The street as a stage
Bra, Chieri, Fossano, Grugliasco, Lessona, Novara, Torino
An artist’s life is anything but easy. Since the Roman-era mimes, to the times of the commedia dell’arte up until today, artists have always been forced to face difficult conditions: financial problems, moving around, hospitality, not to mention the complicated relationship with the public. Therefore, those who choose to become street artists are compelled by their passion and total devotion for the profession, one that must be fully experienced as well as one that calls for great sacrifice, strict discipline and plenty of talent.
Street theatre and the circus are two different forms of the same artistic expression and contain “hand-crafted” skills and habits that testify to extraordinary love, tenacity and precision. Street shows, aside from the most contemporary style and research, manifest the other soul of the circus: the more popular, clownish one in which the actor’s techniques and interpretations go hand in hand towards a carefully designed, refined and elegant representation that does not, however, require studying a theatre programme in order to be enjoyed by the public.
In Piemonte in 2003, Chiara Bergaglio and Paolo Stratta from the Associazione Quanat created the “Vertigo” school of Circus Arts that is a part of FEDEC (European Federation of Professional Circus Schools). The School is located in Grugliasco and was founded with the objective of training professional performers and artists as well as to familiarize the public at large with the circus world. Many former students are now part of companies and circuses – Togni and Bellucci – or they collaborate in productions presented by Torino’s Teatro Regio, Parma’s Teatro Regio, the Arena in Verona or on tour with shows directed by Jay Gilligan.
For those who would like to be a part of the large family of the circus in Torino, there is also another important School, the “Arti Circensi Flic” training school has become a reference point in the Italian and European sphere: a training centre capable of offering students arriving from all over the world, nine practice halls, a library, video library, internet access points….
There are several events and festivals featuring street artists throughout Piemonte during the summer. The appointment in June is with the International Festival of Street Theatre: artists from all over the world colour city streets with truly spellbinding performances and workshops.
Also in June, the entire province of Novara is involved in nine days of music and entertainment thanks to the “Novara Street Festival”. Other cities in the Piemonte region are also sensitive to this artistic genre: from Bra, which organizes “Di strada in strada” (from one street to another) to Fossano which presents works by world-level artists and companies.
There is also Lessona in the province of Biella, with “Ratataplan” that promotes the genre with small and large events or the “Sul filo del Circo” in Gruliasco, a Festival that features elements of great novel artistic impact as well as shows capable of re-inventing tradition by placing circus arts at the service of contemporary drama.
The “Chieri Street Festival” becomes an ideal stage for street art with the use of courtyards, squares, streets and monuments. The list is a long one. Man has always needed jesters, tightrope walkers and mimes: partially because we need to laugh and partially because we need to ponder the “human comedy” of Life itself.
Date of last update: 12/01/2010
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