Contemporary Performing Arts Festival

Artistic Direction | Maria Federica Maestri, Francesco Pititto




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The Festival directed by Maria Federica Maestri and Francesco Pititto of Lenz Foundation turns 20 years old. The Festival, which will be held in Parma from the 19th November of the 6th December, provides theatre contemporary creations, music, dance, videos and performances that are the outcomes of the prestigious international theatre residency programs designed by Lenz Theatre.

Twenty years of history. Twelve artists included in the program. Five performance places. Four world premieres, two national premieres. Two international theatre residency programs. Three ad hoc productions. One exhibition. A seminar of studies.

Natura Dèi Teatri, the historical International Festival of performing arts, will take place in Parma from 19th November to 6 th December. For the first time it’s organized by Lenz Foundation, which was created at the beginning of 2015 thanks to the thirty years experience of Lenz Rifrazioni and Natura Dèi Teatri Festival Cultural Associations: it is an opportunity to take stock of and revamp the artistic, productive, training and international hospitality activities directed by Maria Federica Maestri and Francesco Pititto.

After the three-year period fueled by the philosophical suggestions of Gilles Deleuze, Natura Dèi Teatri Festival will inaugurate a new three-year project dedicated to the artistic work of the visual artist Richard Serra. The artistic directors of the Festival state “Doors, Blind Spot and Wake are the conceptual topics of this three-year period 2015-2017, whose field of investigation will be oriented towards the theme of the matter of time inside the languages of contemporary creation. For its twentieth edition the festival, in addition to the Lenz artistic ensemble, will receive Italian and European guests belonging to different knowledge settings and they will be invited to present and coproduce several creations inspired to the theme of 2015, Doors”.

Natura Dèi Teatri Festival will open with the presentation – which will be held in the wide spaces of the historic pavilions of the Gathered Hospitals of Parma – of the first four episodes of Lenz Foundation biennial project The Furious, directed by Maria Federica Maestri and Francesco Pititto and performed by the ensemble of sensitive actors: after the staging of the first two chapters at the Guatelli Museum, event that arouse the interest and got the approval of national well-known critics and television broadcastings, the festival will present for the first time ever the new chapters #3The Man and #4The Palace – together with a new mise-en-scene of the chapters #1 The Escape and #2 The Isle: “During this second phase the installative dynamics are subtractive: the absence of a monumental space “coherent” with the unreal of the artwork, will cause a further reflection about identity and the scenic role of the palace in the drama of The Furious: if the Palace of Atlas is a maze where the knights remain trapped in a chase of vain and fleeting images due to a whirlwind mechanism of mirrors, then the hospital will be the place where the contemporary man feels like a prisoner of spells and afflictions more than the others.

Lenz Foundation will present also, for the first time ever, Hyperion #2 Only when the houses and the temples die and the wild beasts dare to the houses and to the streets, which is the outcome of a new theatre residency program which engaged the polish electronic musician Paul Wirkus. The performance, directed by Maria Federica Maestri and inspired to the Hyperion, the novel written by Friedrich Hölderlin (romantic poet, philosopher and playwright to which the ensemble dedicated a very long-lasting period of research at the beginning of its activity) marks the return of Adriano Engelbrecht, a musician and performer who intensively collaborated with the Lenz Foundation in the past.

Another prestigious and international theatre residency program will engage Tim Spooner: by the choice and the revamp of the conceptual theme of the Festival 2015 and the project of The Furious, the successful English artist will present for the first time ever Unfinished Interior, a performance created on commission by the Festival which will crossbreed installations, painting, sculpture and live action to realize an environment and enrich it with evocative and alien details.

“I imagine that all the forgotten, immemorial and not internalize experiences may take shape in places that the reason will never comprehend”: Naoko Tanaka, introduces Unverinnerlicht, the majestic installative artwork that will be presented for the first time in Parma by the visual and performing artist after having recently had his debut at the Sophiensaele in Berlin.

