PLAY-K(ei) 2016

With obstinacy and enthusiasm, the fourth season of ZONA K once again uses the formula of thematic FOCUSes, reaffirming our desire to create opportunities for tout court cultural dissemination.

With shows, debates, conversations with cultural figures, workshops for children and young people, photographic exhibitions and films, the FOCUS allows us to make our space, above all, a place for meeting and reflection for a public that we would like to see become ever wider.

It also gives us the opportunity to address current and urgent issues in the reality that surrounds us, both in relation to the micro universe of our city district, and in a macro perspective open to the national and European situation.

The fourth edition of PLAY-K(ei) opens with the FOCUS SWITZERLAND (23 November – 20 December 2015), a survey of a country that is at the centre of Europe even though it is not part of it. The relationship that Europe has with it is emblematic and ambiguous, central to its economic policies, even though it is not involved in the Union’s conflicts and contradictions.  As happened in the last edition and again last September/October with the Remote Milano by Rimini Protokoll (with an English version for the international EXPO audience), we would like to revive the public, ordinary people, as protagonists, so that theatre can once again become part of a shared language and, above all, a necessary part of a community.

This is the direction of Yan Duyvendak & Roger Bernat‘s work, Please, continue (Hamlet) (29 – 30 November 2015) in which a host of eminent lawyers and magistrates, Umberto Ambrosoli, Alessandro Bastianello, Gherardo Colombo, Oscar Magi, Ilio Mannucci Pacini, Mario Mantero, Isabella Marenghi, Adriano Scudieri, Salvatore Scuto, together with other members of the Milan criminal court, lend themselves to the game of theatre by acting themselves through a full-blown trial. Three actors are involved: Francesca Cuttica, Francesca Mazza and Benno Steinegger. The operation also inaugurates the collaboration with the Unicredit Pavillion space that hosts the show and in doing so opens its doors to the theatre for the first time.

The Switzerland Focus continues at ZONA K with the viewing of Milo Rau‘s films The Moscow Trials (27 November 2015) and Hate Radio (29 November 2015) and the participation of a young and talented company, Collettivo Ingwer, which brings to Milan the photographic and video restitution of an investigation between art and contemporary anthropology, carried out with the women of Milan’s Isola district last September. The installation entitled Io sono un’altra (2 – 20 December 2015) is based on the themes of female identity and ideality. This will be followed by the Milan premiere of Still Leben, also by the Ingwer Collective (2 December 2015).

Focus Switzerland also includes two opportunities for reflection and debate: the meeting of the Centro Studi di Politica Estera e Opinione Pubblica of the University of Milan, organised in collaboration with the Centro Svizzero, with the participation of Sergio Romano, Lino Terlizzi and Alfredo Canavero (23 November 2015); and conversations with an aperitif on the theme of theatre poised between Realtà e Finzione (27 November 2015), with the participation of director and performer Yan Duyvendak, director and author Boris Nikitin (creator and curator of the ITS THE REAL THING festival in Basel), and critic and expert Oliviero Ponte di Pino.

For young people, the PLAY-K(ids) programme offers the science workshop Einstein’s Box at Ascona’s Science Garden and the screening of the documentary film The Children of Mount Napf by Alice Schmid (29 November 2015).

On the occasion of this FOCUS SWITZERLAND, the collaboration between the FIT Festival Lugano and ZONA K began. In addition to providing information and contacts for the focus programming, for its 24th edition the FIT Festival has offered reductions to ZONA K members. ZONA K offers reduced rates (upon reservation) to all FIT subscribers and residents of Lugano who will cross the Lugano/Milan border to participate in ZONA K’s Focus Svizzera. The FOCUS will also include the research work of Officina Orsi, Swiss Label and resident artist Rubidori Manshaft on the Isola district and its inhabitants, who will be the stage and protagonists of the Milanese version of his project Sull’umano sentire which, after its debut in Lugano in summer 2016 (of its Swiss version), will be presented by ZONA K in the next edition of the Isola Kult festival, in autumn 2016.

It continues with the  FOCUS GENERE (8 – 20 March 2016), dedicated to gender identity. The FOCUS opens the reflection on the new representations of identity, understood in its different meanings, from gender to national identity. Personal and exemplary stories, theoretical hints and philosophical questions, always on the borderline between fiction and reality, questioning masculinity and femininity, boundaries and definitions, categories and memberships, for a hymn to the freedom to become, to openness to multiplicities. A thought, above all, directed towards future scenarios, where gender identity announces unpredictable developments.

