Sorrento (NA) A series of successful events proposed by the Municipality of Sorrento led by the mayor Massimo Coppola of great quality. On Saturday 19 November the show “The Conversion of a Horse” conceived and produced by the company Ludovica Rambelli Theatre. A theatrical work of extreme simplicity and at the same time of great emotional impact: 23 canvases by Caravaggio were interpreted under the eyes of the spectators, made with the bodies of eight actors and with the aid of everyday objects, above all draped fabrics. A single cut of light illuminated the scene, a reference to the genius of the man who painted with light, the changes of the eight artists all visible, rhythmically marked by the music of Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi and Sibelius. The event was part of the kermesse “Caravaggio Trilogy, Music, Figures and Voices” built around the complex figure of the Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, with the curatorship of the artistic director Maestro Paolo Scibilia.Among the most prestigious appointments proposed this year by City of Sorrento and the SCS Concert Society of Sorrento, as part of the fourth edition of the exhibition “I light up in winter” isSorrento is waiting for you”. At the end of the three shows we had the pleasure of meeting the director of the company Ludovica Rambelli Theatre, the actress and theater trainer Dora DeMaio, former student of the Campo Teatrale school in Milan, graduated in Modern Literature at the University of Salerno, consolidated work experience at the Teatro Pubblico Campano, engaged in the project “The enchanted world. Let’s learn to tell a fairy tale” at the Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples, professor and member of the teaching committee of the Master in Education and Theater Management in the Scholastic and Extra-scholastic fields for the same university, we asked her some questions about the late Ludovica Rambelli and the show he bequeathed us.
Congratulations on these Tableaux Vivants, one truly has the sensation, observing the performance of your actors, of being transported into the world of Caravaggio, where pictorial art and theatrical art overlap. The first question is precisely about the one who invented all this: Ludovica Rambelli.
Ludovica Rambelli she was first and foremost a Neapolitan actress and theater director, who always created dramaturgy shows in which the visual system was very strong. Even in her first shows, in fact, a picture of her was always present, a reference to figurative art because for her it was fundamental in dramaturgy that proposed a good visual and musical system. However, it would be very simplistic to remember her only as director of the Tableau Vivant inspired by Caravaggio’s masterpieces, as her theatrical work began long before her, grew over time, articulating and enriching itself with various interesting projects. The tableaux are also the result of what was in a nutshell in her at the beginning. I remember that she was invited in 2006 by an architect friend, Caterina Fiorentino, to carry out an educational project linked to the Chair of Costume at the Luigi Vanvitelli Faculty of Architecture in Aversa. After receiving the proposal she came to us actors and she told us that she intended to present a working demonstration not just a costume lesson. The happy idea she had was to stage the tableaux of Caravaggio, who was a character who perfectly summed up the entire dramatic scene of the theater in her canvases. In her masterpieces there is movement that stops, there is the coup de theatre, there is the Baroque in all its splendour.
I know I’m not original, but like other journalists I want to ask you again why the Conversion of a horse?
Caravaggio was commissioned by Monsignor Tiberio Cerasi to paint two paintings depicting the prodigy of the conversion of Saint Paul and the crucifixion of Saint Peter. However, the conversion carried out by Caravaggio did not please the client because he had placed a horse at the center of the scene, at the bottom of the canvas, in the background was Paolo, hence the famous joke attributed to the client: “This conversion of a horse is beautiful! ” Ludovica liked this anecdote that she had greatly amused her.
Remind me of the names of the actors?
They are all professional actors, some come from prose, some from body theatre, improvisation, some from the Academy of Fine Arts, where Ludovica and I had a workshop (during the academic years 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 Ed. ) from which we have always drawn valid artists. The actors who performed this evening are: Andrea Fersula, Elena Fattorusso, Rocco Giordano, Kiara Kija, Maria La Greca, Fiorenzo Madonna, Alessio Sica, Antonio Stoccuto. A group that has been working together for several years. The show has been on stage for 12 years. They are actors who train all year round, with almost daily training and body warm-up. They focus on pace and confidence. I could define it as an exercise in style, they have to learn to listen to each other, the stops aren’t built on a table, so teamwork is essential.
I naturally ask an actress and director, this year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of an author like Pier Paolo Pasolini, who was, according to some critics, the first in Italy to propose a tableux vivant in the film “The Ricotta”, one of his reflections.
I’m glad you remember Pasolini, Ludovica in her most important work Apokryphos (finalist for the 2001 scenario award) proposed the same living painting, Deposition from the Cross by Rosso Fiorentino from 1521, because she also did a very cinematic, very contaminated work. It was a real shame to lose her so young because she was so brilliant.
Last question, we are in Sorrento, the city of Torquato Tasso, another restless genius, has he ever thought of proposing tableaux vivants on Gerusalemme Liberata?
We often do site specific works such as saying, I can in fact anticipate them in this regard that we will soon debut in Pompeii with tableaux vivants inspired by the frescoes of the Villa dei Misteri. New tableaux vivants can be created but I confess that often for new works what blocks us is the production, because to create a living painting there is also a need for funding to pay for rehearsals for the actors and the purchase of materials and this is what is missing a bit, the pandemic then slowed everything down.
Dora De Maio, actress and director (ph. Dora De Maio)
Andrea Fersula, Elena Fattorusso, Rocco Giordano, Kiara Kija, Maria La Greca, Fiorenzo Madonna, Alessio Sica, Antonio Stoccuto
Useful links: https://www.ludovicarambelliteatro.it/