THEATRE, A PERMANENT REVOLUTION
Theatre and Art are enemies of narrow-mindedness and artists are not slaves to any ideology
Giuseppe Rocca earned a degree in modern literature from the University of Lecce and graduated in directing at the National Academy of Dramatic Art Silvio D’Amico in Rome where he was Chair of the History of Performing Arts. He also taught History and Technique of Directing at the Fine Arts Academy of Naples and Screenwriting at the Nuova Università del Cinema e della Televisione (New University of Film and Television) in Rome.
Screenwriter, director, theatre and radio playwright, Rocca has won the following screenwriting awards: Premio Solinas twice, 1988 and 1991 (Una lingua tagliata and Il bambino che impazzì d’amore), Le Manuscrit de Vercorin (Swiss), 1993 (L’harmonie de cristal), Moravia, 1993 (Il diavolo va e viene), Premio Flaiano, 2005 and Premio Bufalino, 2006 (Il resto di niente). He co-wrote with Michele Monetta the corporeal mime and modern commedia dell’arte handbook, Mimo e Maschere, tecnica e pedagogia teatrale tra Mimo Corporeo e Commedia dell’Arte (Audino, 2016).
Giovanni Greco, author, translator, actor and theatre director, earned a PhD in classical literature at Sapienza University of Rome and graduated in directing at the National Academy of Dramatic Art Silvio D’Amico in Rome where he teaches Acting in Verse. He also specialised in directing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
He won the Italo Calvino Award for his first novel, Malacrianza, (Nutrimenti, 2012), translated a selection of poems by Tony Harrison, Vuoti, (Einaudi, 2008) and Antigone by Sophocles (Feltrinelli, 2013), wrote Teatri di pace in Palestina (manifestolibri, 2005) and edited with A.M. Belardinelli the volume, Antigone e le Antigoni. Storia, forme, fortuna di un mito
(Le Monnier, 2010).
Eduardo Bellingeri is Full Professor of History of the Theatre and Performing Arts at the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy and former head of the Department of Cultural Heritage, Music and Performing Arts at Tor Vergata University of Rome.
He is Head of Research at the
G. D’Annunzio University of Chieti and Pescara for the project Iconografia dei modelli teatrali (Iconography of theatre models) aimed at classifying documents related to the various types of stage spaces and sets, from the Greek theatre to the 20th century.
Annamaria Sapienza graduated in modern literature at the University of Naples “L’Orientale” with a thesis in History of Theatre and Performing Arts, she obtained a PhD in history of modern and contemporary theatre.
She taught History of Italian Theatre at the University of Naples “L’Orientale”, and History of Theatre and Performing Arts, and Animation Theatre at the University of Salerno. She currently teaches Theories and Models of Contemporary Theatre at the Faculty of Humanities and Education of the University of Salerno.
Lorenzo Salveti is the former Director of the National Academy of Dramatic Art Silvio D’Amico in Rome (2007–2015) where he has been teaching acting and directing since 1976. He taught acting at the Experimental Cinematography Centre in Rome, Bologna’s Theatre School; European School for the Art of the Actor of the Teatro di Pisa Foundation, San Miniato (Pisa); and in various European and Latin American schools.
He was chair of Directing Institutions at the University of Siena and the Tor Vergata University of Rome.
He has written and adapted many theatre plays and directed several opera and theatre productions. He has directed many comedy television shows and worked as radio producer for several years. He won the Prix Italia for Radio Drama twice (1979, 1981). He was appointed a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
Antonia Lezza is Associate Professor of Italian Literature and Italian Theatre Literature and is also a member of the Faculty Board for the Literature, Language and History doctoral degree programme at the University of Salerno. She is also member of the Faculty Board of the Italian Studies doctoral programme at the L’Orientale University of Naples.
She is the author of several theatre literature essays including on: Carlo Goldoni, Raffaele Viviani, Totò, and Eduardo and Peppino De Filippo. Her scientific interests also include emigration theatre and the Risorgimento theatre. She has created and maintains a website on Neapolitan theatre (www.teatro.unisa.it), a web archive of Neapolitan theatre authors that includes bio-bibliographic information, reviews, audiovisual material, online published and unpublished works from the nineteenth to the twentieth century.
