Memento – Cornelia Dance Company – ph. Sabrina Cirillo
Memento is a dance piece that is based on the non-event. Just as in the Beckettian masterpiece, Waiting for Godot, the tension is created by the succession of hopes that find no concrete outlet, so likewise, in life, every moment is waiting for something definitive that then, when we think we have obtained it, we always discover to be fragmented and subjective.
Within the choreography, the performers experience this waiting and, in their search for a definitive answer, divine or otherwise, to their existential condition, they seek solace from each other, challenge each other, or, like a chorus, all tend toward the same point.
In the end, the very goal of their journey will be realized in the remembrance (memento means, precisely, “remembered”) of these relationships and the sensations they have felt, making it a ritual moment, a sacred, and therefore eternal, act.
Choreography Nyko Piscopo
Music Arvo Pärt
Costume Design Rosario Martone
Dramaturgy Ciro Ciancio
Set Design Paola Castrignanò
Lights Camilla Piccioni
Dancers Nicolas Grimaldi Capitello, Eleonora Greco, Leopoldo Guadagno, Francesco Russo
Technical Manager Giuseppe Ferrigno
Management Vittorio Stasi
Video Andrea De Simone
Photos Sabrina Cirillo
Support Caleidoscopio, Teatro Eduardo de Filippo
In collaboration with: AMAT MARCHE, Compagnia Zappalà Danza – SCENARIO PUBBLICO.
Innovative, out-of-the-box and label-free, “Memento” is a celebration of the self in all its forms and rests its foundation on gender equality. Performers are asked to renounce the inherent characteristics associated with their gender or stereotypes about it. The gaze becomes fixed, facial expressions limited, however, they are also given the opportunity to express, in a fluid manner and according to stage sensibility, the emotionality perceived at that particular moment. Nothing has to start from an idea, but from an internal impulse: in this way the body does not drag behind a stereotyped gesturality, and the choreographic dynamics are built free of all patterns, so that the man can be lifted up by the woman, if the inner need of the couple on stage requires it, reversing (or following) the canons without preconceived barriers.
The succession of tension and apparent calm involves every aspect of the staging. The lights rest on the performers like spots that suddenly appear and, just as suddenly, vanish, conveying the anxiety and agony felt by the play’s protagonists. The atmosphere of unease tends to be amplified by an eternal return to choreographic stillness, stillness that is, however, constantly challenged, not only by the progression of light and darkness, but also by the scenographic dynamics that, by evoking those places that seem suspended between the earthly and the otherworldly like the monolithic complex of Stonehenge, increases the sense of uncertainty and inner disequilibrium. The musical score also contributes to this effect of constant suspension and restart. While, through moments of lightness and irony, the anguish seems to be successfully concealed, Arvo Pärt’s music reinforces the emotionality, denying both dancers and spectators to remain indifferent to the feelings that transpire from the work.
Cornelia is a dance company founded in 2019 in Naples by Nyko Piscopo, Nicolas Grimaldi Capitello, Eleonora Greco, Leopoldo Guadagno and Francesco Russo.
Key word of Cornelia‘s artistic manifesto is INNOVATION, which manifests itself both by carrying out projects where different languages coexist and through the reinterpretation in a modern key of some classics of dance and literature. Consequently, the themes addressed by the company are those of contemporaneity. They include, in fact, the “instances” of the new generations, such as the battles for self-determination of one’s body and for the affirmation of one’s sexuality, but also investigating the new possibilities of connection given by the social revolution.
In addition to the founders, Cornelia relies on numerous external collaborators who share the same philosophy as the group. The ‘company’s activity is widespread both in Italy and abroad: artistic productions are presented in various Italian theaters (Teatro delle Muse in Ancona, Teatro Bellini in Naples, Teatro Comunale in Vicenza, Teatro Carignano in Turin) and participate in the most important dance and video dance festivals, both national (Venice Biennale 2020, Campania Teatro Festival 2021 and many others) and international (Filmpride in Brighton, Choreoscope in Barcelona), as well as projects streamed in New York, London, Belgrade, Sweden, Iran.
Active not only in dance at the production level, the company is also involved in collaborating in the organization of national events such as MOVI|MENTALE and Cilentart Fest and in training with free initiatives for local dancers such as Wake Up! Training.
It has achieved an important recognition from the Ministry of Culture, being included in the list of dance companies funded by the FUS.