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THEATER > FANNY & ALEXANDER (EN)
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Índice
 

Foto: Enrico Fedrigoli

Him
Fanny & Alexander
IT
Theater

Palácio D. Manuel, Évora
September 29th, 9.30 PM


Duration: 75min.
M/12A
5€ / 3€ (students)



The magic of cinema bewitches everyone. The power of the images brings us to another world, it conquers us all, in the same way as we surrender to the catching power of theatre and all the arts.

Him by the Italian group Fanny & Alexander stages this power – the power of Art – belonging both to the actor when dominating the scene, and to the cinema when catching the audience’s sight. Him brings the cinema into the theatre. On the scene, there is only the projection of Victor Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz and an actor who gives life to a bizarre character. This, a moustached dictator whose look reminds us so much of a well-known negative figure from contemporary history – Adolf Hiltler – , is busy doing a total re:play of The Wizard of Oz. He re:performs it from the very beginning to the very end; he dubs it, he directs it like an orchestra leader, and gives (his own) voice to every character, even to the sound track.

Him is exactly him, Hitler, inspired by Maurizio Cattelan’s sculpture, whose title is the same of this show. In Cattelan’s piece the human-sized “little” dictator is kneeling and seems to be begging for forgiveness. In this show, the only character exhibits all his skills and tries to dominate the scene. He wants to rule over the movie while re:making it for us. But the movie is no easy opponent in this fight for power. The dictator is compelled to make choices in this megalomaniac extreme-re:play operation in order to catch up with the movie. Even if the figure evoked on stage is tragic, the whole effect is comic and grotesque: his power is fake, is none, the movie does not need him and he is not the one who leads, rather he ends up being “led” by the uncontrollable movie’s rhythm. This is a game of powers and repetition of crossed sights: we are watching a movie, we watch a play, the actor is also spectator of the movie, we are spectators of a spectator; it plays with the relationship between art and power, as well as the power of images and words. It questions us: what is this relationship today? How has it changed (if it has changed at all) in comparison with that historical time when the political power achieved in manipulating people to the point of installing a dictatorship?

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her adventure mates are searching for the Wizard’s magical intervention. But when they finally meet him, they find out that his magic is a trick; the wizard is nothing but a little man who has built up a fiction making everyone believe he has powers he does not possess. In the end, the Wizard convinces the characters that in order to own something, one just has to name it, to say the word: home, heart, courage and brain. There is no magic. The Wizard has no magical powers, he is nothing but a mortal man that can manipulate people thanks to his fine persuasive skill: power is a great illusionist. Fanny & Alexander describe this as a “monstrous operation”, but they underline that “the characters are monstrous too as they accept it. Because at the basis of power there is always an agreement; because both parts are always responsible for the administration of the power. Historically, there is always the one who wield the power and the one who lets this power been wielded.”

It is curious to not the use of colour in Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz, which was amongst the first movies to use the colour technology. The part representing reality is still in black and white, while colours are used for the fantasy world where the protagonist Dorothy finds herself into, and in which she undertakes a journey in search for the Wizard, hopping he will help her back home. For Fleming’s original audience the dreamy illusion was clear: black and white was realism, colour was fantasy. If we watch the movie today, this code is not so clear; in fact we tend to invert the correspondence between reality-black and white and colour-fantasy. Today, we understand coloured images as real, while the black and white are perceived as history, that is, no longer existing time. Adolf Hitler is no longer existing, as well, and therefore this strange character on stage evokes past ghosts that seem to be harmless now. But what if there is some disguised re:play of that dictator now? Will we be able to distinguish the illusion? Are we in search of a Wizard too? Is there, in our present world, some orchestra leader trying to bewitch us? What will happen if we repeat the past experiences and get tangled into an illusion? What is the role of Art in all this? What is Art’s responsibility as it puts a spell upon its audience? We will see it in Him, as a classic myth of illusion is re:played.

Fanny & Alexander are an Italian theatre company founded in Ravenna, in 1992, by Luigi de Angelis and Chiara Lagani. Between 1993 and 1999 the company lived a period of development and growth. While creating shows that included “Cantico dei cantici”, “Con mano devota”, “Ponti in core”, “Sinfornia majakovskiana” (in collaboration with Teatrino Clandestino), e “Sulla turchinità della fata”, the company was preparing for more challenging productions such as “Requiem” (2001) and the various stages of the project “Ada, Cronaca familiare” (2002-2004), inspired by Nabokov’s novel. Fanny & Alexander’s most recent production, “Heliogabalus”, tells the story of the young Roman Emperor after which the play is named.

The most compelling qualities of Fanny & Alexander’s work are: the deliberate disruption of codes, which constitutes a continuous and extreme challenge to the audience’s gaze, and their refined visual culture. These characteristics, however, are secondary when compared to the focus and rigorous analysis of language, an element that transverses all the companies work and culminates in “impossible languages”. The concept of “double” is often approached in Fanny & Alexander’s creations, as well – and the project they are bringing to the Festival this year is an example of it.
 
Antiga Fábrica dos Leões, Universidade de Évora
PT
 
Jardim do Chão das Canas, Évora
PT
 
Hotel D. Fernando, Évora
PT
 
Estação Ferroviária de Évora
 
Palácio D. Manuel, Évora
PT
 
Espaço A Bruxa Teatro, Évora
IT
 
Palácio D. Manuel, Évora
IT