The show Mantiq At-Tayr – Il Verbo degli Uccelli will be staged until 2 June, at the opening of the Ravenna Festival 2023, in the courtyard of Cisim, the multidisciplinary cultural aggregation center of Lido Adriano (RA). The ancient Sufi epic, which starting with the journey to Africa, the Middle East and the Americas by Peter Brook and the Center International de Recherches Théâtrales in the 1970s took on the connotation of a text-encounter, capable of promoting the construction of imaginary communities symbolic with various audiences and to develop unprecedented forms of actor training, tells the mystical pilgrimage of a group of birds led by the hoopoe to find their mythical king, the Simorgh. The flock, made up of birds from different species in each of which the allegory of the most common human frailties can be recognized, after overcoming dangers and internal strife, discovers that their beloved idol is nothing but the image of themselves reflected in a mirror. The performance is the first stage of Il Grande Teatro di Lido Adriano, a multi-year project that aims to investigate the local multi-ethnic reality through a form of participatory theater, involving the inhabitants of the area in a long-term exchange with the aim to foster mutual knowledge and the common elaboration of a cohesive choral identity.
The driving forces of the project are Luigi Dadina, actor and co-founder of the Teatro delle Albe, who led the project, Lanfranco Moder Vicari, rapper and artistic director of Cisim, his longtime partner, Massimiliano Penombra Benini, the Algerian-born writer Tahar Lamri, the musician Francesco Giampaoli, the gallery owner Alessandra Carini and the visual artist Nicola Montalbini, under the organizational direction of Federica Vicari. But the real protagonist is the resident population of the place, a small community (which doubles its number in the summer period) made up of people from all over the world, to the point that there are almost sixty languages that can be heard spoken in the streets of this village, where many are not yet able to use Italian to communicate. Representing the multifaceted composition of this micro-society, a group of refugees housed in Ravenna, the adolescents and children from Lido who have been participating in Cisim theater workshops for years, adults from all ages who have participated for months for the development of the show, young Ravenna actors, professional singers and musicians, experienced dialect actors and collaborators who took care of the artisanal creation of the costumes and sets. Each discipline (music, singing, acting, sewing, dance) that contributed to the creation of the show was in fact the subject of a specific workshop (in some cases also divided by age group) led by one of the professionals mentioned above. During the gestation of this complex choral machine, many people have come and gone, intersecting their life stories with that of this new incarnation of the oriental epic.
Seeing the show, one is amazed at the lightness and delicacy with which a crowd of non-professionals have identified with the adventure, opening up to confidence with each other and to sincere participation. During the show the protagonists arguing, teasing each other, telling each other comic or tragic stories share their fears and joys, which always seem to find a lively contradiction in the reactions of the others. Each character on stage, in the various moments of the show, is alternatively the protagonist, chorus or spectator of what is happening and in the end the public too is included in the community. What is really staged, through the structures offered by the various disciplinary contributions examined during the workshops, is not a piece of theater played by amateur figures, but it is the taking shape of an attempt at a popular foundational mythology that starts from the contemporary everyday life of real people. If the unknown aim of the birds’ journey is the search for themselves, the community also recognizes itself as such in creating a new story together, whose development can only take place in mutual enrichment. In addition to the cultural origins of the protagonists on stage, which are sometimes obvious and in others very mysterious, the different personalities of each of them come into play, which on stage are just as important as the characteristics of the represented character. We can be moved: in a carpet of roses falling to the ground, in listening to a rap song, in seeing a child fleeing the scene and, in the end, in seeing our face reflected in a fragment of a mirror.
Biglietti: intero € 10, ridotto € 5.
Prenotazione biglietti: https://www.ravennafestival.org/events/mantiq/.
Info: 0544 249244, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Il Cisim si trova in Viale Giuseppe Parini 48 a Lido Adriano (RA).
Graduated in art history at DAMS in Bologna, city where she continued to live and work, she specialized in Siena with Enrico Crispolti. Curious and attentive to the becoming of the contemporary, she believes in the power of art to make life more interesting and she loves to explore its latest trends through dialogue with artists, curators and gallery owners. She considers writing a form of reasoning and analysis that reconstructs the connection between the artist’s creative path and the surrounding context.