October 18, 2018 - October 21, 2018 19:30
From October 18th till October 21st the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards will return to Florence at PARC ex Scuderie Granducali, the new space of Fondazione Fabbrica Europa, with a rich calendar. Last year, Teatro della Toscana hosted the Focused Research Team in Art as Vehicle; this year it will be the turn of the Open Program, which will offer a panorama of its various activities, with a Free Singing Seminar, two performances (The Hidden Sayings and Katie’s Tales), and an Open Choir.
Thursday, October 18 from h 19:30 to 21:30 and Saturday, October 20 from h 17:00 to 19:00
FREE SINGING SEMINAR
Two sessions on songs and singing, free and open to all, welcoming and relaxed, in which Mario Biagini and his colleagues teach songs from their repertoire, mainly from Afro-American and Afro-Hispanic traditions. The Free Singing Seminar is part of a trajectory of invitation to singing that the Open Program is pursuing in the area between Florence and Pontedera, a journey articulated in numerous public and semi-public encounters, in collaboration with citizens, including refugees living in the area. The Seminar sessions and the Open Choir that will follow on Sunday 21st are good opportunities to try out for oneself this artistic practice. During the Seminar participants will experiment with possibilities of encounter through singing, learning simple and concrete elements, songs, some dance steps, and intuitively understandable ways of dwelling together with others in an active and responsible way. Participants will receive the printed lyrics of the songs, for a first approach. You can just drop by: the doors are open and curiosity is welcome – you can arrive after the beginning of the Seminar, and leave before the end. Furthermore, it is not compulsory to attend both sessions. The Free Singing Seminar gives everyone who takes part in it certain solid tools to engage in a fuller and more lucid way during the Open Choir that will take place on October 21st, Sunday.
Friday, October 19 h 21:00
THE HIDDEN SAYINGS
The first scheduled performance, with all 9 actors of the Open Program, The Hidden Sayings is a performance that was created in 2013 and which is often utilised by the Open Program during its journey like an introduction to its work in the beginning of the contact with a community. It is a mostly sung performance: a small group of people meet together in order to interrogate their own myths, face to the city. They speak words from the scriptures of early Christianity, and interweave them with songs from the African-American tradition. They face texts and songs. They ask themselves what are today for them the meaning, the urgency, the content of these songs and texts that are both, in different ways, at the mythical roots of the world in which they live. They do not arrive to an answer that inevitably closes the question. The question remains, cannot be eluded, and manifests itself through clear and tangible elements: intention, action, contact, living word, song, dance – and throbs as mute and palpable as the silent resonance of a bell. The songs of the African-American tradition carry and amplify it delicately, and the words of the Christianity of the origins (here translated mainly from Coptic and coming from the area comprised of Egypt, the Middle East and Greece), like familiar and forgotten voices, send back to us the echo of this mute question.
Saturday, October 20 h 21:00
After the second session of the Seminar, there will be the premiere of Katie’s Tales, a monologue by and with Agnieszka Kazimierska, member of the Open Program for the last eleven years. Directed by Mario Biagini, Katie’s Tales is the story of a woman and her lover who, after a terrible event, left her with the promise to come back, one day. It’s the story of a garden, with an orchard of cherry trees. Katie’s life unfolds during times of waiting and times of becoming – new and savage times. Katie, together with a couple of foreign servants, lives protected in her garden, under the shade of her cherry trees, silent witnesses of her life and of History. Every day Katie receives visitors: every moment could bring the return of the one who left in order to travel, and Katie struggles to keep herself ready. With her stories, Katie tells us of desire, and of waiting, and with her silences she speaks to us of the unsaid. She who waits is on a journey herself, standing mute on the road of her life sculpted in vivid frames, at the center of her garden under the shade of the cherry trees thick with memories – a woman standing in front of History, face to her own lights and her own shadows, at the crossroad of past and future. The untold desire that Katie embodies invites us to reflect on the place we belong to, and to open ourselves to wordless question about the role of our conscience, in the deafening flux of events and in the confused whirlwind of desires.
Sunday, October 21 from h 17:00 to 19:00
the Open Program concludes its Autumn presence in Florence with an Open Choir – an invitation to take part in a singing feast, a feast that you can support just with your presence, and during which you can join in the singing through singing or through listening, and join in the dancing through dancing or through looking. It is an event, coordinated by Mario Biagini, which is part of the trajectory of invitation to singing that the international group of actors extends to anybody – a free event, open to all, without any limitation (note: to take part in the Open Choir it is not necessary to have taken part in the Free Seminar). The Open Choir is perhaps a forgotten art form, which our not so distant ancestors still knew and understood, and which allowed a fluid and active participation of all those present. Gently guided by a group of trained artists, the Open Choir is a safe space in which to experiment with taking individual care of a shared action. The participants, each with a different background, become aware and responsible co-creators of a work of art that goes beyond differences, towards mutual recognition. The songs are born around and among the participants, and the rhythms and melodies, together with the vibratory qualities, encourage the emergence of a different attention. The resonance embraces all those present, who together nourish and give shape to the evening, each person in an active way, finding themselves faced with simple choices: to witness, to enter the space where the action takes place, to follow by remaining aside, to sing and to dance, to find one’s own way of being present and support the others. To listen.