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REF2024 Presentation

REF2024 Presentation

Romaeuropa Festival 39° Edition

The thirty-ninth edition of the Romaeuropa Festival returns to affirm the centrality of our role as a mediator between disciplines, languages and visions of the world.
«Discourse, Confrontation and Encounters» are the key notions chosen by General and Artistic Director Fabrizio Grifasi to describe the diverse program that will accompany us from September to November 2024. These same words reflect the Foundation’s network connections with public and private institutions, in a constant process of validating national contemporary traditions, as well as opening up towards the languages of the future. To achieve these objectives we wish, first of all, to express recognition of the precious support we receive from the Ministry of Culture, Regione Lazio, Roma Capitale and the Rome Chamber of Commerce. Their contribution is fundamental in order for us to continue our almost forty-year journey of generational exchanges, encounters and new experiences. The aim of making the city of Rome an international hub of contemporary creativity and of sharing that artistic experience with a wider audience year after year are just some of our journey’s objectives.

Joining us on this journey are The Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma (in collaboration with whom the inauguration of Romaeuropa takes place for the first time), the Azienda Speciale Palaexpo, the Teatro di Roma, the Fondazione Musica per Roma, the MAXXI National Museum of 21st-Century Art, the Auditorium Conciliazione, the Teatro Vascello, the Teatro Sala Umberto and the Teatro Vittoria. However, this network also extends beyond national borders. Our partnership with Van Cleef & Arpels, as part of the Dance Reflections program, is yet again confirmed; the three-year journey we begun with Flanders State of the Art reaches its second year; collaborations with the Performing Arts Fund and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands continue for the Kids & Family section, to which is added a focus on the Catalan scene; support from the Institut Français and the Embassy of France is renewed with the New Patrons Foundation; and the support of the Embassy of Spain, the Embassy of Germany, the Goethe-Institut and Pro Helvetia is ongoing. Furthermore, we have built a network of international relationships that is expanding through collaborations with the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici, the German Academy in Rome – Villa Massimo, the Instituto Cervantes, the Istituto Svizzero and Aerowaves.

Added to this framework are activities that support emerging creativity in partnership with multiple regional entities, as well as projects aimed at the inclusion and training of new audiences and accomplished in collaboration with: Sapienza University, the National Academy of Dramatic Arts Silvio d’Amico, the National Dance Academy, the Academy of Fine Arts of Rome, the European Institute of Design (IED), the Higher Institute for Artistic Industries (ISIA Roma Design), the New Academy of Fine Arts (NABA), the Rome University of Fine Arts (RUFA) and the Sistema di Biblioteche of the Comune di Roma. We are aware that our integral message of “discourse, confrontation and encounters” intersects with the dramatic events that are shaking the world today and with the profound changes that environmental factors and technological progress impose on all humanity. Nevertheless, in the face of this, we are guided and encouraged by the conviction that our role in representing artistic creation and its truths- all within that same world- helps reinforce the centrality of human beings and of the culture that they produce.

Guido Fabiani
President of Fondazione Romaeuropa

Discourses, Confrontations, Meetings.

Music, dance, theatre, new technologies, kids and education intertwine in this 39th edition of the Romaeuropa Festival, which returns to articulate a discourse directed at our present moment, while at the same time allowing continuity to emerge in the evolution of languages- a continuity ??based on the interconnection of generations and the encounter of diverse artistic practices.

Our inaugural week begins with the Ballet of the Lyon National Opéra– opening the Teatro Costanzi in a co-production between the REF and Teatro dell’Opera di Roma– who present a restaging of Merce Cunningham’s “Biped”, accompanied by live music from Gavin Bryars and his Ensemble, together with “Mycelium” by Christos Papadopoulos. This is followed by a tribute to Ryuichi Sakamoto by the Brussels Philharmonic, conducted by Dirk Brossè, who perform some of Sakamoto’s most famous cinematic compositions in the Cavea of ??the Auditorium Parco della Musica. The tribute also includes a screening at the MAXXI of the film “Opus” by Neo Sora, which portrays the Maestro’s profound relationship with the piano in his last public performance. Once more at the Cavea, Choreographer Rachid Ouramdane, together with the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève and a group of fabulous contemporary tightrope walkers, presents his new piece “Outsider”, to the music of Julius Eastman. Finally, the REF24 en plain air program closes with “Thucydides. Athens against Melos” by and with Alessandro Baricco, alongside renowned cellists Giovanni Sollima, Enrico Melozzi and the 100 Cellos International Ensemble.

