Europe Theatre Prize
II edition

Taormina, 5-7 maggio 1989

Hotel S. Domenico Palace


Sala Etna


"La Critica e le Culture Europee"
Associazione Internazionale Critici di Teatro


Sala Convegno

Convegno: Peter Brook: "Dal cammino alla via"

- Michael Billington: "Brook alla Royal Shakespeare Company"
- Irving Wardle: "Brook e Shakespeare"
- Isabella Imperiali: "Il Viaggio di Lear nel film di Brook"

- Georges Banu: "La Conference des Oiseaux"
- David Williams: "Mahabharata"
- Margaret Croyden: "Le tecniche ebraiche nel Mahabharata"

ore 12.30 DIBATTITO

ore 13.30 Intervallo

- Ferruccio Marotti: "Brook come artigiano del teatro"
- John Elsom: "Obstaining for novelties"
- Peter Selem: "L'essenzializzazione del linguaggio teatrale"
- Renzo Tian: "Brook come scrittore e saggista di teatro"
- Guy Dumur: "Ce que Brook m'a apporté"
- Olivier Ortolani: "Il pubblico, il IV partner"
- Masolino D'Amico: "Brook e la drammaturgia contemporanea anglosassone"
- Guido Almansi: "La tragedie de Carmen o l'opera in miniatura"
- Maurizio Grande: "Regia come scrittura di scena"


Sala Convegno

Convegno: Peter Brook: "Dal cammino alla via"
(II parte)


John Arden, Margaretta D'Arcy, Marie-Hélène Estienne,
Jean Kalman, Jean-Guy Lecat, Alain Maratrat,
Bruce Myers, Chloe Obolenski, Yoshi Oida,
Arby Ovanessian, Andrei Serban, Raf Vallone e Glenda Jackson

ore 13.00 Intervallo

ore 15.30 Micheline Rozan: "La creazione del <<Centre International>> a Parigi"

ore 16.00 CONFERENZA
Peter Brook: "Dal cammino alla via"


Coordinatore: Georges Banu

Peter Brook, "Dal cammino alla via"

Peter Brook made his debut with the RSC as director of Love's Labours Lost at the end of the war. He had said he wanted to avoid rubbing salt on wounds, and so he chose to put on a salad-green, light-hearted play: the theatre was to heal, not hurt more.
Forty years later he finished his great project Mahabharata, in which man, having undergone the atrocities and agonies of war, finds enlightenment and serenity. For Brook's work has always sought ways to overcome evil violence and destruction. But Brook the man is not to be separatedfrom his workl: in both we find a refusal to give up, a refusal deriving from a desire to realise both himself and what he produces to the utmost. Today, Europe, by awarding him its most important theatrical prize, acknowledges how much its audience and its artists owe him.
A significant meeting opens the proceedings, a meeting between Brook and Grotowsky. At the beginning of the 60's, the one in London and the other in Opale, Poland, discovered how much they had in common and forged a link which, despite their different paths since then, has remained strong.
This link is based on the conviction that we have the capacity for self-regeneration which needs to be stimulated by every means possible into activity. Brook and Grotowski - a friendship of profound significance for the theatre.
On the second day of the proceedings, there will be a selies of talks on 'the B rook experience', with especial reference to Brook's work on Shakespeare and the actor-audience relationships he has experimented with.
The third day is dedicated to actors, authors and collabora tors who have workled, or who are still working with Brook: they will speak about what Brook has taught them in their various fields.
Europe salutes one of its Great Masters at Taormina.

Georges Banu


Sala Convegno


"Le Istituzioni teatrali europee" a cura di Renzo Tian

Le istituzioni teatrali in Europa

For some time it has been said that the unification of Europe, exposed as it is to political, economic and financial tempests, should find the weather more element on Mount Parnlassus.
A 'Europe of Many Theatres', for example, might be more accessible than a Europe of Money or Agriculture. This is certainly true from an idealistic point of view, but, strangely enough, in reality as well, especially in the theatrical field, in which the idea of cooperation is in any case fundamental.
However, the problem of 'institutions' remains wide open institutions meant as organisations 'which not only directly produce theatrical performances but also spread new ideas and share experiences. But life is already difficult for theatrical institutions already in existence: the foundations of an international one would be even more difficult.
The stakes and possible winnings are very high, however: by founding one or more playhouses where theatrical innovators at all levels can test out and compare their experiences, techniques and dreams would cost a great deal, but reap rich rewards.

