Starting from the title, we felt that the German language would be the most appropriate to express the central theme of this year’s Festival:
ROT has a hard sound: it’s a scratch, a tear that speaks of effort; it’s the sound your teeth make as they struggle.
ROT is a blinding red, the metamorphosis of passion, it’s iconoclasm and raging fury; it’s the blood that irradiates our hearts or the mark left by the violence of crimes perpetrated. It’s moral deafness in the name of a personal god, the trampling of dignity, and a cry of desperation in the face of the barbaric interment – even today – of ideas like peace and freedom.
ROT is the pristine soul, it reflects our château intérieur; it’s the language of forgiveness and the emotions; it’s the ancestral colour of Eros that makes our hearts beat faster, our blood pressure soar, and causes us to breathe more heavily.
ROT doesn’t mean ‘stop’ but conscious action and dogged resistance; it’s the roaring flame of ethical struggle.
ROT rebels against the superficial, the herd, every false idol and opportunism.
ROT is the sick, agonising animal bursting with magnificence in its opposition to all this.
ROT is you, your body – but you’d forgotten.
It’s a body that needs to tear off its own skin to become the auscultatory instrument that listens in on the world – the dowsing rod that explores the organs of this animal, the Earth – to see how far its inhabitants have evolved, or which species have been rendered soundlessly extinct. As Christiane Jatahy’s bodies comb the planet for twinned traces of themselves, those of Caden Manson/Big Art Group pant spasmodically, hoarding to fill the void; Milo Rau’s beaten, solitary limbs contrast with the nostalgia of Deflorian/Tagliarini’s; while Peeping Tom’s altered bodies are assuaged by the dream of Olmo Missaglia’s metamorphosed structures, Samira Elagoz’s reconstruction of identity converses with Belova/Iacobelli’s inorganic humans; and Yana Ross legitimizes the identity of an epidermal layer that stands against the ‘battle of the sexes’, travelling through Antoine Neufmars’ impudently hypertrophic olfactory glands, which find reflective shelter in Aine E. Nakamura’s fragile voice.
Bodies, fragments, and organs displayed in blister packs with no qualms whatsoever. These are medical treatments to sedate the nanny that would have us be the squatters of our own selves, allowing us to become owners of meaning once again.
Furthermore, ROT therapies are actual non-pharmacological treatments: they consist in revitalising an interest in environmental stimuli, encouraging all war veterans and those with Alzheimer’s to engage with others, re-orientating the confused patient in time and in relation to their own history.
For the Biennale Teatro 2022 we will start precisely from this rehabilitative intervention – ROT – and its countless variations. It will follow the thread of the times we live in and illuminate the tremors of a Humanity that needs to invent new forms of life through cultural transfusion.
Bloodstreams, tides of red, expressive estuaries: the Creations hosted at the Festival will cross boundaries to offer us works of ‘interference’ rich in a heterogeneous variety of languages, techniques and codes, in dialogue with the urgent needs of the Present. Not just one, but many, possible kinds of theatre, where meaning flows freely between one ‘grammar’ and another.
Bringing an unprecedented series of partners together, we will lower the granite drawbridges to establish real exchanges between disciplines (such as Dance, Music, Visual Arts, Architecture and Cinema). We will promote emerging talent, giving it a voice, visibility, and the opportunity to experiment and create original work with the help of the Biennale College Teatro Calls for proposals (for Directors Under 35, Authors Under 40 and Performers Under 40). Through the Round Tables and Masterclasses – and assisted by an international team of scholars, industry professionals, journalists, artists, and maîtres at the top of their field – we will provide reactive fluids to navigate the circulatory apparatus of new animal forms, hybridizing linguistic, gestural, visual, acoustic and material archipelagos, injecting oceans of globules and blood platelets into our veins to allow the Theatre of tomorrow to proliferate.