|From February 1 to 11, La MaMa will present "The Room on the Third Floor"
(La Stanza al Terzo Piano), a dance theater work with aerial choreography, performed
by Teatro a Benzina, a company originally formed in Italy and led by Stefano
Zazzera. The piece will have the feeling of a live concert. It tells the story
of a fallen angel who finds himself in the Palace of Hell after succumbing to
the passions of unrequited love.
Zazzera, a native of Acquapendente, Italy, confesses to having been obsessed
with angelic subjects for the last five years. He describes this piece as a love
story primarily, with two people who are in different dimensions but "just don't
get it." The story is choreographed using rope suspension, gravity tricks
and images that amply employ centrifugal force and spinning. There is also martial
arts: when the male lover is banished from the "Palace," there is a
stage combat segment employing fighting sticks. Having been exiled to the underworld,
he is "branded," no longer an angel, marked as an outcast and struggles
To dramatize the idea of
being "branded," there will be a "live tattoo performance"
coinciding with the production. A tattoo artist will inscribe a new man (or
woman) at each performance and the Angel will interchange with him (or her)
using a reversal box.
The music by co-author John
Sully (programming, guitar, sample) has a "euro-industrial" feel
as it interweaves rhythmic sounds of the physical apparatus. Thanks to Stefano
Zazzera, who is also a percussionist, sounds of the production's springs and
ropes are collected with pick-up microphones, then interwoven and matched live
into the largely rhythmic music.
The playing area employs
the main space and balcony of the Annex Theater while the live orchestra will
be set back at the proscenium.
The piece, directed by Stefano
Zazzera and John Sully, features Arturo Adair, Piersandra Di Matteo, Rolando
Macrini, Andrea Mescolini, Michal Gamily, John Sully and Stefano Zazzera. Original
music is by Stefano Zazzera, John Sully, Andrea Mescolini and Rolando Macrini.
Set is by David Adams, Felice Berna and Mark Tambella. Sound is by Tim Schellenbaum.
Choreography is by Stefano Zazzera. Live music is played by Rolando Macrini,
Andrea Mescolini, John Sully and Stefano Zazzera.
Teatro a benzina (Gasoline
Theater), formed in Italy, made its La MaMa debut in 1998 with "One/Uno,"
an abstract movement theater work with sculpture and multimedia that examined
reincarnation and the notion of the self.
Stefano Zazzera graduated
from University of Perugia, Italy in Philosophy and Literature and received
his performance training in various Italian companies. He acted with Momenti
Theater Company and Dance Theater ALEF in Perugia and began working with
La MaMa Umbria as performer and videomaker in 1997. His La MaMa productions,
both in NY and Soleto, have included "Easy" (1997), "One/Uno"
(1998), "Spring Awakening" (1998) and "Slyplots" (2000).
With his own company, Teatro a Benzina, he has appeared in, composed and co-directed
"One/Uno" (1998), "Jenny's Molecule" (1998) "Studio
Sulla Terza Casa (2000) and "Skyplots" (2000). Several of these productions
have toured through Western Europe.
He is also a prolific theatrical
sound and lighting designer whose work has been widely seen at La MaMa, including
the 1999 tour of "Fragments of a Greek Trilogy," directed by Andrei
Serban with music by Elizabeth Swados. He is a black belt in Karate, and
Italian champion in Gymnastics (1988) and Ballroom Dance (1989, 90 and 91).
He has also directed and acted in several award-winning Italian short films.
John Sully, a Brooklyn native
and frequent collaborator of Zazzera, was composer and performer in La MaMa's
"Easy," "White Nights" and "Asphyxia and Other Promises."
He was performer and musician in the 1999 tour of "Fragments of a Greek
Trilogy." With his own company, John Sully Production, he was creator and
director of "Augenblick" (2000). He is a multi-instrumentalist, audio
designer, Tai Chi practitioner, physical performer and actor.
Andrea Mescolini (Italy)
is a music theater researcher, composer, musician and performer. Arturo Adair,
actor and performer, is a member of La MaMa's Great Jones Repertory. Piersandra
De Matteo (Italy) is a performer and writer with a background in theater criticism
and research. Rolando Macrini (Italy), musician and performer, is director of
Teatro Eliocentrico (Italy). Michal Gamily (Israel) is a stage and film actress.