Renzo Tian

Europe Theatre Prize
III edition

Taormina, 25-27 maggio 1990

Palazzo dei Congressi

Premio speciale per le nuove realtà teatrali europee
a Anatolij Vassil'ev

ore 16.00 Conferenza introduttiva
Franco Quadri (Critico La Repubblica)
Peter Brecic: "1" (Direttore Festival di Spalato)

ore 17.15 Dimostrazioni
Vassil'ev dirigerà gli attori della Scuola d'Arte Drammatica di Mosca con dimostrazioni sul metodo di lavoro e prove aperte al pubblico

ore 18.45 Incontro-dibattito con Vassil'ev
Coordinatore: Franco Quadri


If Anatolij Vassil'ev stands out in the Soviet panorama for his independence, in charge of a theatre which has opened the way wide to the experimental studies being carried out at the moment, his team of actors, often formed under his tutelage, remains stable: and to stress the importance given by the director to his "human material", we may term his group a "school". (But it is Vassil'ev 's involvement with playwrighting which really defines him, in his creative collaboration with Viktor Slatkin, in a post-Chekovian study and then in his passionate discovery of Pirandello using improvisation methods of late Stanislvskij, treating his text just like canvasses to duplicate the author's creative act. It is a procedure which, as we know, has given Six Characters (and Questa sera si recita a soggetto) a new energy beyend any kind of mummification, and a cheeky, trasgressive interpretation.
His teaching concerns, difficulties caused by the uncertainties of the Russian season in putting on proper shows, and the distractions caused by the renewal of the director's international commitments, have all converged in the last 2 year.
on his playwrighting work on literature, on his application of the method, by now consolidated not on theatrical texts but on novels by Dumas or the short stories by Maupassant, and indeed on philosophical treatises by Plato and Erasmus. He has centred on Dostoevskij, to be played in single evenings each time renewed by improvisation, but he has also given space to readings outside the theatre. In this way, the dramatisation of 4 chapters of The Demons in 4 different rooms of a flat evolved. And after 2 years' preparation, a group of pupils came together to do Vis-à-vis, extracts from Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Gambler, The Dream of a Ridiculos Man and The Adolescent, a chapter from The Brothers Karamazov...
The demonstration of work given at Taormina uses this as a starting point, organised around the contraposition of pairs of characters (Prince Myskin and Rogozin, Alyoscha and Dimitri), the art of the white contrasting with the art of the black, in an attempt to discover future directions.


EUROPE THEATER PRIZE - III edition a Giorgio Strehler
Incontro di studio sull'opera di Giorgio Strehler
a cura di Renzo Tian in collaborazione con Alessandro Martinez

ore 9.00 Relazioni
  Bernard DORT: "L'idea di regia in Strehler"
(docente Conservatoire National d'Art Dramatique e Université Paris III)
Agostino LOMBARDO:
"Strehler e Shakespeare"
(Presidente Centro Teatro Ateneo e Docente Università Roma)
Guy DUMUR: "Strehler in Francia" (Critico Nouvel Observateur)
Guido DAVICO BONINO: "Il primo Strehler e la nuova drammaturgia italiana"
(Docente Università di Torino)
"Strehler e la cultura tedesca"
(Critico Die Zeit)
Maria Grazia GREGORI:
"Strehler e la ricerca"
(Critico Unità)
Paolo Emilio POESIO:
"Itinerario cechoviano di Strehler"
(Direttore Teatro Regionale Toscano)
Renzo TIAN:
"La poetica dell'illusione"
(Presidente Associazione Nazionale Critici di Teatro - Docente Università di Roma - Critico Il Messaggero)
Odoardo BERTANI:
"Realismo e poesia nelle messinscene goldoniane"
(Critico Avvenire)

ore 12.30 Discussione

ore13.30 Intervallo

ore 15.30 Dialogo tra Giorgio Strehler e Bernard Dort

ore 17.30 Testimonianze
  coordinate da Giorgio Strehler con
Renzo Tian
Walter PAGLIARO, Lamberto PUGGELLI (Registi)


Incontro di studio sull'opera di Giorgio Strehler (II parte)

ore 9.00 Testimonianze
  Tino CARRARO, Giancarlo DETTORI, Turi FERRO, Michael HELTAU, Giulia LAZZARINI, Gianfranco MAURI, Glauco MAURI, Catherine SALVIAT, Ornella VANONI, Pamela VILLORESI (Attori) Claudio DESDERI (Cantante lirico) Fiorenzo CARPI (Compositore), Ezio FRIGERIO (Scenografo),
Nina VINCHI (Segretaria Generale Piccolo Teatro)

ore 13.30 Intervallo

ore15.30 Conferenza di Giorgio Strehler
Giorgio STREHLER e Giulia LAZZARINI leggeranno e commenteranno
momenti da "Elvira e la passione teatrale"
di Luis JOUVET

