The Fabbrica Europa ’22 Festival Goes Live
Sept. 2 – 25: FABBRICA EUROPA Festival. Various venues throughout Florence. Tickets will range from €5 to €15 and are available through www.fabbricaeuropa.net.
Fabbrica Europa is back on stage to entertain audience for its 34th avant-garde performance arts festival, this time in the fall, rather than the spring. The festival is popular among Italians and visitors for its variety in performances and workshops and has been marked an important cultural entity by the EU, as it seeks to bridge the gap between artist and viewer.
In the past, the festival has taken place in Florentine theaters, but since 2019, it has been hosted in Florence’s beloved Cascine Park, and this year is no exception. Filling this green space will be artists from Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa, all who will explore this year’s theme of Tradition and Experimentation, aiming to convert their roots to universal expressions of art.
The festival will open on September 2 with Gone here (yet) to come, a choreography from Fieldworks, performed by Heine Avdal & Yukiko Shinozaki. This performance will use the theatrical space as a canvas to investigate a theme of darkness; how is it tangible?; What makes darkness tangible?; What happens in the shadows? It will specifically target “forgotten memories” to the forefront, as the dancers unveil hidden forms and dimensions of our world in an already well-received performance abroad.
For literature geeks, two performances will appeal, starting with Giuseppe Muscarello’s retelling of the 1516 poem, Orlando Furioso (Sunday, 4). Popular during the Italian Renaissance, Orlando Furioso became a main character in well-known character in shows all over Europe, though having started in Sicily. In this work titled, I PUPI – Le donne, i cavallier, l’arme, gli amori, Muscarello choreographed the dancers to move like puppets, as they simultaneously seem to move independently and by something else.
Up next, from the mind of Michele Di Stefano, a contemporary ballet reinterpretation of the Kingdom of Shadows scene from La Bayadère will be performed in Bayadère – II Regno delle Ombre (Thursday, 8). The ballet will be debuting new dancers from Tuscany, using the melodramatic and mysterious scene of Kingdom of Shadows to mirror how today’s precarious age needs to be dealt and reinvented with “delicacy and passion.”
Fabbrica Europa further strives for diversity and inclusivity, as this year’s diverse musicians and performers bring their culture to Italy. A few artists from Africa bring their talents, beginning with French performer’s Soa Ratsifandrihana’s “Groove,” (Monday, 5) who wanted to reflect on her Madagascan roots. She wrote and created an original choreography where the energy grows and the performer (and audience) find their rhythm – groove – which is hypnotizing and raw, which she has performed many times all over.
Another original performance, titled The Very Last White Rhino (Sunday, 18), was created by Gastón Core for Ivorian performer, Oulouy. This performance was inspired by the pending extinction of white rhinos, as only two females exist, and therefore cannot create new life. Core stitches different types of urban together, exploring happiness and calm amidst chaos, energy and excess, as these female rhinos do not live to mate anymore – their more primitive needs ending. Oulouy performs Core’s “organic music” (his words) in a black box, dancing till he drops.
Omou Sangaré is a musician from Mali who will be singing pieces (Friday, 23) from his latest album, Timbuktu, where he combines traditional West African music with the blues, bridging the African diaspora. His songs carry the message of freedom, particularly for the people of his land; women, children, and men of West African origin.
If There is No Sun (Sunday, 11) was created from the collaboration between choreographer Irene Russolillo and video artist, Luca Brancini, an Italian-Liberian artist. They create a dialogue around Africa and Europe, the land and borders that separate and oppress, and everything in between. The title came from the inspiration of those who came before and after — those who inspired a new reality.
Another artist focused on bridging the African diaspora (per its passage across Latin America and Europe) is Christophe Chassol, a Martinique composer and musician. He has produced Chou (Sunday, 11), a multimedia work about the multicultural society of Brussels.
Lastly, Beyond Black is the name of a duo of musicians, Malian kora master, Ballaké Sissoko & Nicole Mitchell, an American flutist. Together, they combine their music to create something new – something hybrid – something that goes beyond mere identity (Wednesday, 7).
Others not to miss are Igor x Moreno, John Surman, Camille Bertault, Cristina Rizzo, and Daniele Ninarello, a mix of Hispanic artists (Saturday, 10) who showcase their talents via hip-hop, glitch music, rock, and more. (angie sanchez)