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Friday 6 – Sunday 15 July 2018, Santarcangelo di Romagna

Santarcangelo Festival (48th edition) from 6 to 15 July 2018, over 150 events featuring 54 groups from 5 continents some 200 artists taking part and as many citizens, involved in projects.

Under the artistic direction of Eva Neklyaeva and Lisa Gilardino, the Festival is an intercontinental platform offering the public a broad view of relevant trends of the international performing arts scene today.

Santarcangelo Festival is a historic gathering dedicated to contemporary performance from around the world. Its 48th edition will be held in Santarcangelo di Romagna from Friday 6 to Sunday 15 July 2018. The programme runs from sunrise to sunrise, crossing freely disciplinary, institutional and geographical boundaries.

For the second year, the Festival is being held under the artistic direction of Eva Neklyaeva, born in Minsk and who worked in Helsinki as a curator and director of international arts organisations, such as the Baltic Circle Festival, and Lisa Gilardino, an international performing arts manager and curator. It confirms and reasserts its role on the international contemporary scene as leading transcontinental platform for discovering fresh, groundbreaking performance of tomorrow.

During the first two weekends in July, this small city will stage a bold, adventurous programme that breaks new ground, hosting 54 groups from around the world, some 200 artists from established to emerging, with a focus on new formats and urgent subjects for discussion today, both politically and in the arts.

The 48 th Santarcangelo Festival features over 150 events in a wide variety of languages and styles, all designed to take the public beyond the borders of the obvious and the known – also geographically – and to sketch out a sinuous emotional landscape: heart in mouth, our motto this year, specifically identifies the bodily signs of the intensity of an emotion, the visceral, pre-verbal sensation that travels through the body in certain emotional conditions. Audiences are invited to immerse themselves in and explore this intensity, by exploring the unfamiliar landscape around Santarcangelo.

At the centre of this reflection on the emotions is fear, a core element in the world today and a tool of political and economic manipulation, which we need to reclaim as individuals and as a community, to recover its original function, that of an element of strength and cohesion when it is lived within a protected, shared environment. Nowadays, our collective emotional intelligence is blurred and consigned to the esoteric. Performance, theatre, dance, concerts, films, DJ sets, excursions, athletic and other practices dedicated to bodily well-being and curing will create an opportunity to revive it and rediscover a relationship with nature in its broadest sense, a space to move about in, where we can experiment with freedom and enter into contact with magic, mystery and ritual.


A contemporary group ritual taking place in and co-performed with nature, as in the works of Norwegian choreographer Ingri Fiksdal, being presented in Italy for the first time. Night Tripper and Diorama for Santarcangelo work on the impact of perception and perception itself. Night Tripper is a walk in the woods, a performance concert, a ritual and a social event featuring six performers, unusual musical instruments, a chorus and many powerful spirits, all in the middle of nature at sundown. For its Santarcangelo performance it is being restaged as a site-specific version taking place along the bed of the Marecchia River. In Diorama for Santarcangelo the choreography becomes a lens through which Ingri alters or intervenes in the perception of the natural landscape in an oneiric, unforgettable experience at dawn on a beach at Rimini.

With The Unknown, Markus Öhrn from Sweden, one of the Festival’s associated artists, creates a setting for eight artists who will perform an freshly created new work every evening on a specially built stage in the woods beside the Uso River, to host an audience every night and take them one step further towards the unknown. Four of the invited artists are from Sweden: visual artist, musician and DJ Makode Linde, visual and performance artist Linnea Sjöberg, sculptress, designer and sound installation artist Linnea Carlsson, and painter Oskar Nilsson; and the other four are from Italy: musician, inventor and thinker Damiano Bagli, choreographer, performer and new media artist Mara Cassiani, performer Federica Dauri, and singer and performer Maurizio Rippa.

In Don’t be frightened of turning the page, Alessandro Sciarroni takes his cue from the migratory movement of certain animals that return to the place where they were born, to reproduce and then die. Francesca Grilli, another associated artist, also has ties with the animal world: in Gold, she invites the audience to share space with three hawks, some falconers and three singers. In the evocative Orti dei Frati Cappuccini, Cristina Kristal Rizzo performs ikea, a constant, hypnotic flow in a close-by space where the spectators are invited to expand their own senses. With Oasi, co-produced by the Festival, Muna Mussie also reflects on nature and the fears connected with its elements, shut away alone in a transparent bubble. She will also present Punteggiatura, a collective work created through dialogue with a group of women from various parts of the Province of Bologna. The cloth book, a “social fabric” that puts itself into practice and takes the shape of embroidery, is promoted by ERT, the Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, as part of the Atlas of Transitions Biennale I Right to the City, curated by Piersandra Di Matteo. The work is produced thanks to the cooperation of the Scuola delle Donne | Pilastro (CESD), the Biblioteca Italiana delle Donne, and the involvement of the Camelot and Mondo Donna cooperatives, Cantieri Meticci, Ars Aemilia and Santarcangelo dei Teatri.


