Festival dei 2Mondi introduced the “Dance of Death” at Vakhtangov Theatre

Dance of Death at Vakhtangov Theatre. Photo: Vakhtangov Theatre.

Vakhtangov Theatre invited the brightest representatives of modern Italian theatre: Metastasio in Italy, Festival dei 2Mondi and Mittelfest for the premiere of A. Strindberg’s play – “Dance of death” on February 10-11, 2017.

Dance of death (Dance of Death, Danse Macabre) is an artistic genre of late Medieval Western, which allegorically reminds the inevitability of death for everyone. In ancient times it was the Church’s dramatic performance, in which Death is symbolically summoning all people from Pope and Emperor down to child and labourer to dance along to the grave. The spectacle was to remind you that all people will die and should therefore prepare themselves to appear before their Judge.

“Dance of Death” reflected throughout Christian culture history and is relevant now. Therefore, the choice of August Strindberg’s play to demonstrate the unity of different cultures on stage is reasonable. The unity of the play is based on the drama of family life, which is passing through the borders and centuries. The actors, director and the author of the play could be placed in Mediterranean caves of the Stone Age, in Spain of the period of the Inquisition, or in the Golden XIX century of Russian art. No matter when and where to live. It is important with whom.

First, the author of the drama Johan August Strindberg (1848-1912) – Swedish writer and playwright, and the basis of contemporary Swedish theatre, shows unpleasant scenes from the life of high Swedish society, burdened by the personal qualities of family members. But we recognize eternal demonic temptation of characters, testing the relationships of all families, albeit with varying degrees of intensity. The agony of family life is on the stage, appeared in front of the audience at the silver wedding anniversary of characters. Then it is refracted through the circle of cruel relatives, indifferent and betrayed and ends by father’s death reconciling family.

Secondly, there are only 3 actors with a minimum of decoration on the stage. Room and three characters. No characteristics of the place and time in the dramatic action, all the attention of the performance Director Luca Ronconi gives the dialogues.

Thirdly, the brilliant Italian actors: D. Ferrara, A. Asti, and D. Krippy will not leave indifferent neither Swedish nor Italian, nor Russian audience.

The annual Festival dei 2Mondi in Spoleto (Festival of Two Worlds) was conceived as a unifying European and American art in 1958 year. But over time, there is a need for the inclusion of other Worlds. In particular, Russian. The actor of play “Dance of Death” Giorgio Ferrara, who currently heads the festival, trying to show the best works of Russian theatre in Italy. And Russian theatre and audience, thanks to the Vakhtangov Theatre, with interest joined the project and became acquainted with little known classic of Swedish theatre in the Italian version.

We look forward to the next meeting, but this time let our Worlds will be united by the theme of Faith, Love and Hope.

Source: Catholic Encyclopedia