Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Enchanted Trails - Hiking with John Balzaretti

Trekking The play is an original and fascinating to re-discover a territory, combining immersion in its nature and its real-world scenarios, the one inside the "emotional landscapes" suggested by the proposal stage, food and wine that complement it.

The rustic dining and entertainment offered at the end of the walk are, in fact, the crown and the amplification of local knowledge through the enchanting charm of trails running through them.

The Trek Theatrical Collinarea be held Saturday July 27 2013. Departure is from the entrance of the Castle of Lari with meeting at 17.00. From here we will move to reach, in about an hour and a half, the 'farm Stains, through a series of easy practicability and the typical Tuscan landscapes and rural rustic, made ​​of towering cypress trees, maritime pines and cool shadows holm.

Once there participants will witness the spectacle of John Balzaretti "Pilgrim. Pilgrim, "taste the proposals of the refreshment prepared by the same rural farm Stains and accompanied by wines from Tenuta di Ceppaiano, offered by 'Company Castellani.

The participation fee is 15 € and includes trekking, entertainment and dining options. The return to Lari is expected around 20.30 with the help of transportation.

Participants are advised to wear suitable shoes and clothing in the march on rough terrain, as well as hats and allocation of water.

The trek will be organized to achieve the minimum number of 15 participants. In case of rain, the organizers reserve the right to move the event to another date or, if not possible, to proceed to its cancellation.

::Note::  ... This experience was the highlight of the Festival ... a deep connection between Tuscany & Dante was forged ... many performances revolved around Dante (mostly the Inferno) I was told it lended itself to drama ... we broke bread halfway on the Trek ... a story was shared which I had no idea  about  but at the end I witnessed Canto 33  ... Balzaretti transformed from an engaging host & racanteur to Count Ugolino ... amazing & unforgetable ... from that moment the mystery of my being in the Tuscany hills was imprinted ... 

Monday, July 22, 2013


Finally, after close to fifteen years of following reports, articles, books and personal imaginings I attended a presentation of the Workcenter of Thomas Richards and Jerzy Grotowski on a wonderous July evening in Lari, Italy. Both teams of the Workcenter participate in the Collinarea Festival.

We ascended ninty-five steps to the top of the Lari castle where Mario Biagini, director of the Open Program we are about to witness, greeted comers with an open-hearted smile, bending down to chat with children and embracing friends as they arrived. As we trickled in the two male and five female actors sat, squatted or stood on the periphery of an open space. A box, staff, cane, bones and percussive instruments (bell, rattle, stone, tin pan) were discretely though obviously carefully placed in the 30X20 foot cobble-stoned square. We sat on chairs or carpets surrounding the space. All were dressed in white and barefoot, exactly as I had seen in the many documented photos. The progam notes (google translation as is for entire festival is Italian)

Open Program - A dedication in action (Studio) 

Part of the research and practice of group of the Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards is based on the use and exploration of traditional songs of the southern United States. They are songs that possess qualities such as to cause intense interpersonal processes, and give way to a circulation of contacts between the actors and bystanders. 
In the practice of our work we wonder what might be the function of these songs and, in relation to the processes set in motion and the event to which they give life, whatever its nature and meaning. We ask ourselves a question: is it possible that the quality of these processes can circulate and somehow reach the caregiver? And if this is possible, what can possibly happen? Touches us the insight that such an event can take place in the name of a shared desire. If so, it could be the occasion when, in the name of such a desire, even those who act together and do it for someone else. In other words: offer a special kind of dedication. 
The Open Program would like to invite you to be present with us as he knocks on the door of this shared desire and perhaps forgotten. And see if the door opens. 

The event began with a seated women singing a song in English  ... sounded like a lament or cry her face wracked with pain and voice trembling ... a gospel song, I guessed, though couldn't be certain ... a string of songs fron the american south, occasionally interrupted by text followed ... each individual centered a song supported by the group both vocally and with a patterned movement/choreography ... all movement was light, precise and consistent in all bodies with very little individual variation ... a dancing designed, it seemed, to circulate the air/song/energy ... only once did an actor slip into "characterization" ... there were in the songs an intoning of a personal process & actions suggested/associated moments of memory or ritual - even narrative ...

