LA NONA

year 2015 duration 90'

/ from chaos, the body

DANZA&DANZA 2015 AWARD “BEST ITALIAN PRODUCTION”

3rd step of the project Transiti Humanitatis

WORLDPREMIERE
20 | 21| 22| 23| 24| 26| 27 May 2015
Opera Theatre Massimo Bellini of Catania

music Ludwig Van Beethoven 9th Symphony op.125,
in the transcription for 2 grand pianos by Franz Liszt

choreography and direction Roberto Zappalà

dramaturgy Nello Calabrò

pianists Luca Ballerini, Stefania Cafaro

countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano / soprano Marianna Cappellani

dance and collaboration  
Maud de la Purification, Filippo Domini, Alain El Sakhawi, Alberto Gnola,
Marco Mantovani, Sonia Mingo, Gaetano Montacasino, Gioia Maria Morisco Castelli,
Adriano Popolo Rubbio, Fernando Roldan Ferrer, Claudia Rossi Valli, Valeria Zampardi

choreographer’s assistant
Ilenia Romano

project Transiti Humanitatis
a production by
compagnia zappalà danza / scenario pubblico international choreographic centre Sicily
in collaboration with: 
Teatro Garibaldi / Unione dei Teatri d’Europa (Palermo)
ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival
Teatro Comunale di Ferrara
Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania

Following the success of Invenzioni a tre voci, a work dedicated to women, and Oratorio per Eva, a tribute to the symbolic figure of Eve, Compagnia Zappalà Danza presents a new project, La Nona (The Ninth), a work for eleven dancers, inspired by Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The music used is not the original score for orchestra, choir and soloists, but Liszt’s transcription for two pianos, accompanied by a countertenor.
Zappalà’s reflections on humanity always take as their starting point the body and its stories, its perennial conflicts, and its hopes for solidarity and universal brotherhood.
Humanity in transit is humanity in movement, and movement is the opposite of immobility, immutability, fixed ideas and the absence of doubt. Movement, like Beethoven’s spirit and music, is secular, and secularism in thoughts and behaviour is the basis of creation.
The humanity displayed in La Nona develops by means of a process of accumulation, a condition of “primordial chaos” (as the composer Salvatore Sciarrino calls the first movement of the symphony), a multitude of intertwining, conflicting, almost negative micro-stories that then find peace in the adagio and end in a joyful fourth movement.
Beethoven’s Ninth, even in this chamber version, is music par excellence. And an important part of music is silence, which is also a vital first step in listening and therefore acknowledging others: the means by which Beethoven’s longed-for resolution is achieved.

In Beethoven’s time, the words “world” and “humanity” had a much narrower meaning than they do today. Although the Schiller’s Ode to Joy, the text on which the fourth movement is based, says “This kiss is for the whole world”, the “world” at that time was understood to refer broadly to the Europe that had risen from the ashes of the Napoleonic wars and been reformed by the Congress of Vienna. Today’s world is more globalised, and if there is a division, it is – in rather brutal terms – the division between the Muslim/Arab world and the rest. If the universal conciliation that Beethoven hoped for were alive today, this would be its focus. Today, more than ever, this kiss needs to be “for the whole world”.

“It was the first classical music concert that had ever been held there [Ghana]. There were 2000 people in the audience, five or ten of whom had studied in London and had some knowledge of classical music. (…) For the first time in my life, I spoke to people who had never heard so much as a note of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. After the concert, I asked them what they thought, and one of them replied, “I felt Beethoven was making a declaration of great importance to humanity.’ And I can’t think of any better description of Beethoven’s music.”
Daniel Barenboim