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IN GIRUM IMUS NOCTE ET CONSUMIMUR IGNI (2015)

Special Mention, Dance Theatre at BE FESTIVAL - Birmingham 2016

by ROBERTO CASTELLO
in collaboration with the company 

> NEXT DATES (2017):
14/10/2017 (9.30pm)  T-Danse Festival / Cittadella dei Giovani, Aosta (IT)
22/10/2017 (10.30pm) NID Platform / Teatro Nazionale Sloveno di Gorizia
(IT)
24-25/01/2018 - Festival de danse Trajectoires - CCNN, Nantes (FR)


review excerpts (pdf) > link
teaser video >
https://vimeo.com/134092138

current repertory

performers (full cast) MARIANO NIEDDU/VALENTINA SECHI, STEFANO QUESTORIO/ALICE GIULIANI, GISELDA RANIERI/ELISA CAPECCHI, IRENE RUSSOLILLO/ILENIA ROMANO

assistant ALESSANDRA MORETTI

light, music and costumes ROBERTO CASTELLO

costumes made by Sartoria Fiorentina, Csilla Evinger

production ALDES

with the support of MIBACT/Direzione Generale Spettacolo dal vivo, REGIONE TOSCANA/Sistema Regionale dello Spettacolo

lenght 1h

A rugged black and white and hypnotic music is the environment in which the micro stories of this peripatetic night show are linked together, a mixture between cinema, dance and theatre.
The cold light of a video projector articulates the spaces, times and geometry, and the black costumes turn the characters translucent, projecting them into a timeless past inhabited by a dispersed humanity that moves on, struggling, with a brusque, emotional, disorganized gestuality, beyond exhaustion, slowly falling into a trance.
The pulsing rithm of the music and movement carries one, little by little, to a dimension that is hypnotic, and an empathy that is close to being physical with the fatigue of the interpreters. ”In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni” ("We go around at night burnt up by fire"), enigmatic latin palindrome with uncertain origin, which was already chosen as title by Guy Debord for his famous movie in 1978, it therefore goes beyond its possible interpretation as a metaphor of living endlessly consumed in desires, to become a cathartic experience of its comical and grotesque exhaustion.

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Artists are miles ahead: they explore unknown areas that we – critics or, at least, those of us who think they are critics – try to structure, codify and urbanize.
Occasionally, then, some creations shed light on what we are, or what we will be, in advance. They give meaning to the tiring work of writing our own biographies: they tell us what we are going to experience. And then, we understand more. It happened to me with In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (We go around at night consumed by fire): the performance by Roberto Castello and his most refined group ALDES perfectly shows reality in Italy and beyond. We are worn out, tired, exhausted, and lost. Sad and disheartened, but nevertheless we are no quitters or losers.
That handful of heroes that are repeatedly advancing, and yet staying put, is the perfect incarnation of a widespread state of being. The mysterious Latin palindrome, which makes up the title of the performance, is the hint to a fresco worthy of Bosch or Bruegel, which immerses us into a pure contemporary medieval age: they are the “tribes” dear to the philosopher Michel Maffessoli when, in L’istante eterno (The eternal instant), he evokes the return of tragedy in the postmodern age. The tragedy by ALDES is not a violent one: on the contrary, it is acquired, introjected, co-experienced by a tired humanity, which continues to march relentlessly on the spot, while struggling and fighting in a race without any finish line. They are tormented souls, they are exhausted pilgrims, they are – with sudden pain – today’s migrants.
The dancers have bodies, faces, hands which tell stories: they walk, tormented by an obsessive loop of electronic music, in an alternating sequence of light and dark marked by a diaphanous Beckettian voice which pushes everything to absurdity. It is the human condition that Mr Castello is talking about. The choreographer does not condemn; on the contrary, with the most human empathy, he evokes moments of contact and, perhaps, tenderness, and overall scenes, where wandering seems to lead to peace. But there is no way to escape from the closed box, which is a black and white world marked by fragments projected like rain or scratches, oblique, claustrophobic cuts of light, details as suffocating as the general vision. In the race between the last, even those who save themselves are lost.

by ANDREA PORCHEDDU

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REVIEW EXCERPTS  >>>

La REPUBBLICA - Rodolfo Di Giammarco - 20 September 2015

[...] a masterpiece of dance that studies the human body in the grip of hysteria, hypnosis and abuse with touching dynamics. [...] this brilliant creation by Roberto Castello is a collection of postures by four performers who continuously find themselves in gymnopédies, poses and figures at the limit of human performance, constantly immersed in varying spaces of light. [...]

