The Saburo Teshigawara project, presented as part of the Festival Aperto 2017 programme and made possible through the long-standing partnership between Collezione Maramotti, Max Mara and Fondazione I Teatri, will feature the European premiere of the show Tristan and Isolde at Teatro Ariosto (31 October), an exclusive site-specific performance in the spaces of the Collection (1-5 November – five repeats) and a talk with the choreographer (Collezione Maramotti, 5 November).
This collaborative journey began in 2009 with a performance by the Trisha Brown Dance Company, and has consolidated over the years with biannual events (Shen Wei Dance Arts in 2011, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance in 2013, and Hofesh Shechter/Shechter Junior in 2015) in the hopes of fostering a new and exciting dialogue between the world of dance and the visual arts.
On 31 October, Teatro Ariosto will host the European opening of Tristan and Isolde (the world premiere took place in Tokyo in June 2016), starring Rihoko Sato and Teshigawara himself. The work is constructed upon excerpts from Richard Wagner's monumental opera Tristan and Isolde, re-imagined and rearranged as an original music and dance piece. The composition, with a musical texture characterised by repetition, rests on a belief in the fatality of doomed romance, in the infinite spiritual and metaphysical bond that exists between lovers, and in death as the only possible conclusion to love's journey. In keeping with Teshigawara's artistic vision, the choreography is a poetical voyage which spans diverse means of expression. Ostensibly lacking in narrative, the work gives precedence to the sensual over the rational: the bodies of the dancers, who play the star-crossed lovers, reach for our souls as ineffable messengers of the unspeakable.
Teshigawara, known for writing lines of poetry to accompany his own works, penned the following for Tristan and Isolde: Music in constant rippling waves and bodies which fill the space, A melody is born, modular and incessant, and reaches no place, Love and death are thus impossible
From 1 to 5 November, the rooms of the Collezione Maramotti will house Pointed Peak, an original site-specific performance which Teshigawara created specifically for the occasion. The five repeats, starring the choreographer himself along with Rihoko Sato and Eri Wanikawa, represent a once-off opportunity to attend the show in the very place that inspired it and to which it is dedicated. When Teshigawara first visited the site last March, the history-rich spaces and the works of art housed inside triggered a strong emotional response in the choreographer, who immediately connected those sensations with important elements of his own artistic vision, such as his concept of movement as an existential condition. His is an intense, fluid and elegant physicality – one which is traversed by air and where air is both space and spirit. The inner and outer world come together in a style which has its roots in Japanese and martial tradition yet opens itself to western aesthetics, in creating sensory, poetic experiences laden with symbols and allusions.
During his visit at the Collezione Maramotti, the artist/choreographer shared a number of thoughts on life and its constant flux, on death as a passage of regeneration, and on the fluid metamorphosis of body and energy – all topics which will be explored during the talk scheduled for 5 November, following the performance's final repeat.
The site evoked within him a poem of existence and perception, of darkness and light, of transformation, conjuring images of a dancing body who strives to touch that supremely elusive point: the peak of the air.