year 2018 duration 75'

(2 episodes on Cain and Abel)

worldpremière Bolzano Danza/Tanz Bozen (I) 18 July 2018

a new creation by Roberto Zappalà

for 4 dancers, piano, countertenor and electronic music

made of 2 parts:

1. episode: Corpo a Corpo (hand-to-hand)
2 episode: Come le Ali (As the wings)

an idea by Nello Calabrò and Roberto Zappalà

music by Franz Schubert
electronic music Pierpaolo Cimino

performed by 
Adriano Coletta, Filippo Domini, Gaetano Montecasino and Fernando Roldan Ferrer – dancers
Luca Ballerinipianist
Riccardo Angelo Strano – countertenor  / Marianna Cappellani soprano
Pierpaolo Cimino electronic music

with the participation of Giuseppe Recupero and Remus Constantin Ilas

a co-production by Scenario Pubblico/CZD-Centro di Produzione della Danza and Bolzano Danza / Tanz Bozen
in collaboration with KORZO (Den Haag, NL) and MilanOltre Festival
with the support of Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo and Regione Siciliana Ass.to del Turismo, Sport e Spettacolo



Episode 1: Corpo a corpo (Hand-to-Hand)

Episode 2: Come le ali (As the Wings)

Electronic music and a piano, four bodies and a voice. These are the protagonists on the stage of LIEDERDUETT (divided in two parts, independent and complementary at the same time: “Corpo a corpo” and “Come le ali”), the latest creation of Roberto Zappalà. From the Romantic tradition, the lied is a delicate equilibrium between poetry and vocal invention, voice and instrument, between the bodies of the dancers; a symbiotic relationship and also a hand-to-hand in both the literal and figurative sense. The Apollonian of the lieder mixes and merges with the Dionysiac of Zappalà’s dance, looking for a synchronicity between singing, piano and dancing bodies.

The focal point of the creation moves fluidly from the music to the dance, uninterruptedly. Just like in the lied, where the piano is not just an expressive and harmonic support, but also becomes the predominant protagonist in the musical discourse; thus, the dance is not just a mere visualization of a pre-existent melodic discourse, but an independent text that transforms the artistic message into one of modern sense. In every creation for the project “Transiti Humanitatis”, as usual, the bodies are the initial and final “sign” under which unravels the creation. These bodies are recurring, without sparing, all the stages that the choreographer arranges for them with his dancers.

It is in Corpo a corpo (Hand-to-Hand) where the “first mourning” of humanity transforms (see the homonym painting from William-Adolphe Bouguerau), where Zappalà’s bodies “live” the tragedies of today in the contrast between Cain and Abel, between sedentism and nomadism, which leads to fratricide and which in contemporaneity becomes fratricide of the peoples with their civil wars and consequent mass exodus and death. As in one of the lieder of Schubert’s Winterreise: “…this lifeless and exhausted body/ I drag with the staff I carry, / until I put my tired head / away, in a cold tomb”.

Come le ali (As the Wings) “investigates” a utopic possibility connected to probably the most ostentatious aspect of dancing: the symbiosis of two dancing bodies, a symbiosis that becomes a possible utopia. “And what if Hitler won the War?” along with “and what if Napoleon had not been defeated at Waterloo?” are the most classic and used uchronical hypotheses. Instead, “and what if Cain had not killed Abel?” is the positive uchronia, not the historical-sociological one but the biblical-religious one that Roberto Zappalà faces with the movement of two dancing bodies, almost comparable to a new biological organism. The symbiosis as a symbol of bond and fusion, no longer of conflict and fratricidal violence, but of equality and sharing. And what is stronger and more immediate than the metaphor of the unison, of the simultaneous, of the synchronic that is created in dance to highlight these prospects?

The Transiti Humanitatis project-tree gets richer with a new ramification, a “frond” that recalls and strengthens a new possible genesis previously explored in “Oratorio per Eva” (Oratory for Eve), thanks to an affinity of connections. The intention is to meditate on the theme of violence, on the good and the bad, on the struggles of humanity.

In LIEDERDUETT, through the “pure” dance, Zappalà continues to work like in his most recent shows, trying to achieve emotions and splendours and get directly to the spectator’s nervous system, bypassing the heart and the cerebral activities; just like John Berger argued about Francis Bacon’s artwork.
The two episodes of the creation, autonomous shows in turn, come together in a new set-up, with new music and a new scenic set. Liederduett is not the sum of the two parts, but their contraposition and contradiction, the echoes of an episode reverberating on the other. To the rupture of the deal with God in the first part, so tragical and final, follows a comeback, almost as a flashback of the poetic imaginary, where the absence of the first crime might lead to the re-establishment of said deal.

A show that wants to be an act of hope, of a uchronia – alternative history – that becomes a possible utopia, throwing in new seeds that, to quote a great visionary, ‘expert’ in uchronia, “… are reborn from the abyss. This is the Way. When the seed falls, it falls in the land, in the ground. And underneath, out of sight, life thrives” (P. K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, 1962).