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The Culture of Emilia-Romagna

Children's theatre


The Firebird, stage effects by Enrico Baj Teatro Gioco Vita
The Firebird, stage effects by Enrico Baj, Teatro Gioco Vita
Once upon a time... Pretending, dressing up, wearing a mask, imagining, revealing. In shadow play another form of reality makes its entrance - the "timeless" and "spaceless" reality of our imagined archetypes. Stage designs by Lele Luzzati Teatro Gioco VitaFairies and witches dance on the stage, gnomes and elves throng the woods of fancy, minstrels, jugglers and tumblers bow down tinkling to the King and Queen. Meanwhile mime artists bend their bodies, ballad singers strum along ancient village streets, puppets beat their hands and heads on the edge of a punchman’s booth.

And children open their eyes wide in disbelief, howling with laughter while the grown-ups dream on the sly. The curtain rises on the Children and Young People´s Theatre in Emilia-Romagna. A formula developed in the early seventies and known throughout Europe where the region’s groups have made frequent appearances at festivals, taken part in international exchanges and coproductions. The reason being, quite simply, to set in motion a process of research in order to create a culture which goes beyond the confines of the stage and speaks the universal language of gesture, sign, symbol.

And that it is how the puppeteer´s craft becomes art, the shadows of Oriental tradition break through the wall of Western rationality, the action spills over into life, a new relationship is formed between actors, directors and playwrights and a child’s applause greets the results. And that is how the land of Emilia-Romagna appears on the international stage, carving out for itself a space within the poetic, stylistic and social space of Italian theatre.

Permanent centres and world-famous theatre companies

Alice in Wonderland, Teatro delle Briciole and Teatro Gioco Vita
Alice in Wonderland, Teatro delle Briciole and Teatro Gioco Vita
Five permanent centres for Children and Young People´ s Theatre and a host of theatre groups whose work mixes different genres: from puppets to story telling, from street theatre to actor’s theatre and picture theatre. This is Children and Young People´s Theatre in Emilia-Romagna. You’ll find them along Via Aemilia, from Piacenza to the sea. Gioco Vita, directed by Diego Maj, was founded in 1970 as a "committed" group of children’s entertainers. And from Piacenza, the "realm of shadows", skilfully animated by actors, has taken off throughout the world As has Parma-based Teatro delle Briciole
, which among other things organizes the Festival “Vetrina Europa”. Then there is Teatro Evento in Vignola and La Baracca – Teatro Testoni Ragazzi in Bologna. The latter created the first European network of Centres for Culture and the Arts for children and young people in 1991, and is working on a project devoted to "Art and childhood".

Finally, there is the important Accademia Perduta (Lost Academy) – Romagna Teatri in Forlí which produces and manages theatre projects throughout Romagna. All these centres have helped the spread of theatre in our region, played an active part in ensuring future audiences, and promoted greater awareness of, and openess to, Europe. There is no shortage of puppet theatre groups of international repute and actors skilled

at breathing life into inanimate objects . Let us mention one or two: in Reggio Emilia you will certainly give a big hand to the “Il Setaccio”, a marionette and puppet theatre founded by Otello Sarzi. The Compagnia del Paviglione puts on shows in Bologna featuring traditional Emilian characters Fagiolino and Sganapino, and Romano Danielli, founder of the Teatro Bolognese, takes into the public squares the characters of Doctor Balanzone and Pantalone. From Romagna the seaside puppet theatre of Erio Maletti has been entertaining children and grown ups in theatres and in public squares throughout the world for over forty years. Then there is Cervia’s Centro Teatro di Figura which has undertaken a significant task in reassembling and exhibiting traditional puppet collections, as well as organizing the international festival “Arrivano dal Mare”.

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Pubblicato il 28/10/2011 — ultima modifica 21/07/2015
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