September 17, 2018 20:45
The selection of the performance Erodiade – Fame di vento (Hérodiade – hungry for Wind) to be included within the project RIC.CI – Reconstruction Italian Contemporary Choreography Years ’80/’90 – dedicated to the memory of Italian contemporary dance and to our “choreutic tradition of the new”, originates from the expressive strength of the inspiration and the actual components which have made the staging possible. The performance was inspired by the uncompleted poem Hérodiade by Stéphane Mallarmé of which only three fragments and a series of notes are left.
The central figure is Hérodiade (or Salomè but Mallarmé prefers calling her by her mother’s name in order to differ from the modern Salomè and her stereotypes: the seven veils, etc.) seen in her immense solitude and grief; the myth of sensuality is not anymore the center around which events take place. Hérodiade wants and obtains everything in her seeking warmth, even the head of the Baptist who, through his martyrdom will show her the road to catharsis.
The set design created by famous contemporary visual artist Alighiero Boetti (prematurely deceased in 1994) is another distinctive sign of that period marked by very active joint projects, within theatre, among art creators of various disciplines, especially painters and visual artists. The red backdrop by Alighiero Boetti and the various parts of the scene create a space: a site for metamorphosis, ‘sacred’ space of geometric clarity and visual invention. This artistic set design carries a sign of great beauty and gives the whole performance the powerful tone, typical of many productions of those years.
The choreographic narration has a double value, both for the original musicality of Gabriella Bartolomei, voice-over, and the ravishing scores, the one by Paul Hindemith, above all.
The performance is based on Mallarmé’s unfinished Herodias, of which only poetic fragments and notes remain. Herodias, the main character, is more commonly known as Salomé, but Mallarmé prefers the mother’s name so as to establish distance from the modern stereotype of Salomé with her seven veils, etc.
Distressed by the immense sense of solitude and sadness about her, the myth of beauty is no longer the focal point for the events about her. She desires and obtains all things in her search for warmth, including the Baptist’s head, with, through his martyrdom, signals the way to her purification.
But she is tormented by restlessnes: Herodias is ever lonelier, ever more desperate in her search for the Absolute, of something that passes beyond. It is in this profound sort of interior state, whe she is projected toward extremes, aided by “benign spirits”, that something snaps within her, which permits her to nourish faith. She is finally able to see a figure that, although everpresent, had remained invisible – her Angel. A luminescent body whose light indicates possible courses to take and whose presence encourages those paths: a beeing who bears witness to mistery.