«The computer is a tool for meeting». Conversation with Alessandro Sciarroni
How did the show Home alone come about?
Home alone was commissioned by the artisitc director of the Balletto di Roma, Roberto Casarotto: when I was offered to become an associate artist of the company, he asked me to create a show for children.
This show has two distinctive features: the use of technology and the interaction with the public. Which technological devices did you choose and what is the significance of bringing them to the stage?
I chose technological devices which are available to all: a laptop with a webcam, a video projector, the internet and Skype. On the stage, a dancer chooses the music and dances alone, just like we all do in private: except that, instead of being in front of a mirror, she watches her image on the webcam. We see her dancing from behind, but we can also see her face, projected on a screen in front of us. And of course, as the webcam also films what is behind her, the people in the audience see themselves as well.
In what way the audience, which is an audience of children, interacts on the scene?
Besides seeing themselves on the screen, the children go on stage at the end of the show and dance, led by the dancers, using the same technologies.
This is your second show for children, after Joseph kids. Is creating a show for a young audience any different, and if so, in what way?
This show actually comes from a performance for adults, Joseph, a solo I did in 2010. The only thing I did when I reedited it for children was to create a “safe zone”, because I believe that, when talking about a device like the internet, it is crucial that the context and the message are clear. In the show for adults, Joseph, on the scene there is a man dancing alone and looking for someone who can watch him on Chatroulette – an online platform which allows users to interact via chat or webcam with anyone. The show is pervaded by a very strong sense of loneliness and melancholy. I do not want to spoil the end, but the computer in this show is an important tool for meeting, it helps to discover that reality is much more interesting: the connotation is totally different. Also, as Home alone was conceived for the company Balletto di Roma, the interpreter is a ballerina, and there is a much stronger connection with the history of dance.
You created this show for the Balletto di Roma, of which you are an associate artist. How did this collaboration start?
The collaboration with the company of Balletto di Roma started at Romaeuropa festival in December 2015, when we presented TURNING | Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. Then Roberto Casarotto commissioned to me this show for children.
This is your second participation to NID Platform. What do you expect from the 2017 edition?
Compared to the first edition I took part to, I hope there is a greater concern for the technical and organisational aspects of the event. Then, I hope that the choice of the professionals reflects the selected genres, so that there are more meeting chances. Lastly, I hope that the local audience is involved and participates to the event: in order to be successful, the shows need the energy of an actual audience, and not only that of insiders.
Alessandro Sciarroni is an Italian artist active in the field of Performing Arts. His work goes beyond the traditional definitions of gender between theatre, dance and visual art. In addition to the rigor, coherence and clarity of each creation, his work tries to uncover obsessions, fears and fragilities of the act of performing, through the repetition of a practice to the limits of the physical endurance of the interpreters, looking at a different dimension of time, and to an empathic relationship between the audience and the performers.His works have been performed, among others, at the Biennale de la Danse in Lyon, Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, Impulstanz Festival in Wien, the Venice Biennale, the Festival d’Automne in Paris, Abu Dhabi Art Fair, Crossing The Line Festival New York, Hong Kong Art Festval, Juli Dans Festival in Amsterdam, PICA Festival Portland and he exhibited his work at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, The Walker Art Center Minneapolis, the MAXXI Museum in Rome.
He was awarded by the Hystrio Award, Rete Critica Award, Best performance – Puf Festival in Pola (Croatia), Best emerging artist – Danza&Danza Magazine. Alessandro Sciarroni is associated artist at CENTQUATRE-Paris and is supported by APAP – Advancing Performing Arts Projects. His shows are produced by Marche Teatro.
Interview by Lisa Cadamuro, NID Platform staff
Translation by Chiara Andreola, NID Platform staff