ESSERE CREATIVO, THE INTERNATIONAL SHOWCASE FOR INDEPENDENT CHOREOGRAPHERS AT HANGARTFEST

by Katharina Pfeffer and Vanessa Gonçalves (EVS Volunteers / Vicolocorto) (photo C&C)

 

This Sunday was held the showcase Essere Creativo at the Teatro Sperimentale in Pesaro. The next week Hangartfest will end with laboratories and performance for children.
When we arrived, everything was looking very professional and well organized. A lot of people were waiting outside and inside in the line to get their tickets. Going down the stairs, everyone was handed a program guide, and when they entered the show room (cinema hall), they were guided to their seats by attendants. Slowly, the room was filling with people, curious about the upcoming performance.
The program guide let us know that more than 90 acts applied for this showcase, and that the 5 performances this evening were chosen by a commission composed by Gilberto Santini (director of AMAT), Bruce Michelson (artist and Italian correspondent for the magazine Dance Europe), Carmelo Antonio Zapparrata (journalist and dance critic) and Antonio Cioffi (director of Hangartfest). Partners of the showcase are AMAT and two Norvegian festivals: Ravnedans (co-directed by Maren Fidje Biorneseth) and Sanafestivalen (directed by the choreographer Ingvild Isaksen).
After reading the introductions, the lights went off and the performances started.

 

Ialemos/ When there is nothing else to mourn, you have to mourn yourself
by and with Sonia Ntova
live music and singing: Marina Tantanozi and Spyros Theodoridis

The audience sat, the curtain opened up and we were immediately confronted with a frozen scene, a kind of photography: two performers (a guitarist and a singer), discreetly placed behind on the right side of the stage, and a third performer right in the front on the left side. This last performer (the dancer) was standing inside of a levitating jacket, hanging on a rope like a marionette.

The show started. A light focus illuminated the front performer moving anxiously inside of the suspended jacket, looking like she wanted to escape from it. At the same time, a soundscape emerged from the two musicians in the background. One playing guitar with distortion and using a prerecorded rhythm of drums, another making sound effects with the voice, singing and making a frozen position of a person who screams, but without any sound coming out.

As it says in the description of the show “Ialemos/ When there is nothing else to mourn, you have to mourn yourself”, it´s a song of sorrow, a latent protest, with its roots in the past, a whispering voice of the soul that wants to become a scream”.

The whole atmosphere created brought us to an ancestral ritual scene, slightly dark and full of tension. Along the show the dancer continued to move inside the coat, increasing the speed and intensity of the movements, as someone in pain who just wanted to escape from this second skin, maybe a metaphor of “the oppression”.

At a certain point she liberated herself of the coat and started to dance ferociously, moving all over the space, transmitting a mixture of feelings between anxiety and relief .The musicians developed the music in symbiosis with the dancer, sometimes guiding her, sometimes also responding to her movements.

The ending was minimalist and sublime, the dancer rested on the ground, the guitarist stopped playing, all the lights went off and only the singer remained, singing a sad song of sorrow (in Greek) while walking off the stage.

 

Tracing Spaces
by Feet Off the Ground Dance Company
with Robyn Holder, Lucia Chocarro, Sophie Thorpe and Patricia Zafra

First of all I think it is important to have a brief description of the work developed by the dance company:

Feet Off the Ground Dance Company is a company that makes exhibitions with performances in unusual contexts and in non-conventional spaces. Their work is rooted in the style of Contact Improvisation, created by Steve Paxton in 1970 in New York. This is a creative, funny, acrobatic, energetic and unpredictable type of dance. This company creates physical performances, structured and exciting, that allow the public to experience contemporary dance in new contexts.

This was truly a “vibrant and bracing dance”, very different from the first one. Without a story or an exploitation of a specific emotion. Mainly based on the exploration of the movement, the four dancers performed an impressive and breathtaking choreography. Four bodies interacting organically, establishing a conversation, a game of “call-answer” developed mostly in couples (exchanging between them), but always giving a collective sense to the whole scene.

The space seemed never empty; we could see circles of energy drawn from side to side, from the earth to the sky, from the start to the end of the performance. A vibrant show.

 

Maria Addolorata
by C&C Company
with Chiara Taviani and Carlo Massari

The third performance was called “Maria Addolorata”. It was choreographed and performed by C&C, a collaboration of two independent artists, Carlo Massari and Chiara Taviani. As we could read, it was an investigation on really painful events. A journey of two beings, socially identifiable or not, trying to survive in the outside world, handling the events and themselves. They weren´t telling a story but explored a huge universal theme, without rules, unexpected.