ore 17.30 Incontro-dibattito con Giorgio Strehler


"Work of Art", "Text" and "Author" are terms which in some cases it is legitimate and even necessary to use defining the end-product of the activities of a theatrical director. As writer of a Text or creator of a Work of Art. the director can in any case arrive at being an Author: Author of an organic construction, a construction horn from a project and endowed with a style.
To speak of Giorgio Strehler's work means, properly speaking to speak of his Work tout court. His Work. naturally, does not mean the simple sum of shows mounted over a period of time which by a no has lasted almost 50 years: more than in the impressiveness of its bulk. the structure of his Work must be sought in the relationships which link the various texts chosen over the years, and in the connections between these texts which have formed either spontaneously or been formed intentionally, in how they have been staged, in the choices of the actors and in the continuity sought for their work
But there is more to it than that. His Work has been "written" through another series of choices, from the choice of the initial proposal to be given to the institution for which the work is to be put on. to the choice (decisive, this) of the public, to which latter must turn, and from which one requires active participation. And the choices of the path to follow, the civic and sometimes political choices which are contained in the choices both artistic and cultural.
Strehler's Work has also been written in other inks: the ink of the actor, of the actor which Strehler was at the beginning of his career, and which he is again now, and which he has, perhaps, never stopped being. And then the ink of the theoretician. of the writer and essayist, of the teacher - which all together have made clearer and, indeed, indelible. the principal ink of the "metteur en scene".
The aim a work and study meeting dedicated to Giorgio Strehler. on the occasion of the award to him of the Europe Prize for the Theatre, ought to be the investigation of the fundamental structures of his Work. of the edifice he has built. The Work of Strehler is one of the most ample and complex that has been written in the Life and History of the post-war European theatre. It is a witness to the changes and underlying forces that emerged in this period, and also to the inventions through which tradition has been revived as a necessary foundation. To describe the rooms of what he has built and to trace the meaning of his architecture means not only and not so much defining that "role of the director" which has been discussed innumerable times: it means rather, discovering that at the base of that exalted yet much-discussed role there lies. in some cases as rare as they are decisive, the role of Author.

Renzo Tian

Europe Theatre Prize
IV edition

Taormina, 9 - 11 dicembre 1994

Palazzo dei Congressi


IV edition a Heiner Müller
"Heiner Müller - dentro e fuori il testo, dentro e fuori la scena, dentro e fuori la Germania"
Coordinamento Franco QUADRI

ore l6.00-19.00 (Sala B)
Incontro di studio sull'opera di Heiner Müller
Moderatore Franco Quadri
"Il caso Müller, tra la scolastica e il grottesco"
- Hans-Thiés LEHMANN e Franco QUADRI
"La collaborazione tra Heiner Müller e Bob Wilson".
- Robert WILSON "Lavorare con Müller e su Müller"
- Saverio VERTONE "Il salto del Muro"
- Anna NOGARA, Lettura da "QUARTETT"
- Colette GODARD "Müller in Francia, tendenze e influenze"
- Erich WONDER, Testimonianza
- Titina MASELLI, Testimonianza
- Federico TIEZZI, Testimonianza
- Hans-Thiés LEHMANN
"L'ombra degli spettri"
- Gianfranco CAPITTA Comunicazione
- Theodoros TERZOPOULOS, Testimonianza
- Alla DEMIDOVA, Lettura da "QUARTETT"
"Uno sconosciuto per l'Est"


ore 10.00 (Sala B)
Incontro di studio sull'opera di Heiner Müller (II parte)
Moderatore Renzo Tian
"L'eredità di Brecht e i testi politici"
- Wolfgang STORCH "Il modello di una lingua"
- Martin WUTTKE, Lettura di "AJAX ZUM BEISPIEL"
- Pasquale GALLO "DDR pallida madre (drammaturgia e provocazione)"
- Roberto GUCCIARDINI, Testimonianza
- Michel DEZOTEUX, Testimonianza
- Giorgio MANACORDA,
"Quando Müller si mette la maschera"
- Karlheinz BRAUN, Comunicazione
- Helena VAROPOULOU "Sotto il peso dei classici"
- Elio DE CAPITANI, Testimonianza
- Peter KAMMERER, "Con Müller in Sicilia"
- Federico TIEZZI, Lettura "IL PADRE"
- Giuliano SCABIA, "Solo il teatro salverà il mondo"

ore 16.00 (Sala B)
Incontro di studio sull'opera di Heiner Müller
Moderatore Jean, JOURDHEIL
- Matthias LANGHOFF - Relazione
- Renzo TIAN "Müller teorico del teatro"
- Manlio SGALAMBRO "Alcune riflessioni sul teatro"
- Jean-Francois PEYRET, "Müller antiaristotelico?"
- Renato PALAZZI, Comunicazione
- Christoph RUETER, Comunicazione
- Franco QUADRI "Qualche messinscena, per esempio"
- Joseph SZEILER, Testimonianza
- Stephan SUSCHKE, Testimonianze
- Graziella GALVANI, Lettura di "AJAX ZUM BEISPIEL"

