faced with the pain of others
Choreography and direction: Virgilio Sieni
Featuring: Giulia Mureddu, Ramona Caia, Jari Boldrini, Nicola Cisternino
Music: J.S. Bach, Three Sonatas for Viola and Piano
Costumes: Giulia Pecorari
Lights: Virgilio Sieni
Duration: 70 min. | N-18
Eleven choreographies that burst out in gestures of pain and of painting, reminding us of eleven tragic events that have occurred in recent conflicts: Sarajevo, Kigali in Rwanda, Srebrenica, Tel Aviv, Jenin, Baghdad, Istanbul, Beslan, Gaza, Bentalha, Kabul. Photographs of bodies diluted through dynamics and figures, seeking an unfathomable approach to horror.
Dance here affirms the effort to draw out of these ruins of existence an impossible and paradoxical beauty, carved out with the ethical and political instrument par excellence: the gesture.
Thus our attention turns once again to the question of the body, its meaning, its complexity and topicality. The only response offered is once again that revealed to and by the 14th century painter: the sublimation of tragedy in artistic transfiguration without comment, involving both the human and the sacred, the individual and the universal.
“The awareness of tragedy, of the pain suffered by so many in these lacerated times of ours, conflicts, explosions, mourning translated into movements of refined rigor, pictures moving in silence or enveloped by the notes of Bach. […] Desperation rendered in limpid images of bodies falling, losing one another, ties broken. Death is there as well, but only brushed, its presence felt, but as a background of disturbance, the suspended laugh, disequilibrium of bodies, bewildered solitudes. At the end, only a few figures remain on the floor – symbolically, a person from the audience as well – covered by large leaves, in silence. And then, the warmth of applause, for Sieni too, standing among the dancers. Magnificent!”
Valeria Ottolenghi - Gazzetta di Parma, May14, 2007
COMPAGNIA VIRGILIO SIENI
Virgilio Sieni, choreographer and dancer, has been a protagonist of Italian contemporary dance since the early 1980s, with his first company Parco Butterfly and subsequently with the foundation of the Compagnia Virgilio Sieni, active since 1992.
The company has developed in its birthplace Florence, Amsterdam, New York and Tokyo. Its practice includes not just contemporary and classical dance, but studies of art, architecture and Japanese martial arts.
The Compagnia Virgilio Sieni regularly works in Italy, France and in Europe. He has shown work in New York and undertaken tours in Latin America and the Far East. He has cemented productive relationships with the most important theatres and festivals in Italy, which contribute to the production of performances every year. He has twice been awarded the Ubu prize (the most important Italian prize for scenic arts).
As well as his work with the company, Sieni was guest choreographer for the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Teatro Comunale in Florence, the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli, the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and the Tuscan Ballet.
In creating his work, Sieni often collaborates with internationally famed visual artists, musicians and composers, for costume – with Miuccia Prada (with whom he has created three productions).
From 2003, Sieni has been based in Florence, where he is Artistic Director of CANGO Cantieri Goldonetta. CANGO is a home base of the company and a centre for contemporary arts, physical practice.
Virgilio Sieni is not only a choreographer but a multi-faceted artist working across performance, video, photography, installations and editorials. In 2007 he founded Accademia sull'arte del gesto (Academy of the Art of Gesture). The Academy is an innovative space for the transmission of artistic practice, continual research and creation.
Virgilio Sieni has been named director of the dance sector of the Venice Biennial 2013-2015.
PHOTO: Orlando Caponetto