, who uses video tubers' methods of composition, moving the actors as if they were inside a videotape; Vincent Thomasset, forty-four years old from Grenoble, author, director and choreographer, who works on language and its nuances; Jakop Ahlbom, born in Sweden in 1971, living in Amsterdam since 1990 where he studied mime at the Art school, presents distressing events within a theatrical narration – defined as physical visual theatre – akin to Hollywood genre-cinema.
From Italy, there will be: the Silver Lion award recipients Anagoor – which inaugurates the Festival with the world premiere of Orestea – Agamennone, Schiavi, Conversio -, more than a company an artistic collective, within which the performing arts, philosophy, literature and the hypermedia stage engage in dialogue; the duo Antonio Rezza – Flavia Mastrella, the former a performer-author, the latter an artist-author, winners of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, who will also open the festival with their highly original productions, “stage paintings” which are the result of a figurative language that mixes colours forms movement and words; Giuseppe Stellato, 38 years old, studies at the Fine Arts Academy in Naples, artist and set designer, who explores the fruition of images; Kronoteatro, the group founded by Maurizio Sguotti, which merges its directing work with the wood sculptures of Christian Zucconi, to primarily explore the conflict between generations.
The Festival will also feature the world premiere of Spettri, Ibsen’s classic (Ghosts) in the interpretation of Leonardo Lidi, winner of the first call dedicated to Italian directors under the age of 30 of the Biennale College – Theatre. As recommended by Director Latella, the call awarded a special mention to Fabio Condemi, who will be at the Festival with Jakob Von Gunten, inspired by the eponymous novel-diary by Robert Walser.
Crime story, thriller, mystery, horror and fantasy, slapstick. The plays often tell micro-stories inspired by slices of real life and question our perception of reality or simply tell it in a different way. How Did I Die by Pieters, for example, reconstructs a murder from various points of view involving the forensic police of Amsterdam; Dreamed Apparatus by Layes is an installation about the small everyday episodes that agitate our dreams to the notes of the soundtrack from Hitchcock’s Spellbound; Vienne's Jerk stages an imaginary reconstruction of the crimes of American serial killer Dean Corll using a ventriloquist and puppet theatre; When I Die – A ghost story with music by Luz is inspired by the intimate diaries of a woman found in an abandoned loft and turns that stream of words into a choreography; Stellato’s Oblò short-circuits the images of a dramatic death that lies before everyone's eyes with reassuring domestic elements such as a microphone and a washing machine. Without naturally forgetting the Oresteia created by Anagoor, the grand archetype of all detective and crime stories.
The artists have been invited to the Festival with more than one play to form mini-solo retrospectives as conceived by Antonio Latella last year. There will be 31 titles presented for a total of 48 performances; 20 are brand new, including 6 world premieres.
The central theme of Actor – Performer, which underpins the 46th Festival, is the focus of encounters with the participating artists and a symposium with Chris Dercon (Artistic Director of the Volksbühne in Berlin), Pawel Sztarbowski (Co-Director Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw), Bianca Van der Schoot (former Artistic Director of the RO Theater in Rotterdam and performer), Armando Punzo (director, founder of the Compagnia della Fortezza, former Artistic Director of Volterra Teatro).