Tadeusz Lewicki is Adjunct Professor of General Semiotics, Theatre History, and Theory and Technique of Theatrical Language at the Faculty of Social Communication Studies at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome.
Consultant for theatre in education groups, and theatre/drama centres in Italy and Poland; Visiting Lecturer at the University of Malta, and Distinguished Scholar at the Diederich College of Communication of Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA).
MARCO DE MARINIS
Marco De Marinis is Full Professor of Theatre Arts at the Department of Arts of the University of Bologna, He teaches History of the Theatre in the three-year undergraduate programme of the Department of Arts, Music and Performing Arts (DAMS) Theatre module, Theories, and Cultures of Performance in the master’s degree programme in Performing Arts.
His main research interests include: the theory of the theatre; 20th-century theatrical experience, focusing on leading directors, corporeal mime and on the second post-war period’s ‘new theatre’; and stage space and theatrical iconography. He is also a PhD supervisor of the Visual Arts, Film, Music and Theatre programme.
Roberto Danese is Full Professor of Classical Philology at Carlo Bo University of Urbino, where he also teaches Literature and Film and is Director of the one-year master’s programme in Redattori per l’Informazione Culturale nei Media (Editors for Cultural Information in the Media); he is professor at the Doctoral School in History, Archaeology and Anthropology of the Ancient World at the University of Siena.
His main research interests include: Plautus, Terence and archaic Latin theatre, textual criticism of classical texts, ancient didactics, anthropology of the ancient world, classical metrics and computer tools for the study of humanities.
BARBARA URY SPARTI (1932-2013)
Barbara Sparti was a dance historian, dancer, researcher, and scholar who dedicated a lifetime to the study of fifteenth- to seventeenth-century Italian dance. She trained in music and modern dance in New York City before moving to Italy in 1955. She also trained in the Orff-Schulwerk pedagogy and in Dalcroze Eurhythmics in Salzburg and Geneva, which led her to teach music and movement to adults and children for over forty years.
From 1975 to 1988 she was founder and artistic director of the Gruppo di Danza Rinascimentale that reconstructed and performed Renaissance dance choreographies throughout Italy and in major European cities. She choreographed operas and plays for the stage and television.
Sparti was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, (1990), and guest lecturer-choreographer at the University of Tel Aviv, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rubin Academy of Music and Dance, Jerusalem (1997), at the University of California, Santa Cruz, (2000), and in residence at Princeton University (2002).
She edited and translated Guglielmo Ebreo’s 1463 dance treatise, De pratica seu arte tripudii (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1993) and edited and wrote the detailed introduction to the facsimile edition of Ercole Santucci’s 1614 manuscript dance treatise, Mastro da ballo (Georg Verlag Olms, 2004) She has also published various articles on Italian Renaissance and Baroque dance in specialized journals).
MARK REESE (1951-2006)
Mark Reese was one of the world’s foremost authorities on the work of Moshe Feldenkrais. He studied with Moshe Feldenkrais from 1975 until his death in 1984. Before meeting Feldenkrais, Reese was involved in music and experimental theatre in the San Francisco Bay Area; in 1976, he graduated in psychology and philosophy from Sonoma State University, California.
He was among the first American teachers chosen by Moshe Feldenkrais to train new Feldenkrais Practitioners. Reese was pivotal in introducing and disseminating the Feldenkrais Method in the United States and has also trained Feldenkrais Practitioners in Europe and Australia.
Reese contributed numerous articles on the Feldenkrais Method to diverse publications. He wrote the foreword to the 2002 edition of Feldenkrais’s The Potent Self, co-authored Relaxercise with David Zemach¬–Bersin and Kaethe Zemach¬–Bersin, and recorded numerous audio programmes on the Feldenkrais Method.
MOSHE FELDENKRAIS (1904-1984)
Moshe Feldenkrais was an engineer, physicist, inventor, martial artist and student of human development. An old knee injury and uncertain prospects for surgery, led him to embark on a lifelong exploration of the relationship between movement and consciousness, which would constitute the basis of the Feldenkrais Method.
