Numero ? / improvisation

year 2005 duration 60'
Giovanni Sollima   cello
Roberto Zappalà  dance and voice
lights Roberto Zappalà
sound engineer Gaetano Leonardi
photos Gianmaria Musarra
a project by compagnia zappalà danza / scenario pubblico / giovanni sollima
Numero?/improvisation is a project that Giovanni Sollima and Roberto Zappalà initially proposed to Taormina Arte in 2005 as an improvisation performance. The mutual respect for each other’s work and a shared commitment to both high quality work and ongoing research in their respective fields, were the starting points for this project, conceived as a ‘jam session’. Sicilian cellist and composer Sollima and choreographer Zappalà come together on stage – each time involving a different third artist – in a commingling of sound, movement and music.
‘…Bizarre, unpredictable, joyous, relentless but extremely original performance…” Maria Terraneo Fonticoli, La Provincia di Como
Variations in movements and sounds amplified in the space by the dynamic use of expressivity and immediacy… Zappalà infiltrates his magmatic dance within the rough sounds produced by musician Sollima, who plays his violoncello now standing, then running or by vibrating only two strings hanging tight from his neck. Zappalà’s movement is in unison with the voice, a syllabic game which references Bob Wilson’s works while standing autonomous throughout the duration of the performance…’ Francesca Pedroni, il Manifesto
‘The two performers stage a real head to head between music and dance and their distinct expressiveness. At times chasing or ignoring each other, reflecting or refracting off each other, they create an ever tortuous and unexpected journey, in which composer Sollima seems to take on human semblance (or dissonance), whereas the harmonious movements of Zappalà try to give substance to the impalpability of music… dense music and choreographic fragments surge and crash like waves on unattainable shores, producing contrasting feelings…a magic effect welcomed by a sincere round of applause from the audience’. Antonio Mariotti, Corriere del Ticino
‘Two performers, dressed casually, running, turning, stopping, addressing the audience from the stage. The spectators become performers…dismissing the archaic prototype sound of his instrument, Sollima plays the cello producing harsh and rough sounds first, softer and warmer sounds later. Meanwhile, Zappalà transforms the sound in movement…the title <Improvisation> well describes the nature of the performance; spontaneous emotions turn into artistic creation… The performance, which references the diverse cultural expressions of modernity, was an authentic success: long rounds of applause showed the true participation of the audience who felt contributing to the making of the artistic creation’. Sergio Sciacca, La Sicilia