Women from Bologna, youngsters from Italy and Iceland, a choir from Santarcangelo, that’s not all… The creation of the Festival’s 150 events this year involves almost 200 adults, youngsters and children from the local area. Take Multitud by Tamaras Cubas from Uruguay for example, which will open the Festival on 6 July with an entrance-free performance in a public space: it involves some 70 volunteers. The request for participation is open to all (the workshop will be held from 28 June to 5 July). Tamara, a choreographer who has also trained as a visual artist, analyses the social condition of contemporary human beings, the idea of heterogeneity within a group, the idea of the “other”, interpersonal relations and the possibility of dissent. Greek artist Panagiota Kallimani, who is also presenting her work in Italy for the first time, performs Arrêt sur image, a work resulting from a workshop with children and staged in places they hang out in, a school, a garden, a square. The space of their everyday lives takes on a surreal, alienating dimension that transforms their energy into a slow dance performed to a strange rhythm.

In certain cases, the public are invited to help in creating the theatrical experience; the Festival can honestly state that it has been produced with the support of the community, both the local one and the temporary community comprising audiences, performers, activists and operators. An example would be Your word in my mouth, a work produced by and for the Brussels Kunstenfestivaldesarts by Anna Rispoli, Lotte Lindner and Till Steinbrenner, in which members of the audience are invited to speak the words of other people who have been interviewed on the subject of love, and to make their own tolerance or indifference open to discussion.


The 2018 Santarcangelo Festival traces out a varied, changing emotional landscape, a vast, unexpected Panorama which people can enter without prejudices, without limitations, as in the performance, with the same title, by Motus, a group of associated artists, a multiple, visionary biography of the multi-ethnic group of performers at New York’s legendary East Village theatre, La MaMa. Motus also presents CHROMA KEYS by Enrico Casagrande, Daniela Nicolò and Silvia Calderoni, a crazy, fragmentary Panorama performance like having the flavour of the movies colour the borders of our vision and the restless corners of ourselves, where the framing process rules over the human element. Old tricks, Truka and Chroma Key will make different - maybe monster - worlds appear.

Emotions and life as lived also take centre stage in minor matter, by Dominican choreographer Ligia Lewis, in which she addresses questions about the perception of the body and the theme of ethnicity in a melee of popular dances and a musical score straddling various periods and genres, while in Be careful, a highly intelligent, ironic solo poised midway between theatre and dance, Malika Taneja from New Delhi raises the issue of violence against women. Meanwhile, Australian artist Nicola Gunn, who emerged as a revelation at New York’s 2017 Coil Festival, presents, for the first time in Italy, Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster, a piece she wrote and also performs. A simple squabble, an argument with a man throwing stones at a duck in a pond, turns into an explosion of text, movement and energy in which relentless choreographic research of minute precision combines with a dramatic script of great originality, moving freely from philosophy to the telling of personal anecdotes, all with subversive irony.

In Chiara Bersani’s Gentle Unicorn, the public also comes face to face with the artist’s political body through the metaphor of this legendary creature. This is its debut, co-produced by the Festival in partnership with Operaestate/B.Motion Festival, Bassano del Grappa and Graner, Barcelona. It is based on a biography – her grandfather’s – RH negative by Asia Giannelli, a performance/video installation that includes a brief documentary, a text, and a sheet of ice.

Emotion also lies at the centre of I am within, the first stage of a project by Dewey Dell that will reach completion in 2019: alone on stage, a small girl faces fear and flight from something she cannot stand to see or hear.

Michelle Moura, an established artist in Brazil but still hardly known in Europe, also presents her work for the first time in Italy. FOLE looks at breathing, voice and movement, inviting the audience to go on a journey with her as she alters perceptual states. 105: society for the creatively maladjusted by Australian artist Nana Biluš Abaffy also unwinds between movement, text, play acting, images and social intervention. Nana has been nominated for the prestigious Kier Prize as the most talented emerging choreographer in her country. This is the first time she and her work have been hosted outside Australia.

Daria Deflorian and Antonio Tagliarini, together with Francesco Alberici, present Scavi, another Festival co-production, and the first public sharing of the research for Quasi Niente, their new theatrical work which will open in October 2018. It is largely based on Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1964 masterpiece Red Desert, which itself drew its inspiration from a short story by Tonino Guerra and stars the countryside, a Romagna that has undergone a transformation, and an unforgettable Monica Vitti.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, by Lebanese artist Tania El Khoury, creates an opportunity for a single spectator to have a conversation with a refugee on the other side of a wall, thus enabling people who have recently suffered discrimination at frontiers to share their stories, through physical contact and sound.