Scene contemporanee.it - Renata Savo

"[…] This new work by Roberto Castello is a metaphysical and enigmatic piece, reminiscent of paintings by de Chirico, as a matter of fact it's not by chance that it finds its roots in the dialogue between darkness and light and on the paradox between bi-dimensional and three-dimensional spaces, dominated by bodies with monstrous abilities. Bodies that do not know friction nor gravity or resistance. A sublime vision. An exceptional performance."

Klp teatro - Salvatore Insana

"[ …] The scene is a black box lightened only by the video projector, with surfaces marked by right angles and a dirty white, in which we can glimpse a slow falling of what could be black rain. Six bodies dressed with black robes are struggling to come to life, then begin in unison what will progressively become a demonized and rigorous score, essential and violent. A score of bodies slaves to a superior design, once again otherdirected and marching. Not communicating."

Gli Stati Generali - Andrea Porcheddu

"[…] The five formidable black-clad interpreters (Elisa Capecchi, Mariano Nieddu, Giselda Ranieri, Ilenia Romano, Irene Russolillo) are damned souls, exhausted pilgrims, today's migrants. They walk, tormented by an obsessive electronic music loop, alternating between darkness and light, punctuated by a thinning voice reminiscent of Beckett which leads everything to the absurd. What Castello is actually narrating is the human condition, not without irony: and this is the reality of a daily fight, where everyone finishes last. The persisting opening of show is striking: the posture of the bodies, that vane rambling, those heavy stares are the tragic emblem of the eternal return of the present."

Che teatro fa - Giulia Sanzone

"[…] Liquid and deep beats drum like the rain, between ancestral African percussions and dripping drops reflecting on the opalescent background of the dark scene, salve to several blocks of thinning light, generating and destroying about seventy extraordinary dancing paintings: intermittent flashes, tortured and enslaved to a mechanical voice, dominating like Becket with the order "dark/light". Tied in funeral robes, the six drones, protagonists of an alarming matrix, align in rapid and discordant frames, alternated with an effect similar to stop-motion, wandering, epileptic and virtuous, with jerky spasms of modern proletarians, or innocent children, for one hour of exceptional dance theatre, border lining in a sublime and hybrid way between video art and electronic avant-garde."

La città metropolitana - Poema Seris Leo

"[…] Careerism, the race towards competition, anxiously and wonderfully interpreted. [...] In girum imus nocte (et consumimur igni) is a show worth seeing, modern, where thanks to the skills of Elisa Capecchi, Alice Giuliani, Mariano Nieddu, Giselda Ranieri, Ilenia Romano and Irene Russolillo, for a few moments one has the illusion of not sitting in Italy, but among the seats of some experimental theatre in New York."

Internazionale - Christian Raimo

“[...] In both [France and Belgium] however, since the eighties it was decided to invest millions of Euros in contemporary theatre, and now finally we can see the fruits of this labour that created a European theatre, and we can see huge productions worldwide: Teresa De Keersmacher and Jan Fabre, who we have just greeted at the Romaeuropa Festival. […] If I need to conclude with two examples to represent everything I would take them from dancing. One of these examples is Roberto Castello: his company is one of the excellences among European dancing. His show in 1985 - an Ubu Award - Il cortile, produced with Sosta Palmizi, is justly considered seminal in the history of Italian choreography of the last thirty years, and his last show, In girum imus nocte (et consumimur igni), is no less beautiful. [...]”

Artnois.it - Marta Olivieri

"[...] Bodies in continuous motion narrate community in its more varied expressions, highlighting from the beginning to the end a state of malaise, narrated impeccably by the dancers through a precise and paradoxically reassuring paroxysmal bouncy jitter which accompanies them for the whole duration of the show. [...] The show almost has an obsessive and liberating character; courageously tackling this scheme, we all tend to hide in our daily life. Here, we cannot do anything but live it. Once finished, you are sure of having experienced and shared something precious with the rest of the audience, with the writer and the dancers. The vibrations linger. The experience in and of the present is the most beautiful feeling which we can hope to live."

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