Intervento di HEINER MÜLLER
Domande o repliche


Does a Müller case exist? Of course it does. There are a lot of Heiner's faces showing themselves in the theatrical works and in the stage, by writing poetries and theaching politics in the critical essays interviews, autobiographical science, history readings, and in his various activities where the public in mixed with the private just for the vocation to push itself coherently towards the most paradoxal prospectives.
One of the face of the "case" is represented by the out of position compared to the convenction of all his work, from the corner of the themes to the different possibility of the reading, from the
originality of the form to the transversality of the genres.
His dramatic writing during the years more and more marries in to poetic one, the political entrance to other though system, while the texts structure replaces the lyric monologue or the poem in more voices with a traditional breath.
The anomaly of the literary man is fully reflected in a vision which allows him to remain free also during the dictatorships, starting point of the subjects about the working world seems to leave the place at the experimentation with an energetic fulfilment of the didactic theatre from the East and from the West, while the influence of the classics in transmitted from the adaptation to the independent composition.
At the same time the inheritance of the ancients is studied because it allows the playwright - of international performances, personal festivals, meetings, publications, while he saw his own authority to increase together with his public responsability, from the direction of the Akademie der Kunst to he leadership of the Berliner Ensemble, when, notwithstanding the choice for Ddr, he had two countries to which he can give or impose his conscience: then he was defined a post-German and someone announces his breakdown together to the falling of Berlin wall.
But from that event Müller has never stopped to be an object more than other world installs himself in the place where Brecht had rejected him to throw his image again as a heretic and to perpetuate through their relationship of attraction-repulsion towards the teacher.
The Müller case is explicit in the abdication of the playwriht from the theatrical writing into his incapacity to tell the foiling of the socialist empire, after many years spent to analize, among the ruins of Europe, the German uneasiness.
But the writer was conspicuons for his walking towards the aphasia, thanks to his growing of words in his fragments.
And then he uses those fragments always in unpublished combination, renewing the meaning and the strenght.
Now starting from those of three years ago, the present meeting, wants to propose again the questions mentioned before and celebrate the writer just out of a bad illnesses with the most important European Prize for the Theatre.
For this occasion some scientific communications, critical subjects, theatrical evidences, readings, videos in the meeting of a group of his friends charmed by his intelligence.
Franco Quadri

Europe Theatre Prize
V edition

Taormina, 3-6 gennaio 1997

Palazzo dei Congressi

Venerdì 3 Gennaio (Sala B)


a cura di Georges Banu
G. BANU, Fare e vedere teatro: un'azione indivisibile
M. KLEIN, Il teatro degli altri: apertura e integrazione
J.J. HOCQUARD, Armand Gatti figura esemplare per il lavoro in ambienti non
H.T. LEHMANN, Un lavoro a tre: teatro-università-ospedale
M.H. VAROPOULOU, Argos: un festival integrato al tessuto sociale della regione

Sabato 4 Gennaio (Sala B)

ore 9.30 Convegno (II parte)
S. GEORGE, Fare teatro nelle periferie della città moderna
I. HERBERT, Pratica del teatro e dell'opera inglesi in ambienti non teatrali
E. DONATO, Il teatro dei ragazzi e per i ragazzi: esperienza siciliana
D. LUKIC, Sarajevo: il teatro durante la guerra
P. DUMOULIN, Esperienze belghe in ambiente carcerario
Interventi liberi


Having lost its centrality within the city, the theatre felt constantly threatened. One of the first signs of this disquiet was the incessant perception that audiences were deserting the playhouses.
The theatre found it arduous to adapt to a condition of active minority within the urban fabric, however it may have been just this immediate contact with the territory that enabled it to regain its legitimacy. Today the problem of the audience is foremost. But not in terms of numbers or new.
strategies of communication - not solely a question of swelling audiences, but rather of establishing a new mode of " acting" to reach diverse spectators. The issue is very delicate and requires great caution if one is not to be infatuated by fleeting fantasies or extemporaneous responses. The Colloquium unites critics, theory experts or field researchers from numerous European nations to report their experiences and put forward a series of inescapable queries on work in specific human conglomerates. Prisons, hospital, Orphanages.
The search for non theatre places conducted by the theatre of the 1960s and 70s corresponds with the manifold present day actions in non theatre environments. The theatre has skilfully used its experience "to counterbalance the loss of its aesthetic status with the capacity to recuperate new graces by ingeniously juxtaposing seeing and acting in environments where hitherto no one could have fore seen its appearance.

George Banu

Sabato 4 Gennaio e Domenica 5 Gennaio (Sala B)

  Racconta il tuo Wilson oppure Raccontiamo il nostro Bob
a cura di Franco Quadri
Roberto Andò, Mel Andringa, Georges Banu, Franco Bertoni, Michael Billington,
Achille Bonito Oliva, Tatiana Boutrova, Germano Celant, Philippe Chemin,
Lucinda Childs, Marie Collin, Andy De Groat, Maita Di Niscemi, Charles Fabius,
Bernard Faivre D'Arcier, Frederic Ferney, Colette Godard, Nele Hertling,
Jeremy Kingston, Renate Klett, Christopher Knowles, Franco Laera, Hans-Thiés
Lehmann, José Monleon, Odile Quirot, Miranda Richardson, Gordon Rogoff,
Dominique Sanda, Luigi Settembrini, Theodoros Terzopoulos, Valentina Valentini,
Helena Varopoulou, Dario Ventimiglia, Barbara Villiger Heilig e Ann Wilson.

