Hell is real, the atrocious industriousness of which will continue even after the Day of Judgment. The mountain of Purgatory is also tangible, but it will vanish at the end of time, when even the last soul will have soared towards the sky. And Heaven? A heavenly script, an admirable show set up for the spectator Dante. In short, theater. Theater that, in the commission of the Ravenna Festival to Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari, becomes itinerant and musical, the city a stage, the citizens – six hundred this year – involved in all phases of the Dante shipyard. The journey started in 2017 with Hellcontinued with Purgatory in 2019, it is crowned with Paradiselast door of the triptych Public call for the Divine Comedy: from 24 June to 8 July (every day except Monday) we leave at 8pm from Dante’s Tomb to immerse ourselves in the lively vortex of souls in the Public Gardens – overlooked by the harmonious Renaissance architecture of the Loggetta Lombardesca – with the music by Luigi Ceccarelli, the lights by Fabio Sajiz, sets and costumes by the students of the Brera Academy. At the center of this new colossal production of the Festival, in collaboration with Teatro delle Albe / Ravenna Teatro and with the extraordinary contribution of the Municipality of Ravenna, is the word “joy”, because the Paradise it is the canticle of joy that becomes sound, dance, Dionysian feast, a hymn to the transfigured flesh – “between flesh and heaven,” to quote Pasolini. The event is supported by Reclam, which this year celebrates twenty years of activity.
“This Dante’s path reinforces a vision that has sustained our work for decades: theater lives if it knows how to make itself ‘art’ in dialogue with life and the city – underline Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari – As the poet and citizen Dante Alighieri knew, politics and the tension towards beauty are the two faces of the same spirituality. In Comedythe spectator plays a specific role: it is Dante himself, theeveryman, the pilgrim who from the bottom of the dark forest first descends into the bowels of the earth, then climbs the mountain of Purgatory and finds himself climbing the skies together with Beatrice, up to the beatific vision of the XXXIII canto. For the Paradise we have chosen some figures, from Piccarda Donati to Giustiniano, from San Tommaso to Cacciaguida, San Pier Damiani, San Pietro … harmony of the celestial spheres, where light and sound are a single vertigo. “
We were destined to achieve the Paradise in 2021, the final stage of a project that accompanied the Festival and its city on the way to the seventh centenary of Dante’s death; the known difficulties of the pandemic times made it necessary to postpone it. Which, on closer inspection, reconnects the threads of the discussion with exquisite naturalness. You want it because, as the motto of the Ravenna celebrations said, Long live Dante: his poetry runs through the veins of the city, a vital and organic part of a story that continues to be written. But also because this year the Festival celebrates another poet, whose passion for Dante’s work was also expressed in an attempt to rewrite the Comedy – that Divina Mimesis to which Pier Paolo Pasolini continued to work until his death. In short, the Pasolini title Between the flesh and the sky of this XXXIII edition (a number, by the way, by Dante) is also the synthesis of the journey of Public call.
Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari teach us, after all, that the classics are not enough to put them on stage; you have to “bring them to life”, because the masterpieces of past eras mean nothing if they are not made flesh and substance in our present. And then it is necessary to put those words back into circulation, to unleash them so that they become action, halfway between sacred medieval representation and Mayakovsky’s mass theater. Speaking of words, the third Canticle is full of neologisms – the most glaring indication of the tension to which Dante subjects the Italian language, in order to live up to the paradox of telling the unspeakable. The first of these neologisms is, in Canto I, transhuman, that is to go beyond the boundaries of the human. This is what happens to the traveling poet when he ascends towards the sphere of fire, that is, the intermediate zone between the earthly world and the Heaven of the Moon (the verb transhuman would have found modern life, coincidentally, in the title of Pasolini’s latest poetic collection, Trasumanar and organize).
On stage Ermanna Montanari, Marco Martinelli, Luigi Dadina, Alessandro Argnani, Camilla Berardi, Roberto Magnani, Laura Redaelli, Alessandro Renda, Salvatore Tringali and the towns and citizens of the Public Call.
The Ravenna Festival commission for Public call it was an opportunity to activate important and significant collaborations and rediscover Dante’s ability to speak to a more than vast – very vast audience. Hell has received national and international awards (Ubu 2017 Award for “best curatorial project”, National Association of Theater Critics Award-ANCT, Lauro Dantesco ad honorem and Cultural Award of the VDIG-Vereinigung Deutsch-Italienischer Kultur-Gesellschaften), Purgatory was staged in a Matera staging, part of the official program of Matera – European Capital of Culture 2019.
Info and presales: 0544 249244 – www.ravennafestival.org
Tickets: standing room 20 Euro (reduced 18)
From Friday 24 June to Friday 8 July (every day except Monday)
from Dante’s Tomb to the public gardens, 8 pm
Public call for Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy”
ideation, artistic direction and direction Marco Martinelli And Ermanna Montanari
music by Luigi Ceccarelli
commission of Ravenna Festival
on stageErmanna Montanari, Marco Martinelli, Luigi Dadina, Alessandro Argnani, Camilla Berardi, Roberto Magnani, Laura Redaelli, Alessandro Renda, Salvatore Tringali and the towns and citizens of the Public Call
collaboration with the music of Vincenzo Core celectric guitarRaffaele Marsicano tromboneGiacomo Piermatti contrabassGianni Trovalusci flutesAndrea Veneri live electronics and with Mirella Mastronardi voice
sound design Marco Olivieri
scenic space Pupils and pupils of the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera Milan – School of Scenography Eleonora Battisi, Hefrem Gioia, Umberto Kilian D’Annolfo, Martina Maria Pisoni, Giada Ratti, Valentina Silva, Alessia Soressi coordinated by Edoardo Sanchi with Ludovica Diomedi, Elisa Gelmi and Matilde Grossi
costumes students of the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera Milan – School of Costume Beatrice Alberti, Valeria Benatti, Caterina Lanza, Alessia Lattanzio, Lidia Zanelli, Bingqian Zhu coordinates from Paola Giorgi with Federica Famà and Flavia Ruggeri
light design Fabio Sajiz
production Ravenna Festival / Teatro Alighieri
in collaboration with Teatro delle Albe / Ravenna Theater
with the extraordinary contribution of Municipality of Ravenna