It will be an honour for us to have as our travelling companions in this exploration, the Motus Company with their latest production, MDLSX, at ZONA K in its Milan premiere (8 – 12 March 2016). MDLSX is a sound bomb, a lysergic and solitary hymn to the freedom of becoming, to gender b(l)ending, to being other than the borders of the body, the colour of the skin, the imposed nationality, the forced territoriality, the belonging to a Country. It is a “scandalous” theatrical journey by Silvia Calderoni who – after 10 years with Motus – ventures into this experiment with the apparent format of the D-j/Vj Set, to begin an exploration of boundaries that will be catalysed, in 2017, in Black Drama (a tragic musical).

This will be followed by the young artists of Dehors/Audelà, with their careful and meticulous search for an original artistic language that mixes dance, theatre and video processing in a performance focused on the resistance to inhabiting and wearing one’s own identity, in Perfetto Indefinito (14 – 15 March 2016). Dehors/Audelà is one of the young companies already presented at ZONA K that we are trying to bring to the public’s attention, noting the progressive artistic maturity and originality of their work. In this season of PLAY-K(ei) we wish to inaugurate the support and care towards those artistic realities discovered in the “cellars” of the national programming, and perhaps already hosted at ZONA K, to which we would like to give more space and artistic recognition.

To complete the Focus the evening promoted by the associations Alilò futuro anteriore, Famiglie Arcobaleno, l’Ombelico LE OMBRE DEL BUIO: origini (quasi) nascoste della violenza di genere (25 February 2016), an event that originates from a sociological reflection on the relationship between socialisation and gender stereotypes, initiated at the University of Bergamo and published in the essay by C. Ottaviano and L. Mentasti, Oltre i destini. Attraversamenti del femminile e del maschile, Ediesse, Rome 2015.

From the open dialogue with the artistic direction of the Gender-Bender Festival in Bologna, the exhibition of original illustrations by Luca Di Sciullo, Viola Niccolai, Lisa Passaniti and Cristina Portolano and photographs by Elisa D’Errico FINGERPRINTS / Performing Gender (8 – 25 March 2016) accompanies the entire FOCUS GENRE.

The FOCUS closes with the show INDOMADOR by the Catalan company Animal Religion, in the ZONA K season presented by C.L.A.P.Spettacolodalvivo, in collaboration with Fira Tàrrega (24 – 25 March 2016), followed by a meeting with the artist Quim Girón.

For young people, the PLAY-K(ids) programme proposes the workshop on gender differences THE REAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PRINCESSES AND WARRIORS by Paola Gaggiotti and the screening of the documentary film GAYBY BABY by Maya Newell (13 March 2016).

The FOCUS IDENTITÁ (3 – 10 May 2016) is dedicated to the cultural aspects of identity definition. We are spectators of an unprecedented migratory flow. On the one hand, we see Europe increasingly defining itself and its borders becoming more rigid through nationalistic legacies. On the other hand, a kind of cultural contamination is spreading uncontrollably. Is it still worth talking about ‘nation’ or ‘dominant culture’? We have come up with a Focus where the colours of cultural and national identities mix as in a card game, where chance and necessity determine the construction of new and unexpected communities: a reflection on cultural and national identity, or rather “Against identity”, to quote the famous text by Francesco Remotti.

This is followed by the play Sotto un cielo straniero by Teatro Utile /Mascherenere (4 – 6 May 2016), in which the actors are mainly immigrants, lost in the urban geography of a city such as Milan. In order to continue the FOCUS journey, we have called upon young artists who, by means of innovative theatrical languages, are able to address the themes revolving around the construction of an identity in a broad and philosophical sense, so as to return to the public the contradictions of the chosen theme: TeatrInGestAzione, a young company from Naples with the show Absolute Beginners (9 – 10 May 2016) seemed emblematic in this regard, both for its content and its original language.

