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Emma Dante

Blackcaps’ tango /Il tango delle capinere / 14

Blackcaps’ tango /Il tango delle capinere /

A production by Atto Unico, Italy

Director: Dante Emma

Italian with Hungarian and English subtitles

1 hours, without breaks.

An old woman bends over an open chest looking for something. Music plays and an old man emerges from another chest. He looks at her and smiles lovingly. She is wearing old festive clothes, worn by time. He steps closer. He hugs her. She rests her head on his shoulder. They dance. He strokes her. They kiss. She holds him by the arm to help keep his balance. He is happy. She is happy too, blowing her nose and scratching her thigh. He takes a pocket watch out of his coat: five... four... three... two... one... and when the clock strikes midnight, he pops a small firecracker. They kiss. He takes a handful of confetti out of his pocket. He tosses it solemnly into the air. He looks at her. Happy New Year, my love! She takes a bridal veil out of the chest and winds up a small music box. The man and woman are younger now, they put on their glasses and start dancing again. They dance their love story backwards to the old songs, celebrating the New Year.

Blackcaps' Tango is the dance of two lovers' lives, a deeper version of the Ballarini episode from The Spectacles Trilogy. This time round, Blackcaps' Tango becomes a performance in its own right, a mosaic of memories that make loneliness more bearable for a woman in the last phase of her life. 


Foto credit: Carmine Maringola

Sabino Civilleri, Manuela Lo Sicco


Assistant director: Daniela Mangiacavallo
Lighting design: Cristian Zucaro
Arrangement: Daniela Gusmano

Co-production partners: Teatro Biondo Palermo / Emilia Romagna Teatro ERT - Teatro Nazionale / Teatro di Roma - Teatro Nazionale / Carnezzeria / Théâtre des 13 vents, Centre dramatique national Montpellier / MA scène nationale - Pays de Montbéliard


Dante Emma

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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