La donna è mobile

14, 15, 16 Mei/Mai/May 20:30
17 Mei/Mai/May 19:30
Duur/Durée/Duration: 50'
Belgische première/Première belge/Belgian première

What if an unbridled ritual were needed to awaken the vital warmth of a human voice stifled forever? Italian choreographer of the weird and wonderful now settled in France, Francesca Lattuada has created a vocal solo, La donna è mobile. She takes pleasure in bringing to life joy and suffering, the passions in traditional Mediterranean and non-European song. Like a mysterious ancestor from the dawn of time, she invites the spectator to celebrate festive reunions with the human voice.

Concept en uitvoering/Concept et interprétation/Concept and interpretation: Francesca Lattuada

in samenwerking met/avec la complicité de/with the complicity of : François Chattot
Muziek/Mu¬sique/Music: Jean-Marc Zelwer
Licht/Eclairage/Lighting: Eric Lousteau-Carrer
Lichtregie/Régie lumières/Light director: Emmanuel Bassibé
Scenografie/Scénographie/Scenography: Philippe Meynard, Francesca Lattuada
Kostuums/Costumes: Odile Hautemulle
Technisch directeur/Régisseur général/Technical director: Emmanuel Abate
Geluidsregie/Régisseur son/Sound: Pablo Bergel
Productieleiding/Direction de production/Production management: Irina Petrescu
Productie/Production: Compagnie Festina Lente (Paris)
Coproductie/Coproduction: Le Moulin du Roc - scène nationale de Niort, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Le Phenix - scène nationale de Valenciennes, l'ADAMI (F), KunstenFESTIVALdesArts
Presentatie/Présentation/Presentation: Théâtre Les Tanneurs, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

Festina Lente wordt gesubsidieerd door/est subventionnée par/is funded by: Ministère de la Culture-Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles en Ile de France

Tonni Italiaans-Grieks wiegelied/Berceuse italo-grecque/Greek-Italian lullaby
Cine iubeste si lasa Roemense vloek/Malédiction roumaine/Rumanian curse
Oyuma Mongools liefdeslied/Chant d'amour mongol/Mongolian love song
• Kerta mangae dae Macedonisch zigeunerlied/Chant tsigane-macédonien/Tzigane-Macedonian
Ipne pupe Macedonisch wiegelied/Berceuse macédonienne/Macedonian lullaby
Aman, aman, momce bre Obsceen lied uit de Balkan/Chant obscène des balcans/Obscene song from
the Balkans
Triste lo ceu Lied uit de Béarnstreek/Chant béarnais/Song from the Béarn
Tamurriata Napolitaans lied/Chant napolitain/Song from Naples
La Donna è mobile Uit Rigoletto van Verdi/Extrait de Rigoletto de Verdi/Excerpt from Verdi's
Padrone mio Italiaans werklied van/Chant de travail italien de/Italian work song by
Matteo Salvatore, naar/d'après/based on Daniel Sepe

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"Where is the dawn of the human voice and in which night will it expire to find silence again? The song made by the bone is the smallest of sounds that can be sung. It is internal and makes the bone vibrate. If you experience the birth and extinction of this song, the very place where it appears and disappears, then you will be able to play what is the beginning and what is the end. I like this ability to vibrate. In fact the body is like a violin, needing to be empty, free of all tension, for a fullness of sound to emerge. Singing betrays the entire being - some women who don't want to grow up reject the lower register to maintain their girlish voices. The voice has always been linked to our intimate existence - the first cry of life, the voice that soothes, that terrifies, that urges, that unleashes joy or sadness. And what if song were the last human element in a humanity that had been devastated? What if it were only the voice that was still human?"

This is an outline of the fable of Francesca Lattuada's latest creation. "A journey more than a performance" that almost totally naturally incorporates the experience she has gained from working alongside others for ten years. She is a choreographer who, for some time now, has been training her voice, whilst moving towards and adopting the musical qualities that fascinate her. A colleague of Jean-Marc Zelwer, the composer and founder of Kumpania Zelwer, she has been working with him on his research into the music of imaginary traditions and rare instruments. She now invites us to a vocal solo - La donna è mobile, an allusion to Verdi. "It is a fable of the origins of the universe. In a crystal loneliness, a universe in ruins, a woman who is alone begins to sing. Those who were once with her have been eaten. Her voice belongs to the bodies she has devoured. She sings living languages which have the beauty of indicating what has taken place."

With twelve songs from all over the world, Francesca has created a musical journey to the very heart of rites and times. She navigates with a memory nurtured by lullabies from Italy and Greece, maledictions from Romania, songs of the tzigane and songs from Mongolia, Yugoslavia, the Béarn, South America, the Yemen and Naples. The many gentle and violent incantations tell of the deepest thoughts from the darkest recesses of feeling. These traditional songs wander on a musical landscape that is strange and desolate. Jean-Marc Zelwer has composed the arrangements to reflect human solitude. With her deep and melodious voice, Francesca's warm presence summons silences, basic objects with simple meanings or dolls that dance. Her fable wanders on the edges of oblivion. The song is its amulet, the fetish that protects from the evil spells of extinction.

"In this solo, I tell myself stories like a celibate machine, the machine that was invented by the surrealists. Having no purpose, it existed for the one pleasure of being astonished by its succession of chain reactions. I think it's interesting poetically to combine several genres: opera, stories, realistic details of life. In India, right in the middle of a holy dance, the dancer will scratch if something is itching. That's what life is like! Serious is OK, the grotesque too. The simplest object can have a value, like in the stories where there is no difference between vegetable, human, animal or mineral."

"Festina Lente" (More haste, less speed) is the name that Francesca, from Milan, has given her dance company. "It is an oxymoron, a stylistic figure marrying apparently contradictory worlds, like talking about the dark brightness of stars." The motto is accompanied by a drawing of a crab holding a butterfly in flight between its pincers. "The crab represents apparent solidity, the external skeleton, a shell. The butterfly represents volatile fluidity, ephemeral lightness." Francesca likes duality and bringing together hybrid elements of the sort that can be found in fairy tales where good and evil combine naturally. She is taking time out to create and perform solo work before going back to her company.

Her unusual career makes it hard to define her. She is more than a choreographer. She has a nomadic spirit, quick to breathe life into the natural and irrational, into instinct and ritual. Multi-talented, she designs and creates costumes, sings, choreographs and dances. She injects life into carnivals and wedding processions with the locals in the streets of Metz, Annecy and Strasbourg. Having long ago done away with established ways of doing things, she has a way of putting flesh on celebratory rites to liberate collective anxieties and create an exuberant parade. Recently returned from Japan, she has just directed an opera by Benjamin Britten in Strasbourg inspired by the Noh theatre.

Having lived in France for many years, Francesca Lattuada feels increasingly Italian. "The older I get", she laughs "the more I demand organisation out of chaos and fragments, the beauty of DIY, shambles and mosaics. It is a cultural thing and no doubt characteristic of countries that are supposedly not as organised as others. These countries base their art on ruin or poverty in the noble sense of the word. I like Mexican and primitive art, art where the imagination has the force of poetry. I also like the height of stylisation that the Japanese have managed to attain and their wisdom at looking at each familiar detail as if it were a new revelation."

"The elementary is so poetical", she notes dreamily.

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