It’s difficult to imagine finding new words to describe a theatre performance – or indeed a Festival that brings so many together.
Since its birth, theatre has accustomed us to the same thing: whether tragically, ironically, brazenly or impudently, it represents who we are. Sometimes it does so realistically, while at other times it resorts to metaphor, or uses bodies and words, or silent performance, or draws on performance styles related to other disciplines (dance, gymnastics, mime, singing, shape-shifting of all kinds, etc.).
But since its birth, there is one thing theatre has never been able to do without: our humanity, and the history we have come from. Even when we throw ourselves into fantasizing about the future.
And that is what changes theatre – because, like history, we change every day. We all know that while there may be no direct reference to issues related to the pandemic, the climate crisis, or a war that is closer to us than any other conflict – even if geographically distant – theatre, and anyone who tells contemporary stories, cannot ignore such issues.
The second chapter of the Biennale Teatro directed by ricci/forte is underpinned by the colour red (ROT, as they prefer to say, because even the sound of different languages gives a different nuance to the same word).
It will be worth seeing how their programme unfolds, how far it will stray from the initial idea, or how contents chosen many months ago may be realized differently to the way originally envisaged.
As for the words used in their introduction to the Catalogue – “scratch, tear, passion, iconoclasm, blood, violence, crimes, dignity, despair, peace, freedom, forgiveness, resistance, opportunism, body...” – will these be said, experienced and perceived as they would have been a year ago? Or will they elicit different emotions in light of the historical context in which they are being uttered?
The winners of the Golden and Silver Lions suggested by the Artistic Directors and approved by La Biennale’s Board go to Christiane Jatahy, who has earned this prestigious award in spite of her young age, and to Samira Elagoz, whose experience marries very different latitudes, from Egypt to Finland.
A warm welcome to them both as they join the family of La Biennale.
Once again the College for Italian directors returns this year, laying the groundwork for a new production to be presented at the Festival in 2023, in addition to staged reading of two plays selected from participants at the Italian authors’ College.
Since its inauguration last year, a third College focusing on Italian and international performers will also lead to two new productions.
La Biennale extends a warm, welcoming embrace to all of these young talents, as well as to those who will present the fruits of the work begun at last year’s Festival.
Our thanks go to the Ministero della Cultura and the Regione Veneto, the regional Institutions that each in their own way support La Biennale, the City of Venice, the Soprintendenza Archeologia, belle arti e paesaggio per il Comune di Venezia e Laguna, and the Italian Navy.
We would also like to thank Rai, Media Partner for La Biennale di Venezia.