Incontro con ROBERT WILSON

Racconta il tuo Wilson oppure Raccontiamo il nostro Bob.

Racconta il tuo Wilson oppure Raccontiamo il nostro Bob.
This will be the topic of the two days' meeting and speaking, which in the sign of the memory, will gather up a lot of international drama critics and people who support Wilson, not just fans, but also members of the team of such an important artist, who since his beginning, at the Festival of Nancy in 1971, has been working in various artistic fields and always at the highest level. During these years Wilson has discovered talented young people, who every time have become stars of the theatre or music, and as it rarely happens in these fields, he has succeeded in having lasting friendship with them.
Without following any order, at our last moment recall, in spite of the Christtmas holidays, have answered a lot of important critics, actors, directors, musicians, playwriters, scenographers, designers, producers, promoters who have joined in the most informal and direct way the same experience of Wilson.
We have already asked each of them to fix a particular moment which concerns Wilson: a piece of performance, a workshop, a simple human meeting, to put together the real portrait of a lively artist. Instead Wilson, who has already been in Taormina at the "tribute" of the Europe Prize of the Theatre for Heiner Müller seriously ill, we are going to ask a memory about the person who helped him to grow up as an artist and today he is not here to participate at his award.

Franco Quadri

Europe Theatre Prize
VI edition

Taormina, 17 - 19 aprile 1998

Palazzo dei Congressi

Venerdì 17 Aprile e Sabato 18 Aprile

(sala B)

Incontro dibattito: SPETTACOLO DAL VIVO:

in collaborazione con Association Internationale des Critiques de Théâtre e Federfestival con il patrocinio dell'Agis e l'adesione dell'Eti
coordina Georges Banu
musiche di Hans Peter Kuhn
esclusiva europea


Within the framework of the Giornate del Premio Europa per il Teatro, the AICT, the Comitato Taormina Arte and the Federfestival are presenting a meeting/debate entitled "Spettacolo dal vivo: informazione, critica, istituzione" (Live Theatre: Information, the Critics, the Institutions) coordinated by Georges Banu. The event is also under the aegis of the AGIS (Associazione Generale Italiana dello Spettacolo), which will present a recent study on the subject for debate.
The ETI (Ente Teatro Italiano) will also lend its support. Federfestival, on the other hand, intends to hold a debate on the function of the press with regard to live theatre, which requires not only contributions, but also information and critiques. Live theatre, in the most elevated sense, should also be treated as a cultural heritage by the media which, among other things, receive public financing.
This time it is not a question of re-examining the critic's role in general, nor of contesting tire alarming reduction in the space assigned to critics by the various media. Our aim is a different one. It concerns, let us say, something vital to the world of theatre. With the means at their disposal, critics inform, defend and contest; they make their voice heard by tire public but also make their presence felt in the upper echelons of theatre. The complex interaction between critics and tire institutions should always be born in mind and, in deed, never forgotten. What is the relationship between information given to the public and the institutions, which are also public? What part do the critics play in this dialogue on which decisions regarding cultural policy, amounts of financing and types of intervention, sometimes depend? Do those in power listen to the critics or mistrust them, or do they simply continue to set up their own committees of experts and to set themselves up as judges and decision makers? It is this exchange, this interplay of opposing forces and power that we should be discussing. What kind of strategies does it generate? What kind of misunderstandings does it provoke? What kind of traps does it set? Is it a source of danger? Can it provide support? The subject of this debate raises a lot of questions, thus demonstrating, as Brecht would say, that it is a "good subject"? Let's take it up! In the belief that, as Oriental wisdom teaches us, there can be no answers without questions.

Georges Banu

Sabato 18 Aprile e Domenica 19 aprile

(sala B)


progetto e conduzione a cura di Franco Quadri con la partecipazione di: Miriam Acevedo, Cesare Annibaldi, Gae Aulenti,
Mauro Avogadro, Alessandro Baricco, Mario Bortolotto, Gianfranco Capitta, Roberta Carlotto, Annabella Cerliani, Jovan Cirillov, Luciano Damiani, Carlo Diappi, Piero Di Iorio, Claire Duhamel, Marisa Fabbri, José Maria Flotats, Dionissis Fotopoulos, Enrico Ghezzi, Nunzi Gioseffi,
Remo Girone, Maria Grazia Gregori, Annamaria Guarnieri, Judith Holzmeister,
Peter Kammerer, Jean Pierre Leonardini, Gianni Manzella, Vera Marzot, Mariangela
Melato, Anna Nogara, Franca Nuti, Umberto Orsini, Corrado Pani, Walter Pedullà,
Margherita Palli, Massimo Popolizio, Paolo Radaelli, Sergio Rossi, Franco
Ruggeri, Luigi Squarzina, Antonio Syxty, Paolo Terni, Renzo Tian, Victoria Zinny.