In developing his Method, Moshe Feldenkrais studied, inter alia, anatomy, physiology, child development, movement science, evolution, psychology, and a number of Eastern awareness practices and other somatic approaches.
Feldenkrais taught in Israel and in Europe through the 1960s and 1970s and in North America through the 1970s and 1980s. For several years, he taught at Peter Brook’s Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord.
RENA MIRECKA (1934)
Rena Mirecka was one of the founding members of Jerzy Grotowski’s Laboratory Theatre from 1959 until its dissolution in 1984. She led the company’s plastiques exercises, which she developed with Grotowski and formed an essential part of the company’s training.
She performed the leading female roles in all the company’s performances, including Akropolys by Wyspiański (1962), The Constant Prince, by Calderón and adapted by Słowacki (1965), and Apocalypsis cum Figuris, (1968).
Since 1982 she has pursued theatre and paratheatrical research. In 1993, together with Ewa Benesz, she founded the International Centre of Work Prema Sãyi in Sardinia, Italy, where she continued her paratheatrical research for several years. Since 2000, she has been holding paratheatre and theatre workshops at the Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw.
JULIE GOELL (1951-2016)
Julie Goell, actress, clown, comedienne, director, mime, musician, puppeteer, and singer, was born in New York and moved to Rome, Italy, in 1964.
In 1970, she returned to the United States to study theatre at Emerson College in Boston and founded the Pocket Mime Theater company. After graduating in 1974, she returned to Rome where, in 1981, she completed teacher training for physical theatre at the Istituto studi dello spettacolo – Teatro Studio. The same year she moved back to New York and in 1986, she settled in Maine. In 2002, she graduated from the University of Southern Maine School of Music with a degree in string bass, studying voice with Margaret Yauger.
In Rome, in the mid-70s, she worked as a singer and actress in theatre, film, and television. She toured with the I Gesti mime company and taught physical comedy with Roy Bosier at Teatro Studio. She also worked in Geneva with Mummenschanz, the famous Swiss mime-mask theatre company and toured with the Swiss circus Schaubude. She toured Switzerland with her jazz trio, Impromptu and toured Italy for three summers singing with the big band, La Grande Orchestra da Ballo di Testaccio.
In New York in the 80s, she acted in the Broadway production, Ghetto and directed several theatre productions. She taught acting and directing at the University of Southern Maine, the University of Maine and at Colby College, Maine. She taught the Eccentric Performing professional development workshops for actors and clowns with her husband, Avner Eisenberg, at the Celebration Barn Theater in South Paris, Maine. In a career spanning over five decades, she has performed and taught throughout Asia, Europe, South America, and the United States.
MICHELE MANCINI (1947-2005)
Michele Mancini, film critic and essayist, earned a degree in philosophy and one in sociology at Sapienza University of Rome, with theses on film language.
From 1979 to 1989, he was Director of the film laboratory at the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy of the University of Palermo. From 1969 to 1976, he was a member of the editorial staff and board of directors of Filmcritica magazine. From 1977 to 1981, together with Giuseppe Perrella, Alessandro Cappabianca, Ellis Donda and Renato Tommasino, he founded and directed the quarterly magazine, Fiction – Cinema e pratiche dell’immaginario. He has also curated several multimedia exhibitions.
In addition to numerous essays and articles published in various magazines, he published several books, including Max Ophuls (La Nuova Italia, 1978) and Erich Rohmer (La Nuova Italia, 1982). He edited with Giuseppe Perrella, Pier Paolo Pasolini. Corpi e luoghi (Theorema, 1981) and Michelangelo Antonioni. Architetture della visione (Coneditor, 1986), consisting in two volumes of 598 pages illustrated with over 5,000 photographs, drawings, graphics and other visual elements.
In 1983, Michele Mancini and Enrico Ghezzi convinced Michelangelo Antonioni to return to Lisca Bianca, the small Sicilian island that, 23 years earlier, served as the location for L’Avventura in order to shoot a 9-minute insert for the programme, Falsi ritorni, per un’archeologia del set, which they created for Rai television, but was never completed. The short film entitled, Ritorno a Lisca Bianca (Return to Lisca Bianca), was presented for the first time at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival.
