I mourn for the sons who died in war
For the women made slaves
For the lost freedom
Oh beloved creatures, come back, come, come and take us away!
Silvia/Hecuba whispers these words interwoven with the music and lyrics by R.Y.F. (Francesca Morello), Stefania rips the air with a heavy knife and a peasant sickle, as in the southern European collective rites of condolence that have disappeared. Perhaps this image is enough to enter Tutto Brucia, a rewriting of Euripides' Trojan Women - through the words of J.-P. Sartre, Judith Butler, Ernesto De Martino, Edoardo Viveiros de Castro, NoViolet Bulawayo, Donna Haraway. The lament spreads through that black Mediterranean which - then as now - is the scene of conquests of colonial Europe, of migrations and diasporas. Among the ruins of an empty and distorted space, covered by ashes and corpses of sea monsters, where everything has already happened, the question of radical vulnerability emerges. The broken body of Hecuba, the prophetic word of Cassandra, who sees beyond the end, the spectral cry of Polyxena, the invocation to the dead of Andromache, the violence suffered by Helen and finally the most fragile and helpless body, that of the child, Astianatte - give voice to the most exposed and vulnerable subjects. And to the spectres that besiege them/us.
Never more than now does mourning appear to us as a political issue.
Which lives matter? What makes a life grief-worthy?
It is through pain that the protagonists in the tragic scene are materially transformed - they become other than themselves: bitch, stone or running water, processing the violence suffered. A metamorphosis that opens to other possible forms.
And writes the world to come. For the end of the world is but the end of a world.
Motus was born in 1991 as an independent nomadic theatre company, in constant movement between countries, historical moments and disciplines. The founders Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò, animated by the necessity to deal with themes, conflicts and wounds of the present time, blend art and civic engagement crossing imageries that have reactivated the visions of some amongst the most controversial “poets” of contemporaneity.
The group, which burst onto the scene in the Nineties with productions wielding great physical and emotional impact, has always anticipated and portrayed some of the harshest contradictions of the present day. It has experienced and created hyper-contemporary theatre trends, performing authors such as Camus, Beckett, DeLillo, Rilke or their beloved Pasolini, leading to Shakespeare’s The Tempest, interpolated by Aimé Césaire, which powerfully evoked the tragedy of migration and created instant communities around the world. The themes of the border – physical, geographical, mental – and of the freedom to cross it, remain central in the most recent works, most remarkably in the internationally acclaimed MDLSX or in Panorama, produced in collaboration with La MaMa ETC in New York. After their radical reinterpretation of Antigone in the light of the Greek crisis, the digging down into the most controversial female figures of the Tragic continues with the creation of Tutto Brucia, raising the deeply political question of what corpses are worthy of grief.
The artistic work of the company is interweaved with an intense training programme of public meetings, lectures and masterclasses at Italian and international universities: from IUAV university in Venice, to La Manufacture – Haute école de théâtre de la Suisse Romande in Lausanne and the Master DAS Theatre of the Academy of Theatre and Dance in Amsterdam. The company received numerous acknowledgements, including three UBU Prizes and prestigious special awards for their work. Freethinkers, Motus has performed all over the world, from Under the Radar (NYC) to Trans Amériques and PuSh Festival (Canada), from Santiago a Mil (Chile) to Fiba Festival (Argentina), from Adelaide Festival (Australia) to MITsp (Brazil), from Taipei Arts Festival (Taiwan) to Hong Kong International Black Box Festival, as well as all over Europe.
In 2020 the company is invited to serve as Artistic Director of Santarcangelo Festival in a 50th anniversary that, due to the pandemic crisis, is titled Futuro Fantastico and articulated in three movements: the first in the summer of 2020, the second - online - in the fall/winter of the same year, and the third and grand finale in the summer of 2021. Still in 2020, the directors begin to work on the new project Tutto Brucia (Everything burns) , premiering on September 9, 2021 at Teatro India in Rome, in collaboration with Short Theatre, meeting with immediate critic and audience success. Tutto Brucia, taking its cue from Euripides' Trojan Women, investigates the condition of "the end" present in the tragedy linked inseparably to the condition of the present time marked by the pandemic and grief. Another project, “You Were Nothing but Wind”, a rib of Tutto Brucia, in which the focus is shifted to the figure of Hecuba - Silvia Calderoni - "black bitch with eyes of fire," entering the post-human scenarios of "a world to come," also kicks off in 2021. In 2021 Motus wins the prestigious 2021 Critics Award from the Italian National Association of Theater Critics.