Nel bosco, 11 February 2013

Entering the theatre, I found myself immediately immersed in a magical atmosphere. An incessant howl of stray dogs echoes in the dark auditorium, while behind a thin, transparent veil, little by little, the primordial, subterranean, chaotic and obscure wood appears. Katia Titolo’s beautiful setting represents perfectly the idea of the unpredictable forest described by Andrea Zanzotto’s poetry: the show, directed by Luca Ricci, is inspired by his poem “Il Galateo In Bosco”. Four trees, placed at the vertices of an imaginary trapezium, stand out in front of the audience. Two young (but excellent) actors, Roberto Gudese and Alessia Pellegrino, act in a stage covered by a blanket of dead leaves. Their bodies, supported by a gestural and expressive energy that is really disruptive, chase each other, meet, discover, love in a place- the wood- where anything could happen and where the experience and the existence coincide with inevitable rites of passage. Luca Ricci and Lucia Franchi create a dramaturgy which deeply and exactly represents the essence of Zanzotto’s poetry: the wood is the origin, the prime cause, the root of being, and also for this reason the verbal language is unnecessary in comparison with the fluctuations of the surrounding nature. The protagonists do not say a word. They communicate to each other by glances, caresses, embraces. Language is no longer a conventional recognizable code, just as in Zanzotto’s poetry. Instead, it is a magnetic system of signs, sounds, voices, words projected on a sheer panel to which the authors Ricci and Franchi give the task of communicating and participating in the actions between the two protagonists, and between them and the public. It is not an univocal dialogue: it is fragmentary, dismantled and scattered in the space. Nouns, adjectives, verbs, short sentences appear and disappear in the amazing architecture of fast frames written on the panel or vibrantly recited by Roberto Herlitzka’s voice over. The spectator is invited to make his own journey. To plunge and lost in the darkness of a nowhere which inevitably leads elsewhere. It is up to the spectator to cross the threshold of change. It is up to him to prepare and receive inside himself the pungent smell of cork and wet leaves. It is up to him being overwhelmed by the sound effects created by Fabrizio Spera and “watching life at the height of blades”., 8 February 2013

In its previous show “Virus” CapoTrave company, directed by Luca Ricci, already thought of the possibility to tell the whole story relying entirely on the visual elements and on the rhythm for organizing them, placing the spectator in a frontal relationship with the dirty underground of an imaginary metropolis: in the midst of tunnels infested by mice and containment cells, two men contended for captivity, while in the surface a plague was decimating the world. Ricci only suggested the impending presence of that world, through the biting psalmody of medical reports, creaking of manholes and dripping sewers: but the massacre game, the real tragedy took place totally in the dense consistency of the darkness, in that underground dispelled by beams of torches, not saying a word.
Also in “Nel Bosco” (In The Wood), on stage in Rome at Teatro Dell’Orologio, two bodies act, a boy and a girl at the end of their puberty, escaping from gunshots and barking of dogs. Katia Titolo’s hyper realistic scene rebuilds a small glade bounded by four trees, leaving the soundtrack to creaking fallen leaves which even smell. The incredible dampness of the room – that on other occasions wrung some imprecations from us – here seems completing a perfect setting in its own way, framed by the as usual precise, creative and sepulchral Gianni Staropoli’s lights. The boy and the girl are escaping and that cold but cozy forest becomes for both an oasis of final resistance; a tender, quiet meeting takes place amid fronds and barks, led courageously by the director trough continuous approaching games, distant glances, shivers which transform the cold air into a still childish indecision. The initiation rite to adulthood comes to life through these immature bodies, their discovery of sex, their half smiles, emphasizing the successful work done with the two very young actors, lithe inhabitants of this neighboring world which is looking for a contact with the public based on the distance. In fact a rubberized fabric is interposed between the spectator and the accurate penetrating scene; on it Andrea Giansanti’s excellent video effects make pieces of Andrea Zanzotto’s poem “Il Galateo In Bosco” appear and disappear, and Roberto Herlitzka’s voice recites them with a funereal and fatal inflexion.

L’Unità, 8 February 2013

Without words, or rather, without saying live words. Just letters, sentences, verse printed on a thin layer of veil – which separates the public from the stage- and recited by Roberto Herlitzka’s recorded voice. For the rest in “Nel Bosco” (In The Wood), CapoTrave’s new show, everything and nothing happens. Luca Ricci- the director- has certainly created an impressive tableau vivant. An autumnal forest, full of leaves, which shelters sighs and fears of the two very young lovers, interpreted by Roberto Gudese and Alessia Pellegrino. Their bodies move in a very cinematographic, fascinating and stunning sound and visual setting . This nice scene arouses pleasant feelings. Lucia Franchi and Luca Ricci have worked on the dramaturgy: the story, if any, is the one that each spectator tries to imagine, maybe starting from Gianni Staropoli’s lighting design and Fabrizio Spera’s sound design, which create a tridimensional space where words and inscriptions materialize on that thin layer of veil. The words that we see and listen come from Andrea Zanzotto’s poem “Il Galateo In Bosco” (1978). The Italian poet Eugenio Montale wrote about it: “Zanzotto’s distrust in the words is so much that his poetry ends in the pre-expression preceding the articulate speech. This is a percussive poem, but not a noisy one: its metronome is perhaps the heartbeat”. We cannot but agree after seeing CapoTrave’s show. Zanzotto’s poetry is looking for a relation with this fairy wood, where the two young boy and girl are looking for each other, meet, grow up together, face a hunting scene and then disappear. Ephemeral and swift, like in a movie scene. The memory of a bucolic picture remains while the spectator is smelling some scents together with the two young actors.

La Repubblica, 3 February 2013

Not a live spoken word. Only loose lines of verse, and dark and mysterious stratifications of words, diffused by Roberto Herlitzka’s masterly voice-over. And a neutral imprint of nouns, shades and swarm of letters on a velarium. The bodies of the two actors- in their twenties, Roberto Gudese and Alessia Pellegrino- are the real language; they penetrate into a space full of trunks and leaves. “Nel Bosco” (In The Wood) derives from Andrea Zanzotto’s poem “Il Galateo In Bosco” and its echoes, spells and obscure stages of formation are declined by the director Luca Ricci, also co-playwriter with Lucia Franchi, like a sylvan and Eleusinian rite of restless contemporaneity. The difference between primordial and social, between nature and ego, is here expressed by two persons’confrontation that sublimes fear, innocence, instinctive sex and acquisition of identity, until an atmosphere like in “Hunting Scenes From Bavaria” takes over. In this wood, carved by Katia Titolo, we are impressed by the purity of the representation, of the two protagonists, of a destiny suspended between grace and condemnation., 2 February 2013

In Luca Ricci’s “Nel Bosco” (“In The Wood”) there are fallen leaves from rugged trees and words whispered on invisible walls by Roberto Herlitzka’s unmistakable voice-over, which warms with trembling melancholy this empty, bare and fragile space. It has the color of memory and the taste of intimacy kept in a possible dimension. Where to escape from an invisible threat of shots and screams, where to hide from the intrusion of a frustrating reality, where to meet together for measuring without fear the other person’s loneliness. With shared silences, attracted glances, studied approaching of two adolescents (the young protagonists Roberto Gudese and Alessia Pellegrino), who tries to be adults, sheltered by an amniotic glade, mixing childish gestures with the playful curiosity of two silent bodies, in transformation. Where to dance the sweetness of a rite which feeds on unutterable caresses, unexpected laughter, crashes represented by a violence to trample on with heartthrob. And with a physicalness of immature beauty they give themselves up discovering the emotion of a new love, soundless but greedy of darkness and exclusivity. It is nourished by nature and by an imagery which in Andrea Zanzotto’s poetry has the objective correlative of an elsewhere which makes sense only if we remain inside, embraced in a not-existent, inexpressible nowhere: outside it could not find a space to resist-exist. A performance of elegant simplicity, visual accuracy (thanks to the effective set design), balanced fascination. A dreamlike journey, an opportunity often forgotten in the theatre: the simplicity.

Libertà, 18 September 2012

SANSEPOLCRO (AREZZO) – During my stay at Kilowatt Festival, I think the most interesting work was the one of Luca Ricci and his company CapoTrave. “Nel Bosco” (In The Wood) is the title of the show, Italian premiere, after a previous working in progress; Luca Ricci is the director and he also worked on the dramaturgy together with Lucia Franchi, and the two protagonists on stage, Alessia Pellegrino and Roberto Gudese. “Nel Bosco” is based on a difficult and risky assumption: establishing a relationship between the great poet Andrea Zanzotto and his poem “Galateo in bosco” with its abstract, deconstructed language, and the material scene of the performance, an imaginary fairy-tale place, a forest. In there, two young lost people meet and collide with each other. Through a mysterious and disturbing game, they deal with the changes of life from adolescence to adulthood, going through various situations concerning life and death. Also thanks to its concrete and attractive ideas of lighting and sound effects, this show has a cinematographic rhythm, a sequence, and it is able to stage the diffractions and reverberations of Zanzotto’s style which are materialized on a thin velarium interposed between the spectator and the scene, and are recited by Roberto Herliztka’ s intriguing voice. Little by little, “Nel Bosco” creates an evocative, strongly touching atmosphere, a nocturnal scene immersed in the two protagonists’ silence and glances. It is a litany of collisions and elusions of the abstract and epigrammatic words of Zanzotto’s poem. The language of poetry and its theatrical representation run parallel before the spectator’s eyes, sometimes showing their inviolable distance and diversity, sometimes their homogeneity: a remarkable result., 7 October 2011

“In The Wood”, the ground is covered by true dry leaves that creak ominously and saturate the air with dust, thus creating the feeling of really living in this suffocating landscape.
He is on the run, chased by a “real and deadly threat”, surrounded by bare trees, looking like strange skeletal figures.
She deliberately goes in this space where the light must struggle to slip through a tangle of branches, lifeless arms, cobweb of wood hardened by passing of time.
The young woman is looking for her independence, her own identity.
They are both attracted by a whirlpool that seems lifeless.
The silence is only broken by steps that advance, two human figures emerge from mysterious shadows, from a dark full of expectations. What will happen?
There are apprehension and provocation. He goes so far as to provoke his improvised partner; she is frightened and overawed. They are two poles apart who attract and repel each other.
A seductive approach that becomes a ritual, a game, a fight for supremacy, an attempt to communicate.
The physical contact seems to be a melting point between them, the beginning of an acquaintance.
It will not happen: the wood will divide them again. But there is a strange atmosphere in the wood, on which a disturbing presence rests. Is it going to appear?
By his work, Luca Ricci focuses on a dramaturgy full of images, like frames of a film, where the spectator’s attention is attracted by what remains to be seen, what has not yet happened. There is a spasmodic waiting that does not find an outlet.
Joined by Lucia Franchi, and, at their first experience, Roberto Gudese and Alessia Pellegrino (both promising actors), the director’s research follows the difficult and frail growth of two teenagers on their way towards a goal called “adulthood”, from where you cannot go back. Maybe it was better to remain in the wood…