Incontro con LUCA RONCONI


In his forty-five years in the theatre and thirty-five as a director, Luca Ronconi has directed over one hundred and thirty shows; comedies; tragedies; dramas; operas; literary works; texts from every era, in every style; classical and innovative works; repertory and revival, in vastly different settings, languages and countries, in the theatre and in the open air. He has also adapted novels and created theatre workshops and drama courses, inspired a host of actors and technicians, and obtained the collaboration of intellectuals and artists in other fields, during an extremely long and wide-ranging career that is almost impossible to "classify". But in these manifold works, which have engraved on our memory a remarkably colourful panorama of scenes and faces, a never-ending concert of sounds, words and gestures - while their creator continually evolved and surpassed himself every time, never allowing himself to be pigeonholed as he constantly strove to find new ways of communicating - is it possible to identify the method that the coherence and discipline of a consummate director would indicate exists, but whose unrelenting desire to reinvent himself would appear to deny?
Crowds of actors - not only Italian - from established collaborators to more recent ones, drama-school graduates, scenographers, architects, composers, choreographers, costume designers, organisers, light designers, technicians, fellow directors, writers, translators, dramatists, critics, intellectuals, and fellow travellers, have gathered here to pay tribute to a maestro and a friend, but also to answer the above question, going back with him through the labyrinth of creation, reliving rehearsals, exchanging emotions, meditating on discoveries and problems, remembering forgotten episodes or projects that were shelved, putting questions to this great director, in an attempt to find the key, the unifying element, in his way of creating theatre that goes beyond the barriers of time.

Franco Quadri

Europe Theatre Prize
VII edition

Taormina, 6-7-8-9 maggio 1999

Palazzo dei Congressi

Giovedi 6 e Venerdi 7

Sala B

Esempi di nuova drammaturgia europea proposti
dalla Giuria del Premio Europa:
Albania Diana Çuli (autore); Bosnia-Erzegovina Dzevad Karahasan (autore), Turtko Kulenovic (docente universitario); Croazia Lada Kastelan (autore), Asilija Srnec-Todorovic (autore); Francia Micheline e Lucien
Attoun (direttori Théâtre Ouvert), Georges Banu,
Robert Cantarella (regista), Noëlle Renaude
(autore); Germania Manfred Beilharz (direttore
Schauspiel Bonn, Bonner Biennale), Jens Hillje
(dramaturg, direttore artistico Baracke), Thomas
Ostermeier (regista, direttore artistico Baracke);
Italia Ruggero Cappuccio (autore, regista), Franco
Quadri (critico La Repubblica), Spiro Scimone
(autore); Iugoslavia Radoslav Pavlovic (autore);
Russia Nikolai Kolyada (autore), Tatiana
Proskournikova (studiosa e critica di teatro);
Spagna Josè Monleon, Borja Ortiz de Gondra (autore)

Esempi di nuova drammaturgia europea proposti dalla Giuria del Premio Europa

La scrittura, posta in gioco
della scena a moderna:

For some time now a change has been taking shape in Europe: hopes for renewal are increaingly placed on writing: It is writing that disturbs and engages in the most direct dialogue with the world, it is writing that provides the energy necessary for any great transfarmation. Writing attacks the limits of theatre and communicates with reality, it has become the driving force behind contemporary drama: Bodies like the Royal Court in England and the Theatre Ouvert in France have long been devoting their attention to the emergence of new writing talents. On the other hand - and this is a significant symptom - the desire to write for the stage is growing among the younger generations in Europe. This confirms the importance of the shift that has occurred.
Another phenomenon is the decline in the stability of long-established roles in the production of drama, and the fact that there is a return of the figure of the playwright-director, a figure that was once common. The purpose is to reunite two branches that are generally separate and make them work together.
The impact of contemporary writing makes the theatre a workshop of language: a workshop that records the present up heavals and tensions in the language, though at the same time preserving it. Theatre uses the instrument of the changing language in order to carry out what we might call active conservation. In this way, it aims to safeguard that which forms the nudeus of Western theatre. With the European Prize for New Drama we intend to honour the art of writing for the theatre, and thanks to the exponents of European drama present at this meeting, called for by the Jury, we can obtain a detailed picture of the changes that have taken place. It is also a way to remind ourselves that there are new writers and that the duty of the theatre, now more than ever, is to allow them to be heard. As soon as possible, without delay.

