This workshop was organised to give shape to IL PALINSESTO (extract) 1. The workshop was opened to non-professional performers for ‘The School of Narrative Dance’ by Marinella Senatore for the opening of ParcDesign Biennale 2016 in Parc Duden.
IL PALINSESTO (extract) 1 consists in a walk in the middle of the savage vegetable garden created for the Biennale, following a simple protocol as a children play.
The performers learnt 4 sequences of movements inspired by sport competitions as swimming, run, tennis and football. Each sequence was composed by 4 gestures, and each one was associated to a number.
The aim was to walk in one and uniform line from the beginning until the end of the garden.
Each participant could scream the number, playing with the rhythm and intonation.
The first part of the walk was regular and it followed the same sequence. Instead, for the second part, the participants could call the sequence by a letter:
A = swimming; B = run; C = tennis; D = football; E = joker
Mistakes and misunderstandings were part of the process and they were essential elements to break the uniformity.
The result was a sort of colours choral parade, made by collective gestures and voices.
The School of Narrative Dance is a nomadic, free-of-charge school, which proposes an alternative system of education based on emancipation, inclusion, self-cultivation and compassion. The multidisciplinary initiative is focused on storytelling, and provides a wide range of “experiences” and lessons – including literature, oral history, carpentry, art history, crafts, photography, arithmetic, drama, theatre, dance, cinematic language – in order to celebrate the wide variety of skills and talents every single member can offer or develop.
The School has already involved thousands of people in more than nine countries, including political activists, crafts makers, those who are illiterate, dancers, opera singers, scholars, unemployed people, students, housewives, workers’ unions, those who are retired, teachers, and more. The involvement of the locations which host the School is usually city-wide: i.e. rehearsal space is offered by the a city’s conservatory and dance halls, local musicians compose scores for performances, and both public and private buildings offer their spaces, whilst traditional folk dance groups, school bands, local teachers, and a large number of amateur and professional dancers have taken part, seeking to experience a different approach to storytelling and dance.
Extending the idea of participation is fundamental to Marinella Senatore’s work, and the final “urban performance” is configured as a public action in urban space which implicates many different social contents. Sometimes this becomes an ephemeral “monument” to the people and their communities (memory, identity, environment, background), and sometimes this even generates new collectives and spontaneous systems of aggregation. The final result brings together a plethora of the rich creative energies that come from local individuals, groups and associations, presenting an ideal of innovative social and cultural community.
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