conceived and directed by:
Stefano Zazzera & Maha Chehlaoui
original music: Stefano Zazzera & Yuki Tsuji

Performance Schedule:
May 16th - 26th, 2002
Thursday - Sunday 7:30pm
Sunday Matinee
The Annex Theatre

"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.

2002 page