Alessandro Sciarroni
PLAY

From an ancient game to a contemporary performative practice

In PLAY, a creation produced by Fabbrica Europa, which originates from the ancient game of the Pallone al bracciale, the Italian artist Alessandro Sciarroni revisits in a contemporary way, through a performance/live video installation, the concepts of time and duration, bringing the performers to measure themselves with dedication, endurance, energy.

The Pallone al bracciale is a game that was practiced during the Renaissance and that is still played in Italy in special facilities called Sferisteri. The game is based on the players’ ability to control and direct a leather ball with a “bracelet” (bracciale) – a heavy wooden cylinder fitted by pyramid tips that covers the hand – and throw it with precision and vigor from one side to the other of the playing field.

At the Sferisterio delle Cascine in Florence – 80 meters long and 18 meters wide field – a man, a Pallone al bracciale player, is alone in this huge space. With the heavy wooden “bracciale”, he relentlessly throws the leather ball against the wall. The lightness and agility in the feet and legs and the strength in the arms create a dynamic movement that becomes almost a dance.

Along the wall, three cameras that capture the details of the effort, of the flow of movements, of the ability to control the mighty blows. The images projected on the high wall let the viewer enter the game, returning the subjective view of the performer. Microphones pick up and amplify the impact of the ball on the “bracciale” and on the wall, or on the ground. A hard and increasingly loud sound that intertwines with the original sound composition created by Aurora Bauzà and Pere Jou (Telemann Rec.) to accompany the action.

The Pallone al bracciale, a team game, is depicted here in a solitary dimension. A lonely man in a huge space plays his own game. The solitude of a body that challenges its limits and expands the void, filling it with powerful echoes and resonances.

 

Alessandro Sciarroni is an Italian artist active in the field of performing arts with several years of experience in visual arts and theatre research. His works are featured in contemporary dance and theatre festivals, museums and art galleries as well as in unconventional spaces and involve professionals from different disciplines. In 2019 he was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Dance by the Venice Biennial. His work starts from a conceptual Duchamp-like matrix, making use of a theatrical framework, and he can use some techniques and experiences from dance, as well as circus or sports. In addition to the rigor, coherence and clarity of each creation, his work tries to uncover obsessions, fears and fragilities of the act of performing, through the repetition of a practice to the limits of the physical endurance of the interpreters, looking at a different dimension of time, and to an empathic relationship between the audience and the performers. His works have been performed worldwide, from Europe to South and North America, from Middle East to Asia. Alessandro Sciarroni is associated artist at CENTQUATRE-Paris and at Triennale Milano Teatro 2022-2024. His shows are produced by Marche Teatro in collaboration with various national and international coproduction partners. He’s artistic director of corpoceleste_C.C.00#.

 

invention: Alessandro Sciarroni
with Luca Gigli, Sara Miccoli, Rodolfo Sorcinelli
music: Aurora Bauzà e Pere Jou (Telemann Rec.)
lighting design: Valeria Foti
technical direction: Mattia Bagnoli
artistic collaboration Fabio Novembrini
executive production: Alice Chiari
advisors on Pallone al bracciale: Stefano Sani, Paolo Petruzzi, Club Sportivo Firenze
production: Fondazione Fabbrica Europa, Comune di Firenze – Assessorato alla Cultura, Assessorato allo Sport
in collaboration with corpoceleste_C.C.00#, Marche Teatro

 

[photos: Monia Pavoni]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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