Director duo Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò about 'Tutto Brucia (Everything Burns)'
"Everything has already burned, because 'Tutto Brucia' begins with the end: on the scorched ground of the fallen city of Ilion, the women of Troy mourn the death of their loved ones."
Thursday, Feb. 16, you can go see the dark tragedy ‘Tutto Brucia (Everything Burns)’ by Italian collective MOTUS. For this, director duo Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò based it on Euripides' 'The Trojan Women'. The grief of the Trojan women, who mourn the loss of their loved ones, becomes an indictment of the current era.
Why did you want to create a contemporary version of Euripides' tragedy?
"We often base our performances on classical texts because of their timelessness. Especially for us - coming from the Mediterranean - the message of 'The Trojan Women' still resonates. For example, the tragedy refers to mourning rituals that were still common in southern Italy until a few years ago, and studied by anthropologist Ernesto de Martino. In Italy, a woman is murdered every three days, and boat refugees die incessantly in the Mediterranean Sea. If you oppose Italian migration policy, you are criminalized these days. More than enough similarities, then.
"Theater must dialogue with its time. For 'Tutto Brucia,' we chose a form of emotional empathy, to leave the reading as open as possible. Anyone who sees the play today, with the Russian-Ukrainian war going on, immediately associates the images with fleeing Ukrainian women: we have even been asked if Silvia's (Calderoni, actress) yellow skirt and blue shirt were chosen on purpose. But the play was created long before this damn war, precisely as a reaction to the many wars in the world! It just shows how relevant Euripides' words still are: the lament of the Trojan women spreads to contemporary victims."
What can we expect?
"A dark and disturbing piece, a post-apocalyptic scene covered in ashes and populated by the extraordinary bodies of the 3 performers: Silvia who plays Hecuba, Queen of Troy; dancer Stefania Tansini, who sets the scene ablaze with the words of Cassandra (Hecuba's daughter) and her funereal dances; and singer-songwriter Francesca Morello, who accompanies the performance live with vocals and electric guitar. Francesca wrote songs based on Euripides' texts during rehearsals, from which a collective lament emerged. The soundtrack to 'Tutto Brucia' is so important that we recorded it on vinyl - the record will be available for sale in Ghent after the performance."
Will everything really burn?
"Everything has already burned, because 'Tutto Brucia' begins with the end: on the scorched ground of the fallen city of Ilion, the women of Troy mourn the death of their loved ones. What burns in the performance is the invisible fire that the actresses carry in their bodies with animal power. In the audience, tears often burn with emotion."