The contemporary Hermit

Director: Anna Dora Dorno
Performer: Nicola Pianzola
Original songs and vocals: Anna Dora Dorno
Original music: Riccardo Nanni
Video: Nicola Pianzola

Original script based on poems and testimony of factory workers of
ILVA of Taranto – Italy, the biggest Steelworks of Europe.

Production: Instabili Vaganti | LIV Performing Arts Centre Bologna | 7 floor

What is more topical in Italian society than the ILVA tragedy? The biggest steelworks of Europe was a dream of prosperity and employment for an entire land. Who does not remember the advertisement “Made in Italy, made in Ilva”? Now it is a nightmare called environmental damage, a poisoned land and the impossible choice between jobs and health.

A man, a factory worker lives with the conflict of wishing to escape from the incandescent steel cage and needing to carry on working in that hell to survive. He is imprisoned in a mechanical and repetitive existence, in a post-modern landscape where the alienation of the production line reduces the human being to an artificial machine. The scene is set with metal structures continuously transformed by the lights, the video projections and the performer’s actions interacting with music and sounds that become obsessive rhythms, while a persuasive voice orders him “work, produce, act, create…”.

“Nicola Pianzola, alone on stage, compelled and driven by impulse, manifest in robotic motion: he goes up and down, up and down again and again inside a perch which has become the inside of a factory. Now he sits on the factory, now he falls from it, now he dies in it. Contemporary biomechanics, further evolution of American “Taylorism” and of soviet “proizvòdstvo”, makes the empty space a laboratory of mechanical movements, of levers and gears through tensions, rotations and expansions of the body, its beat, its breath. Mejerchòl’d would have said “qualified performer”.(Arteatro)

Beginning with diary excerpts of an ILVA steelworker, including testimonies and emotions of other factory workers, the performance goes beyond specific cases, turning the worker into a “status symbol” of contemporary man, alienated from himself and from a society that relegates him to the condition of “hermit”.

“Body as a vehicle to tell, and this is the great news, the drama came alive with all the physicality”. (Teatrionline)

MADE IN ILVA is the result of intense physical work and vocal experimentation between organic, inorganic movement and voice. A critique to the current alienating production system and its impact on the environment and the population.

More about ILVA steelworks’ scandal,
The factory employs 12,000 people and breathes life into the depressed local economy and has long been accused of killing off the locals by belching into the air a mix of minerals, metals and carcinogenic dioxins (90% of the total dioxins emitted in Italy). Prosecutors say emissions have killed more than 400 people in 13 years. In 2012 a magistrate ordered the total shutdown of the most polluting furnaces, described ILVA as “an environmental disaster”. Yet even now this “monster” is still active and continues to cause several terrible workplace deaths and injuries.