Over a hundred people, from various nationalities, have been at work for months in Lido Adriano, on the outskirts of Ravenna, to give life to Mantiq At-Tayr – Il Verbo degli Uccelli, the first stage of a multi-year community project called Il Grande Teatro di Lido Adriano, which will be on stage from 28 May to 2 June, at the opening of the Ravenna Festival 2023. The vast group born from this experience is led by the co-founder of the Teatro delle Albe, Luigi Dadina. The creation of the project was born, however, from the Cisim cultural center managed and directed by il Lato Oscuro della Costa. The aim of the project is “to give life to a popular theater that looks, at least in these early years, at the Orient to generate artistic experiences which lasts over time”. So, devoured by the hunger to know more, I decided to dialogue with Luigi Dadina and the playwright Tahar Lamri, who kindly and warmly welcomed and answered my questions.
Sara Papini: How did the idea and the project come about?
Luigi Dadina e Tahar Lamri: The project is the result of a long journey and of the sedimentations that have gradually been created. The meeting of a then thirty-five-year-old actor connected with Teatro delle Albe with a group of very young rappers who had since then boasted a collective name, il Lato Oscuro della Costa, a series of workshops conducted together with Lido Adriano, anomalous and multi-ethnic periphery chosen as a place to project and explode one’s own visions of art. The meeting with a couple of generations of teenagers. The contribution, from the beginning, of intellectuals who have always accompanied this journey. The birth after years of a cultural center in Lido Adriano: the Cisim. The affirmation of this center as an excellence in the Ravenna, and in the regional and national panorama. After thirty years of collaboration, the “collective” and “natural” vision of giving life to the Grande Teatro di Lido Adriano arose.
How was the text processed?
The starting point is The Word of the Birds by Farid Ad-Din Attar, a Sufi wisdom text from the 1200s. The fundamental idea of our adaptation was not to make a “gathering of birds”, as it is in the book, but a journey. In the book by ‘Attâr the journey takes very little time. The rest is a kind of conference: the birds arrive and tell each other stories. The idea was to make some of these stories happen, sometimes with just one sentence, other times to entrust some of these stories to the narrators, eliminating the repetitions which are numerous in the book. We have also introduced some birds, not present in the book, such as the plover, which lives in Emilia-Romagna. Then, in the rehearsal phase, we opted for the so-called “block characters” as the subject is always collective in community works, so that each group of actors collectively represents a family of birds, a flock. The text therefore remains open to collective improvisations and is constantly evolving. Music and singing, an integral part of the text, thus become of fundamental importance as they refer to the idea of community and totality
What souls make up Il Grande Teatro di Lido Adriano?
Luigi Dadina, actor and author from Teatro delle Albe, started and leads this project which initially involves a series of professionals from various arts and culture sectors. Lanfranco Moder Vicari, rapper and artistic director of Cisim, his historical partner, Massimiliano Penombra Benini, the Algerian writer Tahar Lamri, the musician Francesco Giampaoli, the gallery owner Alessandra Carini and the visual artist Nicola Montalbini, and Federica Vicari as organizer of the entire project. From this nucleus then by propagation a group of refugees present in Ravenna became protagonists, the adolescents and children from Lido who for years have participated in theater workshops, adults from all ages who have approached the long journey to get to the show, young actors from Ravenna, singers and musicians of absolute value from Italy but not only, collaborators who have thought of the creation of the costumes and sets, long-time dialect actors who have fallen in love with this Choir and People in action.
How did you meet the Ravenna Festival?
The encounter was completely natural: the Ravenna Festival has always been open to collaboration with Cisim. When we went to propose the idea of il Grande Teatro di Lido Adriano to the artistic director, the welcome was exceptional and friendly, as it has always been.
Mantiq At-Tayr – Il Verbo degli Uccelli
May 28 – June 2, 2023 | h. 20.00
Viale Parini 48, 48121 Lido Adriano (RA)
Ticket reservation: https://www.ravennafestival.org/events/mantiq/
She was born in Genoa but currently lives in Bologna, the city where she graduated from CITEM with a thesis on video art. She works in the world of events in the production sector and is an assistant professor of Visual Studies at UNIBO.