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Emma Dante

Misericordia 16


Co-production Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d'Europa with Atto Unico / Compagnia Sud Costa occidentale, Teatro Biondo di Palermo – Italy

Director: Dante Emma

Performed in Italian with Hungarian subtitles.

1 hours, without breaks.

Emma Dante – actor, playwright, theatre and opera director – creates theatre that investigates the depths of the human condition. The body plays a central role in her work, through which she lays bare the tensions and madness of people. She has participated in the MITEM Festival in 2015 with Verso Medea, performed by her company Sud Costa occidentale, which she founded in 1999 in Palermo, her hometown. This year she arrives to our festival with the performance Misericordia, a new production of the Piccolo Teatro in Milan.

Three women, Bettina, Nuzza and Anna, raise a disabled child, Arturo – who they have taken under their wings – in their pitiful little shack from where they go out every night to sell their bodies. They have a difficult life in which every ordinary gesture is like a battle. Their emotions move on a wide scale from shouting to laughter, from tenderness to anger. Although they love each other and Arturo, the child is growing, and the fragile harmony that results from the women's imbalance sometimes seems insufficient... Combining subtlety with brutality, humour with seriousness, Emma Dante explores the theme of motherhood in her staging. This is a story of an underprivileged, unconventional family that is held together by misery (miseria) and heart (corde): Misericordia. on an almost completely bare stage, the performance gives us a portrait of three women whose fierce words respond to Arturo's silence. The deaf and mute boy is played by Simone Zambelli, a dancer. The staging pays tribute to women and mothers. “The three women are – for me – three Parcae, mythological creatures who can work miracles through love and tolerance.”

Színészek / Actors:

Italia Carroccio
Manuela Lo Sicco
Leonarda Saffi
Simone Zambelli

Fény / Light: Cristian Zucaro
​Produkciós és turnészervező / Production and tour manager: Aldo Miguel Grompone

Gobbi Hilda Stage
Dante Emma

Dante Emma

Emma Dante was born in 1967 in Palermo. She studied theatre directing at the Silvio D'Amico National Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome. In the surroundings of the Academy she has come into contact with some of the main representatives of the new generation to come in the Italian theatre. In the late 1980s she drew near the avantgarde theatre. She worked as an assistant in the Polish production of The Machine of Love and Death, directed by Tadeusz Kantor. She recalls this experience as being struck by a true “theatrical thunderstroke”, which led her career as a director away from tradition and towards research and experimentation. After graduating in 1990, she played both in cinema and television until 1999, when she founded her first independent company called Compagnia Sud Costa Occidentale in Palermo. With the performance mPalermu the group won the award for the Best Stage Production in 2001.

From the 2000s until today, her work has been recognised with numerous awards and honours. She is convinced that theatre has a great power to shape society. In her works she skilfully merges classical and avantgarde forms of theatre. Social criticism is an important aspect of her shows, which often feature the passionate, violent and degraded Sicilian character who struggles to survive in an underdeveloped and oppressive society. The theatrical representation of the Sicilian dialect is a major merit of her productions. 

Besides her theatre work, Emma Dante is also a writer. She has published several novels for both adults and children. She made her debut as a film director and actress in 2013 with the adaptation of her first novel, Via Castellana Bandiera, published in 2008. The book was awarded the Vittorini Prize. Emma Dante and her company’s performance, Verso Médea, was programmed at MITEM in 2015.

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