60 minutes, no intermission
“And yet there is something esthetic about laughter, since the comic comes into being just when society and the individual, freed from the worry of self-preservation, begin to regard themselves as works of art.” — Henri Bergson, Laughter (1900)
“Little by little, laughter becomes an absolute norm […] The dancers give the fatal impression that something of humanity ends up being lost.” — Libération
Augusto is about the human desire for unconditional love and about the pain that goes with it. But it also pays tribute to the clown character of Auguste – the circus’s loser, the fool who cannot stop laughing even when things look dire.
Laughter is only being made possible by the interaction of a totality of eighty muscles in our body, by the modality of our voice and the dance-like contractions of our diaphragmatic region. But there are many more facets to laughter than just the simple physiological aspects. In Augusto, the voice, body and movement-based research by award-winning Italian choreographer Alessandro Sciarroni, nine dancers will only be equipped with one mode of expression: laughter. Whatever the state they are in – if they walk, run or dance, if they feel sad, excited, anxious or if they are hurting – there will only be obsessive laughter. A laughter without specific cause, totally uncontrollable, at the threshold of pain.
Coproduced by Tanzfabrik Berlin, Centrale Fies (IT), L'arboreto – Teatro Dimora di Mondaino (IT).
Alessandro Sciarroni is associated artist at CENTQUATRE-PARIS and is supported as focus artist by apap – Performing Europe 2020.
is one of his generation’s most unconventional and innovative artists. His artistic practice encompasses choreography, visual arts and theatre research. His artistic works have premiered worldwide at dance and theatre festivals, museums and art galleries. In 2019, he was awarded the Golden Lion lifetime achievement award at the Venice Dance Biennale. Similar to Marcel Duchamp’s method, the starting point for all Sciarroni’s works is a conceptual matrix which he transposes into the space of the stage and which he combines with his experience in dance, acrobatics and athletics.
Sciarroni’s interests lie in the study of obsessions, anxieties and the fragility of the performer on stage. By focusing on repetition and durability, he often brings his performers close to their physical breaking point, introducing the viewer to original readings of empathy and the passage of time. The Roman daily newspaper Repubblica observed: “His central theme might be the individual’s solitude, but he loves the emotional, interpersonal connection between the performers and the audience.”