"VentoForza5" envisions what would happen after a catastrophe, dealing
with the destinies of survivors, and their unbeatable desire to continue life's
journey. It is built of interwoven elements, with characters fading in and out
while music and movement make transitions between the scenes. The staging of
each scene is a unique creation of its own, expressing not only the individuality
of each survivor, but also the connections between them (and us.)
The performance takes place
on a raft at sea, using originally conceived mechanical designs by Felice Berna,
which fulfill visually the feeling of being abandoned on the waves. "VentoForza5"
has text by Maha Chehlaoui, music performed by Yukio Tsuji, John Sullivan and
Heather Pawnie, set and space concept by Felice Berna and Jun Maeda. The piece
is conceived and directed by Stefano Zazzera and Maha Chehlaoui. Music includes
traditional Hopi and Mayan tribal songs, with melodies re-imagined by Stefano
Zazzera and arrangements by Yukio Tsuji. The music is a marriage of electronic
music and ballads.
Teatro@Benzina has mounted five productions to-date and is a perennial part
of La MaMa Umbria's Summer Festivals in Spoleto, Italy, to which artists are
invited from all over the world. The troupe, with a name that translates as
"gasoline theater" (to imply its combustible philosophy), debuted
at La MaMa in 1998 with "One/Uno," an abstract movement theater work
with sculpture and multimedia that examines reincarnation and the notion of
the self. In 2001 it created "The Room on the Third Floor" (La Stanza
al Terzo Piano), a dance theater work with aerial choreography about a fallen
angel and unrequited love.
Stefano Zazzera is a dancer/acrobat who heads Teatro@Benzina. He has also been
a frequent collaborator of New York's Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre
and other groups, and is a distinguished theater and lighting designer in his
own right. Teatro@Benzina has also worked in Lahore, Pakistan, in collaboration
with Raha Puppets, from Iran. The troupe does experimental theater in a true
sense: Zazzera formed the group out of a desire to work on the symbiotic relationships
between movement and sound in space. He writes, "What we call 'sound'
is the research from where all our work begins. It is the basis of the construction
of sound poetry, which is characterized by experiments with recording loops
and frequencies. The space is animated by mobile mechanical structures as well
as by bodies imprisoned between sounds and structures. Our style is a hybrid
of installation and dance/theatre. What we want to create is an emotional stimulation
for the audience as opposed to a straight theatrical story."
This project is supported by the kind generosity of Ellen Stewart, Sen PAOLO
RIANI and the ITALIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE.