Oriente Occidente

Augusth 31st - September 08th

Imagine The New Silk Road where borders between continents melt away, bringing us all back to the simple geographical fact: neither Asia nor Europe would exist, just Eurasia, a mega-continent defined by the routes of land and sea of a 21st century Silk Road.
The New Silk Road, or the English One Belt, One Road (OBOR) is a new strategic initiative launched in 2013 by the Chinese President Xi Jinping and if the premises bear fruit, should result in closer commercial ties between Europe, Africa and Asia and most likely favour new ways in which the continents perceive each other, encouraging cultural contamination and a deeper understanding between our civilizations. And perhaps that age-old European scheme of things that always looked to the West could also be overturned. What characterizes the 38th edition of the Festival Oriente Occidente is just this - an on-going transformation of a new world scenario, with Italy firmly placed at the center of the (artistic) traffic.

Our prime aim is to give substance to this new world vision through the art of dance, giving voice and vision to a hidden text of a China-centered view of post-colonialism which is represented in one of this year’s co-productions: Salvo Lombardo’s contemporary reworking of the Gran Ballo Excelsior. Still very much at the heart of the Festival is our mission  to support Italian dance companies, so this year, once  again, we are proud to nominate young “associated artists” (Lombardo, Russolillo and Valrosso), extend a renewed welcome to the well-established local Abbondanza/Bertoni company and  to host a number of re-presented works that have marked important milestones in the development of contemporary dance in Italy, such as Julie Ann Anzilotti’s Herodias in a site-specific version in the Festival.
In partnership with the Théâtre de Chaillot, Sadler’s Wells, Tanz im August Berlin, Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg and the Teatros del Canal di Madrid, Oriente Occidente is delighted to present the brand-new creation Pasionaria by Marcos Morau, a now familiar and highly acclaimed artist here at the festival. The Festival is also co-producer of Siren, a show by Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg whose creation, which is loosely based on the Homeric song of the Sirens, leads us back to OBOR and the sea routes of the world. Two companies, the Danish Dance Theater, of which Lidberg is now director, and the Pontus Lidberg Dance come together in this performance under the direction of the author. The "new Asian colonizers"  are top of the bill this year. For the first time in Italy, two female artists from the Far East  avant-garde appear at the Festival: the young Chinese Xie Xin, with her company, author of a sinuous and liquid dance and the South Korean Eun-Me Ahn, a colourful champion of freedom against the austere rules of her country of origin. Their masculine counterparts are  the powerful butoh of Ushio Amagatsu and the invasive refraction of sounds, light and movement of compatriot Hiroaki Umeda.
In the multimedia theme also the Finnish Johanna Nuutinen, who with Umeda proposing a stimulating geo-artistic comparison.

The most western extreme of the New Silk Road experience is represented by the flamenco dancer from Valencia, Spain, Patricia Guerrero whose Utopía, el proceso eterno tells of contemporary society’s silent reaction to suffering through a variety of flamenco compás.
The now familiar face of aerial dance continues to challenge gravity in a series of site-specific performances in Rovereto’s hospitable squares. On stage, the Franco-Catalan company Daraomaï the english Motionhouse and Wanda Moretti’s Italian company Il Posto are both intent on retracing the history of the Tobacco Factory, while the French company Dyptyk, in a true spirit of revolt, takes on this aerial challenge to the rhythm of hip-hop.
Absolutely new to the Festival this year are Vincent Warin, BMX, Bicycle Motocross champion and artist with his show Ecotone and the Collective Piratejenny’s première creation dedicated to children, Leaders/Kids. Open air performances come in the form of Glitch Project, created by the young choreographers Francesco Capuano and Nicola Picardi, while a cynical study of the architypes of human wretchedness is staged by Carlo Massari’s C&C Company.
And let’s not forget dance for everyone! Balerhaus, created by the Sanpapié Company and the Teatro della Contradizione, evokes the atmosphere of a contemporary ballroom for the audience and pays homage to the most famous ballroom dances. True dance masters will guide the public expertly through the dances of popular tradition that have so deeply influenced film, literature and the visual arts. 90 dancers, 30 musicians and 8 choreographers, in the project entitled Una città per ballare and created in collaboration with the Fondazione Nazional della Danza/Alterballetto, will perform a dancing dialogue with the spectators and the architecture of the town and in a grand finale at the MART museum, the public will become the true protagonists of the performance.
And last but not least, the moving preview to the Festival comes in the form of a celebration of the centenary marking the end of WW1, conceived by the Israeli choreographer Sharon Fridman. A Piedi Nudi - 100 anni dalla fine della Grande Guerra – three visionary pieces set in places where peace finally materializes and it is women who embody the need to return, to rebuild, to create a hearth and home.                                                                                        
Come and journey with us along the new silk road!

Paolo Baldessari

Artistic directors
Lanfranco Cis and Paolo Manfrini