an idea by Nello Calabrò and Roberto Zappalà | choreography and direction Roberto Zappalà| music Franz Schubert | electronic music (original) Pierpaolo Cimino | dancers Adriano Coletta, Filippo Domini, Gaetano Montecasino, Fernando Roldan Ferrer | piano Luca Ballerini | soprano Marianna Cappellani | live electronics Pierpaolo Cimino | with the participation of Giuseppe Recupero and Sebastiano Russo | a co-production by Scenario Pubblico/CZD – Centro di Produzione della Danza e Bolzano Danza/Tanz Bozen | in collaboration with KORZO (Den Haag, NL) eMilanOltre Festival | with the support ofMinistero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo and Regione Siciliana Ass.to del Turismo, Sport e Spettacolo
One pianist and one vocalist embody the two main characters on stage in Roberto Zappalà’s latest production entitled LIEDERDUETT. Its two parts are independent and complementary: Corpo a Corpo (hand-to-hand) and Come le Ali (Like wings).
The lied adheres to the Romantic tradition of counterbalancing poetry and song, the human voice and instruments, alongside the bodies of the performers. The resulting symbiosis embodies different forms of artistic expression, in a physical and metaphorical battle.
It combines and merges Apollonian music with Zappalàs Dionysian choreography, subtly blending the voice, the piano and the bodies of the performers. The focus of the performance shifts effortlessly from music to dance, with no interruptions.
The piano does more than accompany or heighten in the lied. It becomes every so often a leading character in the musical score. Likewise, the choreography does more than simply embody the musical score that undergirds it on stage. It detaches itself to embody a new form of artistic expression, in the modern sense of the word.
In LIEDERDUETT, much like the rest of Transiti humanitis, the bodies of the performers serve to open and close the production. They boldly embody the various stages of the choreography Zappalà designed for his performers and act out words from one of Schuberts lieder in Winterreise (Winter Journey):
. and my lifeless weary body / I drag along the way / until I lay myself to rest / far away, in the cold grave
Il primo lutto (The first mourning) / Radici di un futuro possibile (The roots of a possible future) are two parts that explore the possibility of a utopian reality
What if Hitler had won the war?, what if Napoleon had never lost the battle of Waterloo?. These are the most popular, incessantly explored themes in alternate history. What if Cain had never killed Abel?. This last premise stems from the bible and religion rather than history and sociology. It serves as the starting point for an optimistic alternate history and Roberto Zappalàs new choreography that uses bodies, motion and dance.
Liederduett, Meditazioni su Caino e Abele (Meditations on Cain and Abel) is yet another addition to the series entitled Transiti Humanitatis, with references that hark back to, and reinforce, a new alternate beginning, a theme that is also explored in Oratorio per Eva (Oratory for Eva).
It sets out to explore the themes of violence, good and evil and the lot of humanity.
Created for four male or female dancers, its two parts seem to blend two moving bodies into one new biological entity. The resulting symbiosis embodies connections and relationships, equality and unity, over violence and fratricidal strife. And what greater, more immediate way to show this than by using dance, the great metaphor of harmony, simultaneity and synchronicity?
Zappalà continues without fail to explore pure dance in his latest productions, to conjure up emotions or feelings and strike the viewers nervous system, bypassing heart and brain; like Francis Bacons paintings, according to John Berger.
The first episode Corpo a Corpo (hand-to-hand) also harks back to the first fight, the first evil, the first fratricide and first martyrdom; the first consequence of the distancing of God and humanity. This distancing was so tragic and permanent that it created evil.
Taking a step back What if the first fight had never occurred? Would the distancing of God and humanity also never have occurred?
The performance stands out as an act of hope, an alternate history that becomes attainable, sowing new seeds that, in the words of visionary Philip K. Dick, author of alternate histories, are reborn in the very depths. That is the Way. When the seed falls, it falls into the earth, into the soil. And beneath, out of sight, it comes to life. (The Man in The High Castle)