In its 20th anniversary of its foundation and in light of the success achieved in the last few years – thanks to the support received by the theatre institutions in Catania –compagnia zappalà danza partners Teatro Stabile of Catania in a project which aims to give contemporary dance a role of greater importance. This new collaboration, born out of the need to consolidate and strengthen the existing relationship between the two partners, will see the company in residence at Teatro Stabile di Catania for a period of three years (2010-2012).
While the residency at Scenario Pubblico guarantees compagnia zappalà danza access to studio space for rehearsals and performances, the residency at Teatro Stabile is an artistic residency. Teatro Stabile will support the production of all the creations in the period 2010-2012, which are part of a wider project conceived by Roberto Zappalà entitled ‘re-mapping Sicily’. This project intends to re-map Sicily using Zappalà’s personal artistic craft, with the collaboration of Nello Calabrò as dramaturge.
The collaboration starts with the presentation of A.semu tutti devoti tutti? – as part of ‘TE.ST gesti contemporanei’ season – a performance produced in 2009 with the participation of Teatro Stabile. ‘re-mapping Sicily’ deals with popular religious belief: taking Saint Agatha’s celebration as the starting point, this performance shows popular religious belief under its multiple aspects; devotion and fiction, love and frenzy, redemption and exploitation. Through the ongoing and driving presence of dance, accompanied by original live music by Puccio Castrogiovanni, the contradictions and ambivalences of a popular religious celebration in Sicily, both in the past and in the current time, are presented on stage.
In 2010-2011, the company will produce a new work by Roberto Zappalà, entitled ‘Odisseo’. This work focuses on the theme of emigration/immigration and the relation between us Westerners and the migrants. Similarly to Odysseus’s journeys, many of today’s tragic odysseys are set across the Mediterranean Sea, with Sicily at its very centre. Throughout much of its history since the 1800s, Sicily has experienced major waves of emigration. The encounter/clash with the Other is the true challenge of the 21st century; as Ryszard Kapuscinski says, “The Other is a mirror in which we can see ourselves reflected or in which others can see ourselves reflected: a mirror that unmasks and exposes us, something we would prefer to avoid”; and furthermore, “all of us, inhabitants of our planet, are Other for Others”.
A third creation, whose title and project are yet to be confirmed but whose theme is strictly related to the ‘re-mapping Sicily’ project, is due to be created in 2011-2012.
The involvement of Teatro Stabile in a realm far from its institutional area of competence confirms the ever increasing cross-contamination among different arts genres; it is also an opportunity for dance to be acknowledged as a contemporary art form by being integrated within a wider and more articulate contemporary theatre programming. This collaboration – a unique example in Italy – represents also a very important step towards a new way of conceiving production, as it allows a private company and a public institution to join forces to produce work.