From shows tailored for one spectator at a time to gatherings designed for public spaces, open to everyone and free of charge. From the opening of the Festival with Tamara CubasMultitud to Those ghels by Buhlebezwe Siwani and Chuma Sopotela, South Africans also performing in Italy for the first time. Chuma is an actress, director and performer, while Buhlebezwe is an artist and healer. Together they present a combination dance and video performance through which they deconstruct the representation of the female body in musical videos. Still in public space, Unravelling vein, a performance specially conceived for Santarcangelo by Sissi, will represent the local area as an emotional body thanks to its underground veins and arteries.

The music programme, curated by Stefania Pedretti and Francesca Morello, is free of charge. It floats freely from concerts to DJ sets under the Imbosco capital. From Germany: Bleedingblackwood, in which Berlin-based musician and DJ Timo C Engels takes the stage with classically-trained Italian cellist Martina Bertoni in a concert with strong natural connections. Father Murphy, one of Italy’s most interesting musical groups, will produce a live performance, a cross between concert, rite and artistic performance. From Sweden: Trepaneringsritualen, a solo project by musician Thomas Martin Ekelund, a pretty extreme live act that explores the themes of religion, magic and the occult. Sequoyah Tiger will perform a live dance set based on the music project of Verona producer and composer Leila Gharib, comprising songs, melodic lines recalling fifties doo-wop groups, weird electronics, videos and athletic actions made up of sounds and gestures, together with dancer and choreographer Sonia Brunelli (the two artists make up Barokthegreat). Also from South Africa is the FAKA duet, Fela Gucci and Desire Marea, who explore a combination of forms of expression, from sound to live performance, from literature, from video to photography, to create an eclectic aesthetic that enables them to convey their experience as black queer bodies in post-colonial Africa.

And so, on to Imbosco, the circus marquee concealed among the trees below the Parco Cappuccini, when night falls and the shows come to an end: that’s when music starts and dancing too, with DJs from Italy and other countries in the booth from midnight until sunrise: Deep Soulful Sweats - Australia, Dani - Belgium with Habibi / Al Queer, GEGEN - Germany, Lilith Primavera, Tropicantesimo, Lady Maru & Valerie Renay - Germany/Italy, Matteo Vallicelli, The Expanding Universe, The Good Chance Radio.


Santarcangelo Festival and MACAO (an independent centre for art, culture and research in Milan) continue their cooperative endeavours this year by pursuing an activity centred on cure and love – of oneself, one towards the other, and towards communities – as radical action that can lead people to imagine new social forms. Crypto Rituals entwines the economic cycle with community building, primarily on the emotional level, by introducing a crypto-coin to the Festival, the Santa Coin, (with the technical support of and and involving some local professionals who work in the fields of physical and mental well-being. On weekends, Piazza Ganganelli will be the setting for rituals that spectators can take part in. Services to be provided by involved body artisans, such as hairstyling, a massage, a manicure or a reading of Tarot cards, will form part of the Festival programme and can be bought using the Santa Coin, which can also be used for any purchases related to the Festival.

Projects realized together with the local teenager community are la non-scuola / Teatro delle Albe, Let’s Revolution! and WASH UP with Eva Geatti and Slander, activities that involve youngsters for the whole of the year and reach their full accomplishment at the Festival.

In addition to the performing arts programme, Santarcangelo Festival also hosts, as it has every year in the past, the Garage Sale handcrafts market, an offer of vegan-friendly meals using local organic products, a free film projection programme open to the public every evening, and a series of sports activities to be held in the open. In addition to these projects, the programme also includes workshops, talks, and moments of sharing. This year the Festival is in partnership once more with La Notte Rosa / Pink Your Life, the Summer New Year’s Eve, which will be held along 170 km of the Riviera on the night of 6 July 2018.

Santarcangelo Festival 2018 regards itself as an international trendsetter capable of shaking conventional art forms and the hierarchies running the performing arts, and its reaffirms its character as an instrument for renewing the stage which, without fear – or better yet, leaving fear behind – asks the community important questions, creates new dialogues, and takes its stand.


tel. 0541.623149 from 10.00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and from 3:00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.

Ticket prices: from 4 € to 18 € | Pass prices: 4 events 40 €; 10 events 90 €

Tickets on sale online on the Festival website:, from Monday 24

May 2018

The ticket office on Piazza Ganganelli will open on Monday 2 July 2018.


tel. 0541.626185 in service from 10.00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and from 3:00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. is for, with, and by people.

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