VERA BERTINETTI (1933-2013)
Vera Bertinetti obtained a degree in literature at the University of Turin while graduating from the National Academy of Dramatic Art Silvio d’Amico in Rome. She was Orazio Costa’s student and later became his assistant. She studied acting with Sergio Tofano and Vanda Capodoglio.
In addition to her dance and piano studies, she studied mime at the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. For several years, she taught acting in verse and directing at the National Academy of Dramatic Art Silvio d’Amico in Rome and theatre arts at the F. Morlacchi Conservatory of Music in Perugia. In the course of her career, she directed over 300 theatre, opera, vaudeville and operetta productions and radio plays.
MONIKA PAGNEUX (1927)
Monika Pagneux studied modern dance at the Mary Wigman School in Berlin and became a member of her company. In Paris, she studied classical dance with Atty Chadinoff and Nora Kies and corporeal mime with Etienne Decroux. She studied the neutral and expressive masks, commedia dell’arte, mime and movement with Jacques Lecoq at his École Internationale de Théâtre where she taught from 1963 to 1980.
During the 1970s she focused her work on the body with the Feldenkreis Method and Alexander Technique. She collaborated with Peter Brook at the International Centre for Theatre Research (CIRT) and at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord.
In 1980, in Paris, she founded l’École de Formation Théâtrale with Philippe Gaulier where she taught until 1987. Since 1988, she has been teaching workshops for actors, dancers and singers in Europe, North America, Australia and Japan.
Peter Brook noted that: “Monika’s work is original, it is all her own. She has built it up carefully over many, many years and has inspired countless students and professionals all over the world. It is concrete, it is precise but it is not technical. It is about life, it is for life and can only be brought into the field of theatre when theatre is truly searching for moments of truth.”
MARISE FLACH (1927-2016)
Marise Flach attended the Education par le Jeu Dramatique (EPJD) drama school in Paris, directed by Jean-Louis Barrault. In 1949, she joined Etienne Decroux’s company and performed in various shows in France and abroad.
In Milan, from 1953 to 2016, initially as Decroux’s assistant and then leading her own classes, she taught mime at the School of Dramatic Arts of Milan, which became the Piccolo Teatro School. She has taught mime and movement to numerous actors, mime artists and directors who today are renowned and appreciated in the field of theatre, film, and television.
As mime artist and choreographer she has collaborated on numerous theatre productions, in particular, on the acclaimed productions directed by Giorgio Strehler and Orazio Costa at the Piccolo Teatro of Milan. She also collaborated on opera productions at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, including Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges and Berg’s Woyzeck, and, in Salzburg, on Mozart’s The Magic Flute. She has created and performed various mime pieces together with Angelo Corti for the theatre and television.
ETIENNE DECROUX (1898-1991)
Etienne Decroux, one of the masters of 20th-century theatre and known as the father of modern mime, began his career in 1923 at the École du Vieux-Colombier directed by Jacques Copeau. He worked as an actor in Louis Jouvet’s and Gaston Baty’s theatre companies, at Charles Dullin’s Théâtre de l’Atelier, and in Jacques and Pierre Prévert’s films, the most famous of which Les Enfants du Paradis, by Marcel Carné.
The exercises with the neutral mask that he saw at the École du Vieux-Colombier in June of 1924, led Decroux, for over 60 years, to deepen his artistic and pedagogic research towards the development and continuous evolution of a highly codified physical theatre genre that he named corporeal mime. He studied the coordinated harmonious play of the trunk and limbs, thought and form, choosing attitude over gesture, defining movement as a succession of attitudes.
In 1940 he opened his school of corporeal mime in Paris where he taught until a few years before his death in 1991. He also taught at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, and at the Actor’s Studio in New York. Some of his most famous students were: Jean Louis Barrault, Gerard Depardieu, Raymond Devos, Marise Flach, Jessica Lange, Marcel Marceau, Marilyn Monroe and Michel Serrault.