Georges Banu

Venerdi 7

Sala B
Di scena il Royal Court

incontro con il Royal Court Theatre
a cura di Michael Billington
partecipano: Susanna Clapp (critico The Observer),
Stephen Daldry (regista, direttore RC), Elyse Dodgson
(direttore associato RC, direttore del dipartimento
internazionale), Jens Hillje, Jeremy Kingston
(critico The Times), James Macdonald (regista,
direttore associato RC), Barbara Nativi (regista,
direttore artistico Intercity Festival), Thomas Ostermeier,
Rebecca Prichard (autore), Ian Rickson (regista,
direttore artistico RC), Max Stafford-Clark (regista,
direttore associato RC), Paul Taylor (critico The
Independent), Graham Whybrow (literary manager RC)

Proiezione Arena Theatre/Royal Court, 1976, 33'
Omnibus/Royal Court Diaries, 1996, 56'

Di scena il Royal Court (II parte)
scene da Shopping and Fucking
di Mark Ravenhill, regia di Max Stafford-Clark
Una coproduzione Royal Court/Out-of-Joint
Mojo di Jez Butterworth, regia di Ian Rickson
con Kate Ashfield, Pearce Quigley, Nicolas Tennant
lettura in italiano di brani da Attempts on her Life di Martin Crimp
con Silvia Guidi, Fabio Mascagni, Barbara Nativi

Royal Court

On May 8, 1956 the Royal Court Theatre in London presented a new play by an unknown 26-year-old writer: Look Back in Anger by John Osborne. That play, dealing with the anger and frustration of modern youth, became a landmark in post-war British drama: In the intervening 43 years - to the exact day - the English Stage Company at the Royal Court has produced, literally, hundreds of new plays. It has also become a symbol throughout the world, of a theatre in which acting, direction and design exist to serve the writer. The Royal Court has been often imitated. It has rarely been surpassed.
There are many landmarks in the Royal Court's history: battles with the theatrical censor over Edward Bond's Saved in 1965; the opening of a second space, the Theatre Upstairs, in 1969; the appearance of great actors such as Olivier, Gielgud and Richardson in new work. The Royal Court has consciously fostered the development of work by women writers and ethnic minorities. Since 1994 it has also discovered a vibrant new generation of dramatist whose work has caused schock-waves throughout Europe and the world: among them the late Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill, Conor McPherson, Martin McDonagh, Jez Butterworth and Rebecca Prichard. For the past two years the Royal Court has been working in temporary homes in London's West End. In the autumn of 1999 it moves back into its refurbished, historic theatre in Sloane Square. But its policy remains exactly the same as when George Devine first created the English Stage Company in 1956: to place the writer at the centre ofthe theatrical experience.

Michael Billington

Sabato 8

Sala B
L'Arte dell'Attore
dibattito organizzato
dall'Union des Théâtres de l'Europe modera Michael Billington (critico The Guardian),
partecipano: Erland Josephson (attore Kungliga
DramatiskaTeatern, Stoccolma), Luca Ronconi
(direttore Piccolo Teatro, Milano), Lev Dodin
(direttore Maly Teatr, Sanpietroburgo), Georges Lavaudant (direttore OdéonThéâtre, Parigi), Thomas Ostermeier Gábor Zsámbéki (direttore Katona, presidente UTE)


The UTE organises regular international meetings attended by theatre people who, although they come from different countries and cultural backgrounds, share the same concerns.
Over the years, we have tacked various themes such as: "The Training of the Actor" (Piccolo Teatro, October 1990), "The Theatre and Audio-visual Means" (Odéon - Paris, October 1991), "Theatre and Theatregoers" (Piccolo Teatro, November 1994), "Art and Conflict - The Artistic Process between Sleep and Wakefulness" (Odéon, Institut de France Paris, May 1997).
The UTE also organises more restricted debates in the context of its General Assemblies (the debate on "Theatre Scheduling", for example, held in November 1998 in Stockholm).
For our 20th General Assembly, which will take place in Taormina on 8th and 9th May 1999, we have chosen to discuss "The Art of the Actor" Or, to be more exact, the changes that have taken place in acting in the last few decades. Actors today clearly do not act as they did ten or twenty years ago. Why? Is it due to the influence of cinema or of tv? And what does theatre gain or lose as a result of these changes?
Do they lead to modifications in the staging of plays, and if so, in what way? We have invited some of our friends - directors from different generations and a great actor - to help us answer these questions, in the course of a debate chaired by Michael Billington, the Guardian drama critic.
The participants are- Erland Josephson (Sweden), Lev Dodin (Russia), Georges Lavaudant (France), Thomas Ostermeier (Germany) and Gabor Zsmbéki (Hungary).
The debate will be followed by an open discussion.