With regard to the theme in which the identity of peoples and cultures is brought into play, it seemed natural and at the same time a conscious gamble to try to mix the paths of different artistic identities. As in the reality of the contamination of peoples, so in the artistic reality we are trying to bring together diametrically opposed companies such as Arosio/Boscaro, dedicated to experimentation between dance and video-mapping, and Teatro Utile/Mascherenere more inclined to the discovery of an original dramaturgy that draws on the resources of the individual members of its inter-ethnic working group, in a path of meetings (which will take place between January and May 2016) where the exchange of experiences and artistic visions can create a significant return for the public on the theme of FOCUS (6 May).

FOCUS IDENTITA’ is also a debate on FLUSSI MIGRATORI: IDENTITA’ E CONNESSIONI led by De Biasio with two leading experts on the subject: Maurizio Ambrosini and Francesco Remotti, followed by a screening of ZaLab’s short films I LIVE IN MELBOURNE NOW (10 May 2016).

There are the Extra Events of PLAY-K(ei), or those events that, for the sake of consistency, we have not included in the Thematic Focuses but that indicate ZONA K’s desire to bring to light interesting and unique artistic experiments. Thus, we would like to highlight the participation in the ZONA K season of Dario Buccino, musician and performer who will bring to ZONA K a singular live performance for four sheet music players and a clarinet entitled “Ma vero!” (18 – 19 March 2016).

After the summer break, PLAY-K(ei) resumes with the URBAN FOCUS (23 September – 27 November 2016) to give space to ZONA K’s desire to talk, reflect and act on reality, especially the urban reality that surrounds us. Established and emerging artists steal fragments of reality and rework them according to their own poetics, mixing scenic creation and everyday elements, blurring the boundary between public and private, to lead us to consider ourselves and what surrounds us with a renewed look and attitude, to imagine and, why not, build new realities.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet and his inability to act give life to ScarlattineTeatro‘s Hamlet Private: a confidential Hamlet, close, which abandons the traditional theatrical context and welcomes every single spectator in the intimacy of a coffee shop to give shape to a confidential relationship between spectator and performer. (23 – 25 September; 23 October; 13 November; 27 November 2016 @ Type Bistrot in via Borsieri).

PLAY-K(ei) le STRASSE come to PLAY-K(ei) with SOLO, a site-specific project that works on complex urban spaces, such as large train stations, and the people who populate them, a humanity in transit and circulation, with its own peculiar rhythms and travel times. (23 – 25 September; 30 September – 2 October 2016 @ Stazione FS Garibaldi).

From Bologna to FOCUS URBAN SPRAY LEXICON by Ateliersi, a dramaturgical and performative research on the writings that appear and disappear from the walls of the city. Ateliersi focuses its gaze on the inhabited street, on the engravings of anonymous authors, where the border between public and private emerges mobile and undefined.  (23 – 25 September 2016 @Key Gallery, Via Borsieri)

Framing the whole FOCUS, the exhibition that brings together in a series of animated postcards, portraits inspired by the characters we see every day in our neighbourhood, the Isola district of Milan, conceived by BoomBangDesign: #POSTCARDSFROMISOLA (23 September – 28 October 2016 @ZONA K).

The season closes with FOCUS CATALOGNA: Catalan Avant-Garde on Stage, another European event, this time dedicated to CATALOGNA. A rich and lively cultural panorama, a multiform theatrical scene, with peaks of excellence in very different disciplines, from contemporary circus to urban performance. ZONA K chooses some of the most representative and innovative artists, able with their work to talk about contemporary reality and the contemporary world. At the same time, in a parallelism between the actuality of the present and the avant-garde of the past, it investigates the Spanish Civil War in its 80th anniversary, through the eyes of artists who told their present.

DOMINI PÚBLIC by Roger Bernat opens, a game about life, almost a life-size box game where the spectators are not mere pawns but become the protagonists of a story that director Bernat skilfully orchestrates. A sociological investigation in three dimensions on themes that are close to our hearts and in which we are protagonists, without constraints and prefixed roles. For the first time in Milan, Domini Públic has toured the world and is a true classic of urban performance (26 – 27 November 2016 at the Castello Sforzesco).

The leading group of the Catalan scene, winner of the Silver Lion at the 2015 Venice Biennale, Agrupación Señor Serrano, brings to the stage two multimedia performances.
BIRDIE, compares two mirages. On the one hand, welfare, respect for human rights, prosperity, ease of movement for information and capital. On the other, wars, exploitation, persecution, obstacles for migrants.