The REF returns to the Auditorium della Conciliazione with German Choreographer Sasha Waltz who sets her work to Beethoven’s “Symphony n.7”, whereas at the Teatro Argentina French Choreographer Noè Soulier presents “Close Up”, a discourse with Bach’s compositions performed by Il Convito Ensemble. At the same venue, Filippo Andreatta, together with the Sentieri Selvaggi Ensemble, presents “Music for 18 Musicians”, based on Steve Reich’s “Nuvolario”, while Gorges Ocloo with “The Golden Stool” creates an afroOpera that incorporates Western lyrical repertoire.

The musical program of the REF includes concerts by the Neue Vocalsolisten Ensemble to the music of Oscar Bianchi, Ondrej Adamek and Marcus Schmickler’s “Schreber Songs”, in collaboration with the Zafran Ensemble, and co-produced with the German Academy Villa Massimo. The program also showcases cult German band Einstürzende Neubauten; a collaboration between Lorenzo Bianchi Hoesh and Amir ElSaffar; the electronic sounds of Trentemøller; the technological experimentations of Japanese composer Keiichiro Shibuya with “Android Aria MUTUAL CONTROL” (a dialogue with an android equipped with hearing abilities and capable of singing songs written by a GPT artificial intelligence model); the live performance/installation “Ascension VR” by Flemish artists Paul Boereboom and Leon Rogisstart; as well as “Foosball”, a concert that combines table football and electronic music, by the Tempo Reale Music Production and Teaching Research Centre, founded by Luciano Berio.

The genres of literature, poetry and musical theater converge in the works of Italian composer Silvia Colasanti, who in “The Last Journey of Sindbad” (produced by The Rome Opera House) revisits the text of the same name by Erri de Luca; poet Mariangela Gualtieri, accompanied on the piano by Uri Caine; Paolo Fresu’s trumpet for the “Bello Mondo” project; and a concert/show by singer-songwriter Vasco Brondi, in collaboration with writer Paolo Cognetti.

French-Catalan Baro d’evel Company also returns to the REF with “Qui som?”, an ode to human creativity performed by musicians, acrobats, ceramicists and actors, while La Colline Théâtre National presents Director Amos Gitai’s “House”,  a cinematic spetacle about the succession of generations in a most relevant reflection on the conflicts and coexistences of an entire territory. Both projects are co-produced with the Fondazione Teatro di Roma.

A dialogue between fiction and reality is presented in “The Making of Berlin” and “Zvidzal”, both by the Berlin Collective; Director Mohamed El Khatib portrays the strength of love in “La vie secrète des vieux”; Marlen Scholten, with an Italian-Dutch cast, confronts the economic difficulties of a normal family in “Disperato”; Mexican company Lagartijas tiradas al sol transports us to “Central America” ; Taufiq Izeddiou in “HMADCHA (Hors du Monde)”explores and choreographs the trance of the Moroccan Sufi brotherhood; while from the acrobatic tradition of Tangier comes the exhortation “FIQ! Wake up!” by the Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger.

Alice Ripoll confronts the strengths and tensions of contemporary Brazil with performances “Zona Franca” and “aCORdo”, presented at Villa Medici by Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels, in partnership with the French Academy in Rome. The famous fashion house returns once again to support the notable dance section of REF2024, as well as to co-produce several different pieces (“Biped”, “Outsider”, “Close Up”) and last but not least, Robyn Orlin and Garage Desert Ensemble’s “How in salts desert is it possible to blossom…”.

