International Research Sessions and Workshops
2009 - 2020
The educational activities represent the driving force behind the project, just as the creative praxis represents its form, style and poetics.
We would not be able to conceive of Rags of Memory without these interlinked areas of practice, which mutually reflect and feed into one another.
Without its educational part, Rags of Memory would not have been disseminated around the world. The cultural exchange that originated from this openness, but also and above all, the willingness to share and the attempt to universalize our research, allowed us to achieve unexpected results.
We do not know if this praxis will continue to develop in the years to come, but if we look back at the road already travelled, we are able to map out a series of crossroads, deviations and intersections that have enriched it, and have kept us on track. When we look back, we can see our past becoming shared memory, an exchange between the performers, the students and all those who accompanied us on this wonderful journey.
Thanks to the people we met and to the circumstances that led us to engage with something different from us, we developed two educational pathways: one focuses on introducing professional performers to the research work, praxis and training developed in the project; the other offers an introduction to the techniques and themes underpinning our inquiries, which is also a useful way of finding other people interested in developing and sharing this research with us. The first, more advanced pathway is characterised by the International Sessions; the second one has taken the shape of a workshop. Both of these educational tools have allowed us, over the years, to investigate broad and multidisciplinary fields and to explore creative fields that we would not have discovered otherwise.
The International Advanced Training and Research Sessions
The International Sessions are intensive, advanced training courses geared towards actors, performers and artists from around the world, directed by the company and aimed at transmitting the methods developed over the course of the project, in particular the creative and artistic materials generated from different performative traditions.
During the sessions, our group of performers work with us on specific topics in order to examine certain aspects of the research carried out in the project in depth. They are introduced to teamwork, through the vocal and physical training specifically designed for the project, with an aim to creating a novel, universal and interdisciplinary language. Training therefore becomes an indispensable tool for intercultural exchange and for introducing participants to the process of artistic creation.
The main purpose of the sessions is artistic research and the practical and theoretical sharing of achieved results with both the participants themselves and an invited audience. In this respect, moments of openness are provided through workshops and performance presentations, art installations, conferences and final demonstrations that enable an audience to share in what has been developed during the intensive training. From 2009 to the present day we have organized seven International Sessions hosted by theatres, research centres, universities and festivals in Italy, Mexico, South Korea and India with artists from Italy, Spain, Poland, UK, Armenia, USA, India, Pakistan, South Korea, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.
In the workshop, participants learn to overcome the limits that impede the flow of their energy in order to achieve corporeal and vocal organicity. Organicity is an essential element for the actor who pursues truth in her actions. It is what allows her to conjure up a memory hidden beneath the skin and to work actively on memories and on stimulating her inner imagery. In such a way, the body of the actor learns how to maintain and re-awaken memory, on a level that transcends personal experience alone.
In order to pass on this ability to reawaken dormant memories in the body, we share the training we created throughout the project in the workshop. We work on tempo-rhythm, stage management and experimentation, different levels of energy, impulses and movement qualities, relations and interactions between individuals and finally, on group actions. This all includes the study of plastiques, elements of acrobatics, fragments of ritual dances and the creation of physical actions. Moreover, the learning of bodily techniques is always accompanied by a focus on vocal techniques. Vocal training, indeed, is intended not only to train the voice, but also to connect the body to one’s spirit and to self-expression. In addition, the workshop offers opportunities to study and explore solo and choral singing, harmony and polyphony, vibration and lamentation, an exploration of the sacred and the profane, through contact with traditional folk songs sourced from the rich Italian tradition and from the countries where the project has been hosted in the past.