Project Description



MBIRA, ph. Carlo Carmazzi

MBIRA, ph. Carlo Carmazzi 00402

MBIRA Ilenia Romano - ph. Ilaria Scarpa 5432

MBIRA, Ilenia Romano, ph. Ilaria Scarpa 5432

finalist UBU Award 2019 – best dance show

choreography and direction ROBERTO CASTELLO
performers ILENIA ROMANO, GISELDA RANIERI / SUSANNAH IHEME (dance/voice), MARCO ZANOTTI (percussions, limba) ZAM MOUSTAPHA DEMBÉLÉ (kora, tamanì, voice, balafon), ROBERTO CASTELLO
production ALDES – Teatro della Cooperativa
with the support of MiBAC – MINISTERO per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, REGIONE TOSCANA / Sistema Regionale dello Spettacolo, Romaeuropa Festival
media partner NIGRIZIA
tanks to Cooperativa Sociale Odissea

How much did Africa contribute to make us who we are?

For many centuries Europeans and Arabs have explored, colonized and converted every single corner of the planet. Today many cultures have been lost and the western culture has become, in many ways, the universal reference point. It’s impossible to say whether this is a positive or a negative, or if the colonized people used to be happier before colonization. It’s a fact that the world is getting smaller and less varied, full of TVs that broadcast the same programs and identical shops that sell identical products, from Greenland to Terra del Fuego, from California to Madrid, Riyad or Tokyo. But it often happens, in the colonization process, that the colonist changes irreversibly once he gets in contact with the conquered’s culture. This is what Mbira attempts to talk about; a concert for squares and theatres in which two dancers, two musicians and a director – through music, dance and words – try to address the complex relationship between our own and the African culture.
Mbira is the name of a musical instrument from Zimbabwe, but also the name of the traditional music made with this instrument, and “Bira” is the name of an important traditional celebration of the Shona people, the main ethnic community in Zimbabwe, in which people dance and sing to the sound of the Mbira. Mbira is also the title of a musical composition created in 1981, around which a harsh legal controversy has arisen, an issue that represents well the complex and problematic nature of the cultural and moral tangle characterizing the relationship between Africa and Europe.
Mbira is, in short, a word around which a surprising variety of stories, music, dances, celebrations and reflections about art and culture intertwine.


25/06/2019 SPAM!, Porcari (LU)
29/06/2019 Festival Diffusioni, Terranuova Bracciolini (AR)
03/07/19 Insolito Festival, Parma
05/07/19 Vignale Monferrato Festival, Vignale Monferrato (AL)
03/08/19 Anghiari (AR)
08/08/19 Festival itinerante Notte della Taranta, Acaya (LE)
11/08/19 Barga Jazz, Barga (LU)
25-26-27/10/19 Teatro della Cooperativa, Milano
1/11/19 Nuovo Cinema Palazzo, Roma*
2-3/11/19 Hangar 238 / Circo Rosso, Roma*
4/11/19 Futura Memoria / Teatro Biblioteca Quarticciolo, Roma
9/11/19 Spin Time, Roma*
3/12/19 Resistere e Creare / Teatro della Tosse, Genova
19/12/19 Teatro Toselli, Cuneo
21/12/19 Cantieri Teatrali Koreja, Lecce
28/07/2020 Spazio Remmert, Ciriè (TO)
31/07/2020 ‘La meraviglia sul far della sera’ / Gran Parterre – Reggia di Venaria (TO)
30/08/2020 Suq Festival, Genova

* nel quadro di Romaeuropa Festival