Returning to the Festival with new creations are Jan Martens with “Voice Noise”, Leïla Kawith “Maldonne”, Stefania Tansini with “L’ombelico dei limbi” and Arno Schuitemaker with “30 appearances out of darkness”, while Italian duo Riva & Repele are welcomed to the REF for the first time with “Dear Son”.

The dancers of Aterballetto, directed by Choreographer Marcos Morau, position music and cinema at the heart of an homage dedicated to Maestro Ennio Morricone and to his most famous soundtracks; while ten years after its last edition, the CollettivO CineticO Company, led by Francesca Pennini, re-stages “< Age>”, a piece forged together with a cast of teenagers. 

It is with this same approach that the thirty-ninth edition of the REF continues to develop a specific focus on contemporary Italian theatre.

Elvira Frosini and Daniele Timpano, together with writer Lorenzo Pavolini, return to the Festival for the first time in the Sala Umberto (also a co-producer of the show) with “Tanti Sordi”: an insight into the inimitable figure of Alberto Sordi; Teatro Vascello, in co-creation and co-production with The Actor’s Factory, becomes the venue for Director Lisa Ferlazzo Natoli’s staging of “Uccellini” by young playwright Rosalinda Conti; Martina Badiluzzi revisits Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights”; Licia Lanera engages with Pier Vittorio Tondelli’s masterpiece “Altri Libertini”; Giorgina Pi stages “Roberto Zucco” by French playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès for the first time at the REF; Massimiliano Civicatackles Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two”; Daria Deflorian, together with actress Monica Piseddu, engages with “The Vegetarian”, a novel that established Korean writer Han Kang in the Western literary scene; while at the Mattatoio, Oscar De Summa crosses paths with quantum mechanics and emotions.

All of these trajectories are completed by the other sections of the REF which take place at the Mattatoio.
The REF HUB, thanks to a collaboration with Palaexpo, intertwines experiments and disciplines in the name of Italian pop music (LineUp!, curated by Giulia Di Giovanni and Matteo Antonaci); technological research (Digitalive, curated by Federica Patti); new European choreography (Dancing Days, curated by Francesca Manica together with the DNAppunti Coreografici and Aerowaves networks); new Italian theater (Anni Luce and Powered By REF, curated by Maura Teofili); and creations for children (Kids & Family,curated by Stefania Lo Giudice, which this year returns to the Teatro Vittoria).

The Situazione Drammatica project, conceived by Tindaro Granata and developed in the context of the festival with the National Awards Hystrio and Riccione, showcases Italian dramaturgy, while the second edition of the Silvio d’Amico Award for Directing, created by the Academy with Romaeuropa, looks to the future of writing for the stage; finally, like a hidden trail, the Ghost Track project, led by actress and author Gioia Salvatori, offers moments dedicated to writing, songwriting and extemporaneous Italian poetry, within the Maker Faire evenings.

Our partnership with the Teatro Ateneo of The Sapienza University of Rome resumes, thanks to Claudia Castellucci’s new work “Sahara”. Training and experimentation sections dedicated to students are consolidated in partnership with The National Dance Academy, The Academy of Fine Arts of Rome, RUFA, The New Academy of Fine Arts – NABA and the activities of the Design Talks project; while collaborations with the independent musical scene, such as Alcazar, Miniera, Fischio and Palazzo, continue across the city.

This edition of the Festival closes with Alva Noto and Christian Fennesz’sContinuum, an original project dedicated to the electronic experimentations of Ryuichi Sakamoto, thus concluding this year’s journey of tributes to this great artist.

Discourses, confrontations and meetings not only lie at the heart of our Festival, but genuinely make it possible. It is words and concrete actions that bring the artists’ endeavors to life, which we share with an extraordinary network of collaborators in Rome, in Italy, in Europe and in the world- a most precious and profound factor for us at this particular moment and for which we offer our sincere gratitude.

Fabrizio Grifasi
General and Artistic Director Fondazione Romauropa