Fabbrica Europa 2019: An Avant-Garde Art Festival

Opening May 3: FABBRICA EUROPA 2019 PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL. PARC, Teatro della Pergola, Stazione Leopolda, Teatro del Maggio, Teatro Cantiere Florida, and Santa Maria Novella. Tickets range from €5-€25 depending on the event. To see the full schedule and purchase tickets, visit www.fabbricaeuropa.net.

There is no official theme to this year’s festival, dedicated to contemporary performing arts, save for a sense of celebration for the foundation since relocating to its new home in the Cascine Park. All the performances, though, seem to share an unofficial theme: the body.

The festival’s headliners, La Fura del Baus, a Catalan modern dance group well known for their mixing of media and dance, will offer a show called Free Bach 212 (May 3, 9:30 pm) This performance will feature the “Peasant Cantata”, the last cantata of J. S. Bach, interpreted by the ensemble Divina Mysteria with the passionate, sensual movements of the flamenco. The attention-grabbing style of the group will be highlighted by the inclusion of unconventional instruments, contemporary poetry, and other uses of multimedia aspects. The choral component will be sung by Mariola Membrives, a Spanish flamenco and jazz singer.

This year’s edition seeks to create international ties. Talents such as Norwegian Ina Christel Johannessen (May 3, 6 & 8 pm), Armenian NCA Small Theater (May 4, 7 pm), and Frenchman Alexandre Fandard (May 24, 9 pm) will all represent Europe along many Italian performers. Columbian twins Las Añez (May 5, 6:30 pm), and Brazilian Hamilton de Holanda (May 5, 7:30 pm) will epitomize the American performing arts, both South and North American. The South Korean Goblin Party dance group will stage the dance performance Silver Knife about the social status and identity of women (May 21, 9 pm).

Special focus will be put on the Far East this year with a series called “Focus China” from May 9 to 12. These performances will all be based upon the body still but speaking in contradictions: female versus male, old versus new, tradition versus innovation, material versus metaphorical, spirit versus body. All of these themes will be explored in talks, videos, and dance and theatrical performances.

Fabrizio Massini, founder of a foundation for artistic ties between China and Italy, will have a discussion with independent dancer, choreographer, and dance historian Tian Tian about traditional Chinese dance (May 9, 11 am). Tian Tian will later hold a workshop demonstrating an adaptation of a traditional Song dynasty dance, Pear Garden, and an original composition inspired by the Han dynasty, Yong 2 (May 11, 5:30 pm). Yu Yanan will stage an original dance piece called Ping Pong based on the connection between the mind and the body (May 11, 6 pm). Wu Hui’s dance the Great Wave will explore the history of China from the Chinese Civil War in 1927 to the present day through her grandmother’s life and stories (May 9 & 10, 9 pm). Choreographer Lian Guodong and dancer Lei Yan will perform I Didn’t Say Anything, a dance exploring the extent of physical communication (May 10, 7 pm; May 11, 9 pm)Er Gao will show her original video featuring local dancers about modernization in China over the past 30 years (May 11, 7:30 pm)(katy sparks)

Tickets are available through Box Office and www.ticketone.com.