The pain is one of those rare real, original, primordial sensations.
It is a fact: we get hurt.
It is part is of a life engine that constitutes the human being; we experience it, we do it, we express it constantly: it is a form of communication.
It is not a simply question of sensibility, the body machine involves itself also in the pain; this becomes almost a daily part of our lives, common to anyone at different levels. Skins and voices express themselves differently, but the pain is something pure and hard, unique and universal. Whether it is physical or intangible you cannot avoid it, no half measures then.

The performance started a little bit melodramatic, with the two dancers dressed up like they were on a funeral, crying, sobbing, sniffing into tissues. They were suffering very visibly, totally caught in their pain. After a while of crying, they broke free from their costumes and started demonstrating different kinds of ways to deal with pain: drinking, getting apathetically lost in pain, needing help and rejecting help. Every action seemed to be somehow familiar; everyone has a different way of dealing with pain or suffering.
Even though the topic was rather desolate, they managed to present it in a very entertaining way, making the audience laugh several times. It was very entertaining and at the same time very interesting to see how they adapted the thought of pain into their performance.

 

TempoPelle
by and with Clementina Verrocchio and Matteo Principi

“TempoPelle” was the name of the fourth act, choreographed and performed by Clementina Verrocchio and Matteo Principi. The project started from the observation that, in the relationship between two individuals, today the most common attitudes are mistrust and detachment, behaviors that lead to create defensive walls and isolation. Everyone lives in a “bubble” where they only have eyes for their own aspirations or wishes. The others are part of self standing worlds and they all seem to be unaware of how the other one and the others can be resources rather than something to be resisted. The real revolution today is the search for the other, open up to the possibility of the knowledge of their world, their bubble, to come in and get through visions, their way of being and their experiences, in a mutual exchange that let them both enrich themselves.

They implemented the idea very well: it was very visible that they weren’t really interacting at the beginning, both of them were moving in their own space, exploring the stage, there was no touching or acting together. At some point they became closer, it looked like they were blocking the way of the other, interfering and chasing at the same time. After that continued for a while, they finally approached each other in a calm way, almost touching very gently. They gave each other support, and it seemed like they finally grew closer and were about to leave the stage together, but then Matteo decided to go his own way, let go of Clementina’s hand and left the stage at the other side.
For me, it was very intense to watch the different stages of their relationship: first it was very lonely and isolated, then they moved together and at the end parted again.

 

(zero) work in progress – estratto
by and with Cuenca Lauro

The last performance, called “(zero) work in progress – estratto”, was directed by Elisabetta Lauro and performed by herself together with César Augusto Cuenca Torres.
The description left us without any idea of how the performance could look like, but we were very curious:

We left to go, and then we let go. We continued to turn in the orbit, around each other, without having anything to aim for. We found ourselves upside down, distant and alone, a millimeter from the ground, with the center too high, and to little weight. We were completely caught in the dance. The vortex of zero had canceled all certainties; it demolished our structures, as a hurricane does it to a house, and left us so, eradicated and exposed, alien to ourselves and the world we inhabit.
Now we continue to undertake efforts searching for a fixed point that may not even exist. But in the end, even the roots are never still, never fixed: they dig in, dig up, emerge, sink, disrupt. And the same tree, believed to grow in linearity into the sky, has his life under the ground in a crazy pattern, a maze of directions. It is there that he moves his fate, and perhaps in this mobility the essence of each being is realized. In the nullification, where everything is fugitive and ephemeral, the true life which has no form is unfolded.

The piece started with the two performers dancing slowly together on a little hill of earth that was built on the stage. The light was dimmed, and also the clothes of the dancers were earth-colored, conveying a very calm and intimate feeling.
After a while, their dance grew faster and faster, but they never let go of the others hand. Because their dance involved a lot of turns, it lead to some abstract twisting of their arms. Their fast movements left them looking exhausted and disoriented, but they still held on to the hand of the other.
Finally, they started moving alone on the stage, but they were still connected through their movements: everything they did was totally synchronous.
When their movements became slower, it looked like the performance was going to end, but instead they started again, this time moving more independent, not touching all the time. They were working more with the space that they had, on the ground, running in the corners. Even though they were not toughing all the time, you could still feel a very intense connection between them, especially at the end of the performance.
Of all the performances, this piece was the most abstract and hardest to understand for me. But at the same time it was very beautiful to watch the two dancers interact, just letting myself getting carried away by what I saw.
This evening was a very great way to end our work with the Hangartfest, leaving us breathless, inspired and impressed by all the skills and work that we saw. Thank you to Hangartfest for letting us be part of it!

Katharina Pfeffer and Vanessa Gonçalves

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