Il Diario di Tinton

{2011-01-13}   La Commedia delle Ceneri

An Italian theatrical piece with dance elements, dedicated to Pier Paolo Pasolini. Giorgio Gallione and Giovanni Di Cicco.

The first thing i noticed and really liked was the lighting by Aldo Mantovani: amazing and well focused spotlights, of various shapes (squares, 8s, man silhouette,…), beautiful grid texture on the floor.

Also enjoyed the comic relief  character: a well acted young and eager journalist who was interviewing Pasolini: her exaggerated silliness contrasted well with the dramatic and heavy theme of the piece.

The audience was sitting on the stage, and the audience chairs were taken out in order to create a much larger stage. The entire theater, in its 19th century architectural glory, was wrapped in black garbage bags, of all things. This helped it look more like a stage and a landfill and was quite ugly and disturbing. I believe this effect was intentional.

The floor was covered with rubber chippings, emanating a terrible rubber smell. It made the performance harder for the dancers, however offered a new tool to play with: this black dirt was used to simulate real dirt at the end of the show, during the burying of Pasolini when a shovel was pulled out of the rubber chippings and used to move the chippings as to imitate shoveling dirt.

The fact that this black rubber floor was covering a red theater carpet created an added bonus: it was used as one of those toy black boards, where  writing with a dull point moves away the black goo, allowing the colorful background to appear just were the point passed. Similarly, the actors moved the rubber away, showing specific red patterns on the pitch black floor. Very powerful.

I was particularly impressed by the singing, which was done by one of the actresses, i forget her name now. Very talented, was able to control her voice very well, even with a boom microphone.

The older Pasolini character, as he joined one of the dancers during a solo performance in a mirrored choreography was very pleasant to watch. This really gave the impression of how Pasolini could have been, indulging in physical activities with the beautiful young men which were around him.

I am not sure if this is an example of Tanztheater or not, as i am not too familiar with other Tanztheater performances. It is certainly is a piece that combines actors with dancers and singing, on stage, in a format that cannot be considered a musical.

It was not necessary to be super-alert and awake to understand the concepts expressed by the actors. Even though the topics were quite intense (power of television, consumerism, …), they were presented in a repeated fashion. This means that missing a sentence here and there does not jeopardize the comprehension of the entire section of the monologue. In other similarly intense productions i have attended in the past, i have had this problem. In addition, these repetitions were aesthetically pleasant and well put together. Although i have not read anything of Pasolini, i suspect that one of his geniuses lied in being able to communicate effectively.

This piece was a very positive experience for me as it introduced me to an Italian character i knew nothing of, who produced a lot of material in very little time and undoubtedly stimulated a large number of people.


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