A song/call for a new day completed the cycle of action ... we had journeyed the human condition experiencing sorrow, betrayal, fear, resurrection ... I don't know if insights were aroused ... I felt the tranquility of the Tuscany twilight ... there had been an ever so cautious knocking at the heart's door ... I knew I had seen a practice ... a heart of the practice ... it felt we had been preoccupied too much with pleasing the caregiver to experience a release or liberation ... yet this was a dedication after all  ... 

... descending the steps afterwards was a neither a coming or going ... I had absurdly journeyed close to the home of my grandparents to share a desire, a quest and heard songs of the American south ... walking the narrow streets into the open piazza I listened to the ancient, medieval castle, first documented in 937 ... the stone walls were themselves a dedication in action ... an action demanding centuries of devotion ... 

My thoughts turn to performative activity and creation ... In his book Creative Land, anthropologist James Leach ... "describes cultural practices where the creation of new things, and the ritualised forms of exchange (the performative) enacted around them, function to “create” individuals and their social relations, “creating” the community they inhabit." ... Which community do We inhabit ...

:: Note :: ... Wrote this post while traveling ... Completely disappeared while writing and just like theatre repeated ... what is lost is the uncalculated first impression ... 

Monday, July 08, 2013

Versailles garden

The five hour walk with the Cised group in the Versailles Gardens and Park proved delightful despite the grey skies. Minimal crowds, perhaps deterred by the cool, wet weather, made for a leisurely pace.

Though defiantly the garden of Andre Le Notre a wonderful contemporary ambience infiltrates with the works of Giuseppe Penone. He articulately states:

“Being given the possibility of letting my work dialogue with that of Le NĂ´tre in Versailles is a great privilege. The garden is an emblematic place which sums up Western thought on the relationship between man and nature. 
Laid out to exalt the power of one man, it underlines the force and power of nature which minimises man’s action, requiring unceasing maintenance work to preserve it. 
The complexity of the garden’s design suggests the multiple ways of seeing it, and its extension and grandiose aspect contrast with the tiny dimensions of the person walking around it. The individual disappears in the garden, to be subsumed into the mind of the human grouping which generated such an organisation of nature. 
My work provokes a similar thought in me: the objective mimicry of the works cancels out my action as sculptor and concentrates the attention on the extraordinary intelligence of plant growth and on the perfect aesthetic choices present in nature.” 
His statement reflects much of the walking experience. Ghosts are the persistence of the past into the presence. Whenever in Europe I see the ghosts clearly ... wondering if they see me ... ghosts are the momentary manifestations of things that persist and wait to be embodied again at specific moments by specific individuals.

Walking in the Gardens and Park generated a hospitality of ephemeral yet rooted nature ...

:: Note ::  walking is good for the sole ...

Friday, July 05, 2013


Visited a dear friend at Maison de Sante de Bellevue.

He was frail looking.  Thoughts came to mind.

We are made of a core that expresses the entire concept of self much like a radical the main component of an ideogram (an ideogram being a written sign that expresses an entire concept rather than a sound like a letter of the alphabet).

When a clear gaze comes from outside the core can draw attention - various at[tensions]

The core may be a gate or threshold and is certainly a border.

We listen to each other on the threshold as we h[ear].

We are receptive to a gleam coming from an invisible gleam of self.

Through the cracks in the core we see in-between spaces as the sunlight and/or moonlight shines.

Our sounds stand beneath the core as a darkness ... the sound doesn't block the gateway but connects this side with the other so hearing is no longer impeded ... yet  the sentence is a wall.

Think of self as gateways/openings not as repositories/containers where meanings might be stored like possessions.

words: threshold, gate, to hear, to open, in-between space, to gleam, darkness

to open the word ... not sentences ... not language ... not speech ...
to open the word imitates silence.

We stand core to core to process/translate a specific significance inherent in each other which manifests self in its translatability.

::Note:: ... wandering from one border to another ... thanks to CELAN READS JAPANESE Susan Bernofsky (tr.), Yoko Tawada ...