Sante di Scena (Stage Saints) is a journey into the life of some saints and/or nuns, ladies of faith who found the way to live both within and without reality, setting up performances to express their different vision. It is also an investigation on the sacred and its relationship with art. We delved into a vast and wondrous subject, we studied many lives, biographies, words written by these saints, words written out during their ecstasies, letters, thoughts, and actual dramaturgies.
We fell in love with some films that became part of our basic filmography, such as the amazing, geometrical and disturbing Mother Joan of the Angels by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, or the extravagant and brilliant The Devils by Ken Russell, to whom we are in debt.
We were struck by some paintings but especially some sculptural figures that strongly marked our work, calling to mind the Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Niccolò dell’Arca as well as Giovanni Pisano and his Elevatio Animae. Another source of inspiration came from the covers of Diana Ross’s Supremes records, as part of our continuous travelling in time and our contrasting between past and present, a task also achieved thanks to an elaborate and careful use of sound materials.
All these lives affect our work in different ways. Some Saints take more space and give us their words, such as Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi and her demanding ecstasies, or Therèse de Lisieux, who recites words from the poem inspired by Joan of Ark that she wrote and staged, forcing her real-life sisters, nuns themselves, to humour her fanciful directing ambitions. Others emerge in a few brief and passing images (Gemma Galgani) only to turn into something else by using a wig and a pair of glasses. Others are transfigured in a playful moment, as is the case of Sister Blandina, the Wild West nun who confronted Billy the Kid. Or are found in a song or in the making of an image.
Other more will show up in the future, because they are just waiting for us. All of them contributed to the creation of a breeding ground, an environment, a bond among ourselves built on small gestures and silences, but most of all a playful liturgy helping us discover and find out ways to reveal the sacred, since it is our belief that only the contamination of opposites can lead to creation.
A project by and with Alessandra De Santis, Cinzia Delorenzi, Attilio Nicoli Cristiani
In collaboration with Luca Scarlini
Lights Adriana Renna Costumes Elena Rossi, Sheep made by Antonella Vino Project assistant Filippo M. Ceredi
Artistic Residency LachesiLAB, Olinda
Production Teatro delle Moire
Co-production I Teatri del Sacro, Next/Regione Lombardia, Fondazione Cariplo