Alessandro Berti

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Alessandro Berti
Alessandro Berti and Michela Lucenti; founders of L´Ímpasto theatre company

Article

Nomad on the Paths of Theatre

Italian actor, director and dramatist Alessandro Berti founded theatre company L´Impasto in 1995 in collaboration with actress, dancer and choreographer Michela Lucenti. To Alessandro Berti theatrical work is a political process in which the company creates "narrative frescos" with words, song, dance and music on global and local subjects.
L´Impasto means "dough" in Italian. And plays by Alessandro Berti are theatrical dishes with a lot of ingredients: text, dancing, choral singing, music to name but a few. Berti describes the plays as mixes of different performance languages.

All the company´s plays are original manuscripts written and directed by Alessandro Berti. From the beginning he has been exploring the relations between the local and the global world. His first plays "Occidentìte"(1995), "Skrankrèr" (1996) "Home Balòm"(1996) are about life around the river Po. The latter two together with the play "Pamphlet" formed "Balarena Trilogy", the company´s first national tour success.

The company´s full name is L´Impasto Nomadic Theater Community. At first they were based in Bologna but from 1998 they have been "theatre nomads". Without a stage of their own, the company exists through their performances.

Berti calls his unconventional work process working with "the community as a political experiment". The company often creates workshops and performances in regions and cities in Italy. Berti explores together with local actors and people their problems within the play they are going to perform. "The Seattle Agenda" (2001), for example, deals with the questions about anti-globalisation movements and the political and economic power of the world. These global themes met the local perspectives when L´Impasto at the Roverto Festival made a "theatre raid" in a shopping centre at rush hour. The local police reacted like the police in Seattle, interrupted the dancers and almost arrested Berti.

Alessandro Berti, based in Udine, northern Italy, calls the process "a work with territories". He thinks the relationship with the local territory is connected to the quality of the relationship on stage. Berti wants to bring to the stage a complex series of plots; a "fresco" of relations in a neighbourhood, a demonstration or a raid.

When Berti seeks conflict, antagonism and action, choreographer Michela Lucenti, creates a non-verbal, lyrical dimensions to the plays. Though "Skrankrèr" was written in a difficult local northern dialect, the audience still understood the play thanks to the non-verbal collective ritual dances.

L´Impasto´s plays use to be defined as "musicals". The music and the songs are fundamental to the plays, used as atmosphere or asa traditional chorus. In "Butterland" (1997) one of the actors is speaking whilst the other two on stage are singing background vocals. And in "Skrankrér" the actors are singing local songs the gives the play its local musical colour.

For both political and artistic reasons Berti emphasizes the necessity of independence for the company. It is important for him to earn his living through his stage work. Real theatre must not depend on state funds but on the public. Theatre, according to Alessandro Berti, should be done for an audience, funded by their committment and created through performances.

Apart from his work with the L´Impasto´s theatre productions, Berti has alsofound the time to pursue other projects. Two of the company´s plays have been adapted to film; "Skrankrèr" and "Occidentìte". "Parola, Corpo, Canto" is a short film Alessandro Berti made around a workshop in 1998. Berti has also written two books about his work in theatre.
Author: Annika Salomonsson

Works

Padania Infelix

Production / Performance,
2000

L´Agenda di Seattle

Production / Performance,
2000

Trinfo Anfonimo ( Dare to be what you are ! )

Production / Performance,
1999

Projects

This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

SEAS

Baltikum-Adriatico

(01 December 01 - 30 September 05)

Www

Artist´s own