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Michela Lucenti - Balletto Civile

On the tension between literary work and physical theater.

What is poetry, sir?  asks Davidson
– But you know it!  says the professor.
- No I do not know!  protests the boy shaking his curly head.
- Yes you know!
- No I do not know!
– You are an African, you are immersed in poetry!
– No, poetry is a white thing.
– Sing a song from your village!
Davidson begins to sing one of his village songs.
But the singing is in his head closely connected with the dance. And then, singing, he starts dancing.
A long song, a long dance.
Here, this is poetry!
Il Padre Selvaggio (The Savage Father) is an outline of a screenplay written in 1963 by P. P. Pasolini and published posthumously in the fateful 1975. The director did not find financers, frightened by his freedom of thought, and the film was never made. It is the story of Davidson, a sensitive and acute black boy from an African tribe and his encounter with a progressive and tormented teacher - a frontier figure, alter ego of Pasolini himself - who tries to give his boys a modern and anti-colonialist education. Above all, this suspended work recounts the conflict between the teacher and Davidson, wary of the new method and culture of the new teacher precisely because he is the smartest. The heart of this contrast is the dilemma of the relationship between blacks and whites, the problem of freedom and democracy, of the tension towards the other than oneself.

A short and intense piece of writing, with a strong political and not just poetic value, a sort of canvas that escapes definitions, conceived above all as a succession of images and indications of actions. A hybrid screenplay that mixes codes and languages and precisely in the absence of its realization offers great expressive potential.
An indefinite form that presents visual qualities that lend themselves to dance staging, in a vertigo between literary work and physical theatre.

Balletto Civile met its Davidson on the outskirts of Modena.

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