One, two, three… don’t move! popularly known as Statues
A game that forces you to be as immobile as a statue, excluding you if you move. Small, natural, spontaneous movements that lead to elimination.
Trajectory of a show, as much as of a historical moment. If you move too much you are out, stopped for one round, even two. Then you have to start again, or maybe in a new way.
It is the suffering caused by remaining inert, static, still – an unnatural practice, which forces us to rethink rules and human activities, group organisation and viewing a show, denying its social function and the customary ritual of sharing.
How can quarantine be transformed into an opportunity? How can distance be given a positive meaning?
A collective call goes out on an online platform, one with a distorted and grainy vision on a smartphone screen, to experience the show together.
It is then that we collectively relive a near past, apparently not past: the show as the story of a distorted present.
We have to learn from plants, to vegetate – enjoy the light, experience sounds and shadows, and move imperceptibly. Passively resisting.
The stage is silent, the performers motionless, slumbering in a regenerative hibernation to preserve their energy.
The spectator does not want to keep the scene unchanged, to wake up the performers.
Between the beginning and the end, a movement of bodies and lights. The story of life. Photosynthesis transforms light into nutrition.
And the music marks the passing of time, the transformation of bodies and the progress of actions. A piano is revealed. Almost like another body coming to life on stage.
Shubert’s Lieder performed live in synchronicity with the light, together marking the actions and the changing of bodies.
Life that fills the scene until the last moment, when the spectator, active and participating, chooses the music that marks the rhythm.
Manifesto Cannibale: those who resist win. Muscle pain, the body giving way, the arm that moves.
The game is over. You remove your make up, change the music and bid farewell to the audience.
Texts and videos narrating each show are the outcome of an active relationship which has been established with the spectators, in search of the identity of the “emancipated spectator”. The students of the Academy who created the project built a relationship with some of the spectators chosen from those present at the events, using post and email. They later created a translation of the show which took the form of words and images suggested by the spectators.
Who is the “emancipated spectator”?
According to Jacques Rancière, you are. It is us who, with “stories and performances, can help change something in the world we live in”.
Text and video of this article were realised on occasion of Manifesto Cannibale by CollettivO CineticO at Teatro Vascello in Rome on November 6, 2021, within Romaeuropa Festival 2021 as part of AUDIENCE ON STAGE, fourth edition of BACKSTAGE / ONSTAGE ‘, a multimedia editorial project realised in a partnership between the Rome Fine Art Academy, Romaeuropa Festival and Arshake.
For the 2021 edition, BACKSTAGE / ONSTAGE, has moved its focus to concentrate on the spectators of the Romaeuropa Festival, their behaviour and way of relating to the performances, their interest and the effect that this produces. The survey was carried out transversally, covering the different performance genres at the festival, from dance to drama and music. AUDIENCE ON STAGE examined the entrances, lobbies and corridors of theatres, stalls, boxes, mobile phones and online event screens, searching for the gaze of the so-called emancipated spectator, i.e. he or she who finds a new kind of contact and closeness with others in the theatre, but also discovers a new connection with their own active existence.
Backstage / Onstage: the project is realised with a partnership between the Rome Fine Arts Academy, Romaeuropa Festival and Arshake
Credits 2021- AUDIENCE ON STAGE: Video: Walter Maiorino, Eleonora Mattozzi, Alessia Muti, Francesca Paganelli; Eleonora Scarponi. Testi: Chiara Amici, Domiziana Febbi, Alessandra Gabriele, Martina Macchia, Alessia Mutti.