Welcoming | Scenario Danza 15/16
This year will be a new start, a new project, a new responsibility, for all of us. The Ministry has given us a new title: we are now officially a National Centre for Dance Production.
We are one of only three establishments in Italy to have been given this title for the next three years, and it is a source of great pride for us.
It is not easy to work in Sicily, in an environment which is decidedly disorganised and has no real strategy to foster culture and performance, making them sectors that can be invested in, thus helping publicise all the positive things that happen on our wonderful island.
In recent years we have owed many of our stimuli to the aid of the Italian State, in particular to the Ministry of Cultural Heritage. These stimuli compel and even oblige us (although we do it with the greatest of pleasure and with fresh vitality) to continue the search for expertise that we began some 25 years ago. This search increasingly places us in the role of leaders in the world of Italian dance, a culture that we regularly export around the world.
As I have already mentioned, this is a new year, a new beginning, a year which sees us not only involved in the production of the Zappalà Dance Companys artistic projects but also taking the role as heads of our own premises, Scenario Pubblico. Over the years, Scenario Pubblico has conquered a growing portion of the market for hosting international contemporary dance, thanks to the hard work and dedication of it staff. This year, Scenario Pubblico will stage even more shows and will give even greater focus to residencies, with ACASA, a residential choreographic project.
I would like to use this editorial of zletter no. 5 to analyse what the residence means for us and our local strategy and vision. I would also like to explain the various residency ideas that we hope to put into practice.
For us, an artists residency must go beyond simply supporting the artist. We also aim to contaminate the place where the residency takes place Catania and, more broadly, Sicily and thus contribute to the development of the region.
I will try to be more explicit.
I have always sustained that a residency focusing only on supporting young artists will turn out to be limited, unfruitful, and possibly even pointless. I have seen too many young artists deceived, perhaps even seduced, into believing that they have taken the right path. It is only when these artists come up against the real world that they understand without exception, it seems to me the enormous difficulties posed by the market.
I have therefore always believed that residencies should be carried out with two complementary objectives: first, to support young choreographers and construct a mechanism of circular flow vital to production, and second, to create a strong presence and culture in the local area, contributing to its emancipation. We believe that this second objective is possible with the help of mature choreographers. We expect them to have a deeper relationship with the local area and culture, thanks to frequent encounters with the audiences, presentations of publications, seminars, and, above all, regular interaction with the city its squares, cafes, restaurants, shops, and markets. For me, contaminating the city in this manner with the artists life and point of view is one of the most important aspects of an artistic residency, achievable only if the artist has spent a significant amount of time in the area. This happens in theatre and opera, through well-established mechanisms whereby a work is constructed over the course of about a month, or theatre shows, which have long runs.
These objectives are simple, yet they have not yet been fully achieved.
We also believe, thanks in part to our new classification as a Centre of Dance Production, that we will be able to make further contributions to the growth of contemporary dance in Sicily.
I will not give the names of the artists in residence here, since they will be listed in the following pages; I will simply highlight the numbers: some 12 performances and 17 choreographers. Some shows consist of two different creations with the respective choreographers, who put themselves to the test with the short format. This also allows the most distracted or least accustomed watchers of contemporary dance to understand a multitude of choreographic expressions.
We will continue our events on the history of dance, which are open to everyone, not only to employees, and our meetings with amateurs. As of this year, these meetings will be run not only with MoDem, the language of the Zappalà Dance Company, but also with the participation of the choreographers in residence. Over the next three years there will be numerous workshops and video-dance projects run by Alain El Sakhawi, a Zappalà dancer who will be in residence until 2017 as a video artist.
There will be two types of residency: seasonal and three-year residencies, the latter for choreographers, who will be classified as associated artists.