A performance made from two versions from the collaboration of two theatres: Vascello Theatre from Rome, Italy, and The State Theatre from Constanta, Romania.
“The Bacchae opens a new window to irrational, to an antique world of a true expressive freedom, of a Dionysian possession, a reflection to the celestial meaning in our life and to the things that are eliminated daily from our lives. The antique world is a scream which came from another time, it is a call to meditation, to waking up the senses, it is the impulse to look inside us in other ways.
We abandon ourselves to the last remains of irrationality and physical presence only in erotic moments, in illness and during sleep.
The Bacchae act in mental automatism, in perennial sleep, they are controlled by the God. Dionysus operates through them, through their bodies and voices, he transforms them in an instrument of delirium, of sensuality, of disorientation, of death, of infinite sweetness, of demonic ambiguity.
Our times push us to living in an anesthetized reality, a false world where emotions are put aside to make room to a sterile and distressing intellectualism.
We are blinded on daily basis by images from the mass media. The principles of the market don’t forgive anything, everything is on sale: dead bodies, social status, work places, weapons, sex, childhood, organs. We remain indifferent. The bourgeois dimension suffocates our best instincts, our sensibility (a bad word nowadays, considered to be almost scandalous), our sincerity, and eliminates every form of creativity from us. Our irrational dimension is completely destroyed. The sense of affirmation of the Self consumes our days. The art is emptied of spirituality. Mass media, occult provocateurs, they act to influence our hearts and minds, to tame even the most rebellious minds, sealing even the most vigilant eyes. Spiritual dimension is lost forever. The sense of tragic is unknown to us. Our body is annulled. We are transformed definitively into consumers and products at the same time. We are agitated by a media war without precedent in history. We think we are unique, peculiar, but actually we all think the same, use the same words, have the same demanding, same hopes, same anxieties, same ordinary series manufactured. We think we are free.
We still need to invoke Dionysus, the one who screams <<evoè>>,Protogonos, the one who was born three times, Bacchus, savage, mysterious, two horned, in two forms, covered in ivy, bull alike, martial, Evio, holy, eating raw meat, Trieterico, producing bunches of grapes, Eubuleo, full of edification, born from Zeus and Semele, the immortal daemon.
We decided to create a performance to research the deep meaning of Dionysos, tasting its pure essence, abandoning ourselves in the vortex of the Bacchae by Euripides, letting the god of irrational, the god of mystery, the god of theatre to hypnotize us.
The first question: where is Dionysus? Where is he hiding?
I have been studying the voice and the sound in all of its forms from almost 25 years now, collaborating with doctor Marco Podda, phoniatric doctor and composer.
This research goes from sophisticated phonetic techniques to analysing and reproducing ethnic songs from all over the world, to techniques of rehabilitation and re-educating the language, to studying the expressing of the sound in prenatal period, in birth and the first years of life; from analysing the sounds which are produced in sessions of regressive trance and in tribal dances to researching the effects of sound frequencies on human brain (psychoacoustics).
In Dionysos we worked with extreme, perturbing sounds, or not commonly used in everyday life, extremely full of meanings and hyperkinetic unusual vocalities. So we tried to use vocal means in unconventional ways, not necessarily for language (mostly in choirs).
But pay attention: this work on the sound doesn’t have a purpose by itself, it doesn’t intent to be demonstrative. On the contrary, it is hidden in its linguistic structure. I am thinking of an interpretation without bourgeois elements. The words of Euripides are deeply in the body and are hidden in the oldest <>.
The emotional states are mostly vocal and physical states. The choir acts in continuous trace, like the protagonists of the film “Heart of glass” by Werner Herzogh. The Bacchae doesn’t communicate only by language and its meanings, it communicates mostly through an antique vocality and a very powerful emotiveness. Here is the core of this whole work process – emotiveness. From my point of view, emotiveness is exactly the vehicle which permits realizing the tragic and the catharsis.
For a performer of Greek tragedy it is very important to get to a very high emotional temperature, to compromise his voice and body.
In my work, following the example of many European contemporary artists, I try to rebuild a possible way to an interpreting theatre, to a theatre of actors/interprets who know how to humbly approach a play, who can decode it, and who can research and rebuild the mechanisms of composing and writing this text, without overlapping free and immediate solutions and mostly not competing with the authors.
All that you’ll see starts from the written play and returns to it, through a visual and a sound perception. You won’t find intellectual overlays, exhibitions or the wonderful <<director’s ideas>>. We decided to build a complex, perturbing and emotional performance, starting from Euripides and returning to Euripides. We hope to reach our objectives.”
Photo credits: Giovanni Bocchieri, Franca Centaro, Iulia Pana
Translation into English: Gabriela