(2021) Once again in collaboration with Carlo Cerri, and commissioned by the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, OOOPStudio designed the videos for the scenographies of Madina, a ballet show set to music by Fabio Vacchi, based on the original novel “La ragazza che non voleva morire” by Emmanuelle Villepin, starring Antonella Albano, prima ballerina of La Scala, and Roberto Bolle in the role of the villain.
The stage displays an engaged theatre work representing themes linked to modernity, for which the designers have produced coherent images that well suite the subject and the issues related to women, violence, terrorism, religious fundamentalism and war, accomplishing the necessity to express important concepts and problems connected to the present moment, together with the imprint and stylistic research typical of OOOPStudio.
The result is an original production with a contemporary aesthetic, designed by technology, but also rich in realism – albeit digitized – obtained through the use of natural elements existing in the current world, leaving very little space for abstraction which, where present, is reported in a minimalist, essential, clean way.
The scenographies accompany the scenes in a non-descriptive manner, but creating the setting, restoring an atmosphere full of suggestions, where the artistic choice is well harmonized with the participating arts and therefore with theater, dance, music, singing, acting, but also to civil commitment, united in a single show in which every part creates the dialogue. Each vision thus enriches the story in a powerful way, whether it is to create an urban setting or to suggest a state of mind in which the viewer is absolutely involved and invited to participate. The images flank the music and proceed together with it, consolidating but also enhancing the multifaceted score by Vacchi, in an expressive, evocative, dramatic and dark but always vigorous path. The graphic is rather aseptic: it does not steal the show nor break into it but complete the performance, being the appropriate background for the suffering and courage of those who try to change their condition and save themselves, fighting for survival and for the right to life. The elements on screen mix with the music and the movements of the dancers, communicating with the story on stage and serving as a frame.
The setting becomes a central part of the scene thanks to the transparency of the screens that are no longer just behind, but brought to the centre of the stage, allowing the eye to see beyond and letting the dancers perform on the back, a place of action itself.
The dark tones of tarmac, factories and buildings, the blacks and the grays prevail, but also warm brown and red, a symbolic colour that recalls and refers to the dress of the protagonist. A few essential colours, elements of nature that come to life, rubble, fires, glass, bombings, rain, fire, smoke, night, buildings, moon… The set is tainted by blood and time is marked by contrasts of light and shadow, almost keeping darkness all the time: even when the flame is present, the brightness is never diffused or radiant, but always painful, in harmony with condemnation, imprisonment, constraint and deprivation of rights experienced by Madina.
Fire, recurring in the poetics of OOOPStudio with continuous research in all its forms, is an element very present in the various passages, and a symbol of damnation and vital energy.
Music: Fabio Vacchi
Choreography: Mauro Bigonzetti
From Emmanuelle de Villepin Book “La ragazza che non voleva morire”
Choreographer Assistants: Béatrice Mille, Roberto Zamorano
Conductor: Michele Gamba
Set Design & Lights: Carlo Cerri
Costumes: Maurizio Millenotti
Costumes Assistant: Irene Monti
Video designer: Carlo Cerri, Alessandro Grisendi, Marco Noviello
Étoile: Roberto Bolle
Madina: Antonella Albano
Mezzosoprano: Anna-Doris Capitelli
Tenore: Chuan Wang
Actor: Fabrizio Falco
Corpo di Ballo, Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala