Residency 36
Michela Aiello


Villa Manin, Residency Space
3 – 17 June 2024
Prayer [for Quiet]

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Residency Team
Michela Aiello, puppeteer
Jacopo Dell'Abate
, music composer and sound designer
Raffaella Vitiello
, lighting creation
Fabrizio Montecchi
, artistic collaboration for the shadow theatre part

winner of CURA Project 2024 - in conjunction with DRACMA Centro Sperimentale d’Arti Sceniche (Polistena, RC)

Residency open to the public
17 June 2024 at 18:00
Villa Manin, Residency Space
free admission with reservation recommended at residenzevillamanin@cssudine.it

Prayer [for Quiet] is the research project developed at Dialoghi by puppeteer, performer and theatre pedagogue Michela Aiello. Hovering between figure theatre and performance, this creative study focuses on the marionette-puppeteer relationship, revealing it in the whiteness of a contemporary space.
Born as a homage to the butô dancer Kazuo Ono, who began dancing at the age of 51 and did not stop until his death at 101, it has become - over the course of the various residency stages - a work that also questions the Sacred, the meaning of what relates us to the beginning and end of life, the possibilities of being generative and the need for detachment. Central to this is the relationship between the puppet, K., and his double, the puppeteer, a relationship of interdependence that recalls the mother-child bond. The combined effect of visual manipulation creates a splitting, a complex dramaturgy in which anxieties and ghosts are mixed.
Prayer [for Quiet] is a prayer to calm, to slow movement, to fragility. Inspired by the Pantomimes photographed by Daido Moriyama, Fabrizio Montecchi draws on his mastery of contemporary shadow theatre to try to create a dreamlike atmosphere and world together with Michela Aiello.
Together with them as a team, Jacopo Dell'Abate experiments with a ‘live’ sound environment using a microphone hidden in the puppet's body and another at the sound designer's disposal to ‘listen to the puppet's soul, its feelings and innermost thoughts’.
"The pivot around which our research revolves is the relationship between the puppet, K., and his double, the puppeteer, in a continuous play of symbolic mirrors. At the very beginning of this work with the hybrid puppet, born in 2016 in a workshop with Natacha Belova, I started reading the Karamazov, and the theme of duality immediately became a leitmotif [...].
Butô dance is a contemporary dance form created in the late 1950s by Tatsumi Hijikata, also called Ankoku butô , dance of darkness. It is a contemporary dance in the Agambenian sense of the term, if contemporary is precisely: ‘he who keeps his gaze fixed on his time, to perceive not its light, but its darkness.’  The Dance of Darkness brings with it an aesthetic revolution, the butô is fragility, illness, the decadent body, death, eros. It is about dead bodies and animated bodies. The dead body, denied, is for Kazuo Ono the first goal to be achieved so that the emotion cultivated in it can express itself freely, without being forced to follow the coercive logic imposed by the living body, the social body: the soul must be able to manoeuvre the body like a puppeteer manoeuvres a puppet.
Prayer [for Quiet] is not a butô dance performance, and I do not call myself a buto-ka. I start from butô dance to ask myself performative questions with a puppet. From butô I assume the radicality of the choices, the non-dance, an altered and extra-daily perception of the passing of time, the creation of interior landscapes through the body (bodies). As choreographer Frances Barbe writes: ‘the transformed object of the butô body seeks to escape the banality of the everyday and aims at the domain of poetry (association and metaphor)’. Michela Aiello

Michela Aiello, puppeteer, performer and theatre pedagogue. In Barcelona, where she approached the world of the figure, she trained as a puppeteer in the Taller de Pepe Otal and became an integral part of the atelier's artistic collective. She participates in the Projecto Funicular in Lisbon, having as teachers Fabrizio Montecchi, Nicole Mossoux, Rene Baker, Agnés Limbos, Natacha Belova and Yngvild Aspeli. Since 2021, she has been an associate artist of La Batysse, lieu dédié aux arts de la Marionnette, in Pélussin, France.

Jacopo Ruben Dell'Abate is a sound designer, musician and trainer. He has worked as sound engineer for several artists on the music scene such as Gazzelle, Fedez, Giovanni Truppi, Lucio Leoni. For the theatre he works as sound engineer for Hubert Westkemper and Fabiana Iacozzilli. He is in charge of technical management and training at A.P. - Accademia Popolare Antimafia and for Teatro Biblioteca Quarticciolo.

Fabrizio Montecchi, director and set designer. From 1977 to 2022 he was a permanent collaborator of Teatro Gioco Vita, with whom he worked on the growth and development of
of a unique experience in contemporary shadow theatre. His first show as director was in 1985 and since then he has directed more than 55 shows for theatres and companies all over the world. Since 1993, he has been intensively teaching and disseminating shadow theatre internationally. Since 2000, he has been a lecturer at École Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mézières and has been the pedagogical director of ANIMATERIA since 2019. He has collaborated with, among others: Huriaruuth Dance Company and Vireä Omena from Helsinki, Fondazione Teatro Comunale di Modena, Scuola dell'opera italiana Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Białistocki Teatr Lalek; Children's Theatre Company from Minneapolis; Dockteatern Tittut from Stockholm; Aterballetto Fondazione Nazionale della Danza from Reggio Emilia, Stuttgart Ballet, Visibile Fictions from Glasgow, Artemis Danza from Parma, Opéra de Dijon.

Raffaella Vitiello, after training in theatrical techniques, approached the profession of lighting technician, which she consolidated over the years thanks to her long experience in lighting ‘services’ such as Art Sound and in the Roman theatre Off. She has collaborated with Short Theatre since 2006. She followed three editions of the Pucciniano festival in Torre del Lago, two editions of the Todi festival and in 2015 RGB festival as creator and artist. Always aiming to broaden her knowledge of theatre techniques, she alternates between theatre tours, live music events, television filming and collaborations with directors such as Marcello Cotugno, Veronica Cruciani and Fabiana Iacozzilli. Since 2016, she has collaborated with Teatro Biblioteca Quarticciolo as technical director.

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