Simon Mayer, performer and choreographer who also received training from Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, will embody an animated and intrepid journey through his own autobiography contaminating the Austrian traditional and folkloristic yodel with contemporary dances: the show SunBengSitting will be presented for the first time in Italy at the Lenz Theatre, after having obtained a positive outcome at the ImPulsTanz, the legendary Viennese festival dedicated to the best international contemporary dance.

The Norwegian composer Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje’s concert Solo Voice & Eletronics which is included in the agenda of The Natura dèi Teatri Festival 2015 was described with these words: “It screeches, caws, groans, screams, bellows, drones, thunders on wonderful pitches and unexplored depths: unbelievable”. She said that: “there is a link between what I do as a singer and the work of artists like Diamanda Galas and Mike Pattorn, Jaap Blonk, Yamatsuka Eya or Phil Minton; all of them can be associated with the ability to use the voice in a manner which is different from just singing or interpreting lyrics for a melody. My approach to vocalization is particularly concerned with the abstraction of the voice from the emotions”.

Thanks to the productive collaboration between the Lenz Foundation and the Monte Parma Foundation, Natura Dèi Teatri Festival will pass trough the Amedeo Bocchi Museum. In that precious halls located in the centre of the city, Silvia Costa and Laura Pante will present In cold blood, during the performance the audience will be invited to observe the morphology of the parts of the body as it happened in an anatomy hall, while Alessandro Bedosti e Antonella Oggiano will present Das Spiel- a healing rite. The solitary artist with regard to its creation says that “We have spent many days waiting for a revelation, offering us to nowhere freely, knowing only for certain that we were thinly and oddly close in a narrow space”.

The puppeteer Patrizio Dall’Argine with The unknown of the Seine – a rendezvous with Teatro Medico Ipnotico (a national premiere) will move the Festival to the Fortress of Sala Baganza in the province of Parma in order to tell the story of a young lady who was founded died after having drowned in the river that passes trough Paris around 1886: “Her image arrived to us thanks to a cast that was made of her before she was buried. Her funeral mask is all that remains of her, in this way nothing else but her human being survives to the time”.

In the same place, the sensitive actress Barbara Voghera will interpret the monologue Hamlet Solo, a summa of the scenic rewritings of Shakespearian plays. “In this Hamlet Solo the dramatic system revealing the Hamlet’s orphan nature and his absolute scenic and existential loneliness will be made explicit; within the framework of an exhausting and draining interpretation of the play, the actress takes over the bodies of the other actors, which constitute the sole alive instruments in a visual score of ghosts, and then implodes within them.

In collaboration with The Association of Architects in Parma, Natura Dèi Teatri Festival will be held also in the spaces of the Workout Pasubio, which are next to Lenz Foundation. These will work together to give substance to a common project and improve the area in which there are their headquarters and where the visual artist Fiorella Iacono will install Providence, a evocative photographic exhibition inspired to Francesca Woodman which “concerns the idea of a door as a gap whose transfer is created by fast light and space swings”.

The Festival program also includes the presentation of a special number of the PsicoArt review entitled Inquietudine delle intelligenze. Rassegna sulle arti irregolari edited by Stefano Ferrari, Maria Inglese, Sergio Manghi and Bianca Tosatti, Lo schermo empatico. Cinema e Neuroscienze, witten by Vittorio Gallese e Michele Guerra, University of Parma, and the book and of Ubicazione ignota a new poems book written by Adriano Engelbrecht (in a performance made in collaboration with Ilaria Drago).

Unique, international, theatrical, musical, dance and video performances will be held in Parma and in the surrounding areas: don’t miss out on them. For further information and booking: 0521 270141, 335 6096220, comunicazione@lenzfondazione.it – www-lenzfondazione.it.

Natura Dèi Teatri Festival is a project organized by the Lenz Foundation which is realized thanks to the financial support of:

MiBACT, the Minister of cultural heritage and activities and tourism, Emilia Romagna Region, Province of Parma
Borough of Parma, Department of integrated mental health-care – Pathological Addictions Local health center of Parma
Monte Parma Foundation, Chamber of Commerce of Parma.

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