AstaroTheatro. Theatre in Motion
It has been a long journey to arrive here. And once we set foot on land, the sigh of relief was short lasting. The road ahead of us opened up and called us firmly to resume exploration.
It’s hard to say when it all began and arguably it’s not so relevant. For sure years ago we gathered around the necessity of grassroots artistic expression based on our theatre and performance experience. Music, singings, voice and body performance were also ready to be included, so that the motion of our work moved from the multidisciplinary level to the transcultural and transnational one. Voices, languages, sounds and images moved to a conformation where the cultural journey leads to the unfiltered presence of the performer and the audience.
This way of working has been bottom-up from the very beginning. Artists come together driven by the urgency of sharing in a non-hierarchical and horizontal way. Cultures, backgrounds, languages, emotions and meanings transit to a new land without artistic boundaries.
Once motion is started, it aims at becoming a perpetual motion. We created images of performers wandering around, displaced and destroyed, carrying the confusion, the illusions and the chaos of humanity, just when an explosion is necessary to bring back the light, to restore, to reconnect.
“Nationality is not a quality” finds its motion from a recitation to a transmigration. And by doing so, this recitation becomes one the trait d’union of our poetica where the experience of translinguistic performances rejects any mediation by translation. It transforms itself in playful rehearsals of self-representation, of migrant lives sharing stories after having crossed many, colonial, borders. Those who are tried to be imprisoned in dumbness turn it into voice and expression.Words, sounds, images need to transcend the fixity of our every day and provoke the audience into rising above the level of the given to that of the possible.
“As you sleep and count the stars, think of others,
those who have nowhere to sleep
As you liberate yourself with metaphors, think of others,
those who have lost the right to speak
As you think of others far away,
think of yourself and say “if only I were a candle in the night”
We are not simply the plain summary of our past artistic journey. Our motion transcends the here and the now by being anon-going project, a work in progress constantly reshaping itself to the artistic and social challenges of our times. We keep moving to go beyond the current contingency, in order to explore our world as human beings and artists in search of a total physical presence with an emancipatory power for both the artists and the audience.
This means that to stop workshop-activities has never been an option for us. Motion is started, motion never ends. The artistic exploration moves throughout raising questions during performative moments.
1. Struggle goes on, struggle never ends. Struggle is circular.
We are current Aeneas with our fathers on our shoulders and our offspring by the hand.
Now we are here. Is this the land of milk and honey?
2. Or is this the land of the endless and pointless repetition of the same? I can adapt to the daily routine of my actions, push my body to mechanize itself, convince my mind to be only rationally productive. Is this how we want to live?
3. Also our investigation concentrates on Mother Earth. As artists we are deeply concerned about the health conditions of our mother. How can we artistically tackle this issue? And how can our artistic transhumance ever find a safe harbour?
Here is where we are now. Time to stop a minute and recap. We need to remember the items we wish to put in our artistic suitcase: artistic past, poetica, questions raised during past performative moments as well as our ability of bridging, of been, like a bridge, the connection of artists and audience.
We can easily push our imagination and see our future performances in some indoor abandoned industrial space. Or inside some space with debris scattered around. Or in any alternative venue close to you. We have strong reasons for choosing such locations, since ours has always been a theatre outside the grand theatre buildings and inside spaces generally not meant to be ‘theatrical’ in the first place. Adaptation to locations is something our performances know all too well. And to all this we add up our transcultural, transnational, translinguistic work which transcends boundaries.
Arts are here to protect the culture and memory of the one that will be lost on the dusty shelves of history, the one who tries to be quiet, the one who cannot be included in the official history pages.
Our artistic investigation is a motion of senses: analogic sounds of stones and steps, images of repopulated land, memories of touching each other, smells and tastes of seaweed.
“The wind erases the traces of the seagulls.
Rain erases human footprint.
The sun erases the trace of time.
Storytellers look for the invisible but never erased trace of lost memory, love and pain”