Photography: Naples archaeological Museum, detail // Documenting a participatory experience at ALTOFEST 2016. Performing “Miss Omonia” on behalf of Eirini Alexiou Prize Operappartamento Altofest 2015 (Eurydice – Ευριδίκη)
Diary at the sea 2, 24th July 2016 | Ship Altofest , from Napoli to Athina
To imprint in words an experience that transformed and matured you demands great skill and art. Here,only fragments you will find, but I wish they will define at least a pale path towards a unique encounter.
I had the great joy and fortune to represent OhiPaizoume company and travel to the city of Napoli and festival Altofest and present 2 performances, to create, to live and to love. Thank you Eirini and Giorgos for your trust and your love and I feel most grateful for this wonderful opportunity that was offered to me.
The Festival Altofest in Napoli is like a ship that reunites the waters. Known and unknown, familiar and strange.It gives birth to resistance(s), asks questions first and foremost to itself and at the same time to the artists that it encompasses, to the spectators, to the donators of spaces, to critics, to representatives of other festivals, operators, to the city that opens and closes like the sea. And thisis most important, becauseI feel this is the only way in which art can be a part of the community. Posing difficult esthetic and ethic questions and proposing ways ofdealing with these resistance(s), heart and mind in tune , heart and mind closer to the “other”, to the others, to the diversity, to the unknown.
I feel that Altofest created and proposed a space and time that art and people need today. A space and time where people can articulate“logos” again with precision and courage, with freedom.
The creators of the festival, Anna Gesualdi and Giovanni Trono, in collaboration with a unique group of people organized and took care of everything with great generosity, love and knowledge.I always felt their support and presence and I feel grateful and thank them very deeply.
I feel also very fortunate and grateful that I had the joy of meeting and speaking creatively with excellent artists from different parts of the world and of attending their performances and seeing their work. Theatre, dance, performance, fine arts, music.. It would require many words to be able to transmit my impressions and emotion, so the least I could say is that I witnessed works where the radical and mythical emerged, the humanity and the plainness, along with intelligence and sentiment, with innovation, research and proposition. Everything in pulsating dialogue with the people and spaces where they were hosted.
I was very moved by the presence and interest of the people of Napoli that came to the festival, that helped, hosted and entered in a real dialogue with us. An audience present, warm and alive from diverse environments and neighborhoods, as the diverse and unique places that hosted the festival. From the airport of Napoli and a parking situated between earth and sky, to underground galleries and streets, to houses and artistic spaces, to shops and neighborhoods, to stairs that encompass all the seasons of the human body and spirit, as far as rooftops and terraces and other stairs and places of the city. A magical journey with people and works inside this unique city, which is called Napoli.
It was this exact unique union of people, artists, audience and space and orchestrated by Altofest, that inspired, gave birth and formed my work in a catalytic way . I wish i have returned back little of this contact, this view and this sound.
Miss Omonia (concord), a work in process, conceived and choreographed by Eirini Alexiou, was hosted on the terrace parking of the airport of Napoli. So, in between. In between sky and earth, in between Vezouvio,the sea and the city of Napoli. In between as the heroine of the piece, who inhabited this new land and questioned once more her internal and external space and tried to speak sincerely with them. And of course the wonderful collaboration and meeting with the musician AntoninoTalamo, who through his live presence, original composition and playing as an equal element of the dramaturgy, made visible for me the invisible. Our lights were the sunset and the sweet wind from the south moved us a little further down the road, perhaps this time towards Omonoia? Thank you Antonino , Giovanni, Esteban for your presence until the end,and all the great team for your presence at the airport until the end.Αlso, my very special thanks to this unique group of young cinematographers and photographers,girls and boys who filmed, recorded,asked and embraced with sincere and profound interest and care the creative process, preparation and rehearsal . And of course for the powerful and from the heart conversation we had.
Last, in Casa Limongi, a child was born out of love - About love- Περί έρωτος. Τhe first work of a circle inspired by Platοnas Symposium. Here the thoughts incised other paths, encountering Aeschylus and Dante, encountering the time and space of Napoli. Life became movement, marble and iconostasis, sea and origin, man and god, touch and conversation, an hymn to “Markos” by the musician Christos Rozakis, water and contact. Presence and mask. An itinerary through the senses of the body and the stages of contact, a question about love/amore as I perceive it ,as the most political question of all. All were magically dictated by the city and the casa, by the generosity of people, their movements and words, who agreed to talk to me and answer the question ‘What is love and how it makes us act?’ and with the help of two angels,Rossaria and Elizabetha. By the encounter with other people, who I didn’t ask, but I saw and heard, in the streets and at the windows, by the lady that gave me shoes when I had none, by Giovanni and his wonderful temperament and patience trying to explain the meaning of the Italian language while doing editing. By the smells and the light of Forcella, by the texture of the walls and the voices of children and seagulls. By the people who came and made this journey with me and who later on spoke to me, asked me and shared with me their experience and who embraced me. By all the people of the festival, artists, donators, collaborators, cultural operators, who photographed, recorded, filmed, shared fundamental questions again, and from my friends far away and Valentini and the little one. Their contribution wasinvaluable. And of course the most gentle Ricardo Limongi, my wonderful host and donator of the house where I lived and Anna who embraced me with unique generosity and love. This work continues it’s beautiful course. Grazie Altofest, a presto.
“You maybe dive solitary, but the water is the others. Until all become one.
Yes, Altofest is really waiting for you and so does Napoli!”
Choreography EiriniAlexiou – OhiPezoume Performing Arts Company
Site-specific adaptation and performance: EmmanouelaKorki
Composition / live music: AntoninoTalamo.
Video, music: D. Vergados