Experimental theatre makes a case for workers in this play by Italian troupe, Instabili Vaganti
There are no full-fledged dialogues here, nor conventional sets. What Instabili Vaganti has instead is poetry, physicality and music—to convey a bigger story of alienation, abuse and compulsion. The experimental theatre group from Italy, which is bringing down their play, Made in Ilva, to Pondicherry this weekend, believes that though the performance has been scripted from real life testimonies—from workers at Ilva, the largest steelworks in Europe (criticised for labour deaths and causing environmental damage)—it is universal. “When we created it in 2010, we were focussing on the effects that alienating working conditions can generate in a person. Today, every spectator can relate to it—seeing in it the daily grind of working life, industrialisation, and even the effects of pollution,” begins director Anna Dora Dorno.
With just a two-member cast, the 55-minute play explores its subject through different artistic languages—from simple words and the poetry of Luigi Di Ruscio (an Italian poet who worked in a factory) to original compositions and obsessive sounds. “Actor Nicola Pianzola will unite these different elements, transforming them by using them differently in relation to his body,” she says, explaining that the music is composed with a mix of factory sounds and poetry, while myriad lights are used as in a painting, to draw different spaces.
Speaking about experimental theatre, Dorno feels its long history in Europe could be diluting its revolutionary power. “But I find it generates a lot of interest in India, where physical theatre especially is searching for its space,” says Dorno, who remembers a performance of Ilva in Kolkata that had left the audience “touched and shocked”.
Tomorrow, at 7 pm, at Adishakti. Details: 2622287
Surya Praphulla Kumar