Ell Malka

Sabato 8 e Domenica 9

Sala B
Sulle tracce di Pina

Incontro Internazionale su Pina Bausch e
il Tanztheater Wuppertal
introduzione di Franco Quadri, modera Leonetta Bentivoglio
partecipano: Bob Wilson (regista), Leoluca Orlando (sindaco Comune di Palermo), Pina Bausch e Palermo; Norbert Servos (drammaturgo, co-fondatore di Ballet International, saggista), On fear, on love; Bartabas (regista Théâtre Zingaro); Akira Asada (docente Università di Osaka), Infrared-Emotional Machine of Pina Bausch; Francesco Giambrone (assessore alla
Cultura Comune di Palermo), A proposito di Palermo Palermo; Ronald Kay (scrittore), L'udito sotto il dettato della voce; Marinella Guatterini (critico l'Unità), Comporre e scomporre:
le musiche di Pina; Elisa Vaccarino (critico RAI SAT, Il Giorno),
Ifigenia a Torino; Michel Bataillon (drammaturgo Théâtre
National Populaire Villeurbanne), Pina Bausch in Francia;
Gianfranco Capitta (critico Il Manifesto, direttore Orestiadi Gibellina), Falsche Bewegung: Pina nelle città; Mark Jonkers
(direttore del balletto della Komische Oper), On politics and policy for dance; Savitry Nair (danzatrice), Pina Bausch e l'India; Sergio Trombetta (critico La Stampa), I sette peccati capitali; Christopher Bowen (critico The Scottish Time, Sunday Time), Yes, But What Does It All Mean?; Franco Bolletta (direttore Festival di Nervi), Pina Bausch aVenezia; Renate Klett (critico Theaterheute), Le prove di Kontakthof

Domenica 9

Sala B
Sulle tracce di Pina
(II parte)
modera Norbert Servos, partecipano:
Bernard Faivre D'Arcier (direttore Festival d'Avignon);
Mechthild Grossmann (attrice Tanztheater Wuppertal),
When an actrice met a choreographer; Ivan Nagel
(docente università di Berlino); Eriko Kusuta (scrittrice)
Pina Bausch's white pencil with eraser; Leonetta Bentivoglio (giornalista La Repubblica, saggista), Geografie mobili e rivendicazioni del corpo; Maria Joao Seixas (scrittrice, giornalista), Pina Bausch sacerdotessa della vita come performing art; Matthias Schmiegelt (direttore amministrativo Tanztheater Wuppertal), L'organizzazione del Tanztheater Wuppertal e la sua evoluzione; Malou Airaudo (danzatrice Tanztheater Wuppertal); Thomas Erdos (consulente artistico); Donya Feuer (regista - coreografa
Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern Stoccolma), 51West 19th
Street; Dominique Mercy (danzatore Tanztheater Wuppertal);
Helena Pikon (danzatrice Tanztheater Wuppertal);
Werner Schroeter (regista); Matthias Burkert (responsabile delle musiche Tanztheater Wuppertal); Julie Shanahan (danzatrice Tanztheater Wuppertal)

Sulle tracce di Pina (III parte)
Piera Degli Esposti (attrice), Letture per Pina; Savitry
Nair (danzatrice), Omaggio a Pina Bausch
attraverso la danza indiana; Peter Esterhazy (scrittore),
The Miraculous Life of the Laudator

Incontro con Pina Bausch

Incontro Internazionale su Pina Bausch e il Tanztheater Wuppertal

Pina Bausch is not merely the greatest choreographer of our times.
Although dance is her point of departure, the first step on her journey towards the achievement of "total" theatre, her radius of expressive and communicative action, she goes well beyond the specific language of dance. She has invented a "new genre known as dance-theatre, whose original roots she has completely revolutionised. Pina Bausch is an author in the strongest and broadest meaning of the term. She is the creator of a world of total originality, in terms of figurative expression, dramaturgy, directing, choreography and music. In this dimension, dance takes on such an unusual meaning that it can have no reference but to itself, beyond references to schools, disciplines and techniques.
Disdaining "objective" beauty of form and typical aesthetic aspects of ballet paradises, by means of the excellent dancers from her Tanztheater Wuppertal, Pina Bausch has constructed a sense of theatre which genuinely talks about us. It makes references to our sentiments, anger and power-games, the world of dreams and the mysteries of childhood, as well as the obsessions which may apply to all of us. She involves us in the difficulty of loving and understanding each other, the fear of solitude, the horror of violence and domination. She has thus accumulated a huge repertoire of shows in the course of 25 years of work- generous poetic frescoes, constantly surprising worlds, which nevertheless refer to our time and the genuine nucleus of experience.
This perspective has made its mark on the western scene, pushing back the barriers of contemporary theatre and dance. The very density, uniqueness and multiplicity of her levels of expression, the difficulty of defining of her method of construction means that it is very hard to pigeon-hole her work, which remains elusive. Yet it is this that hides the price of its power. The vitality of the object defines traditional conceptual schemes.
Hence, following Pina - and her work as author - necessarily means following her tracks without aiming to produce a definitive or complete profile of her. It means sounding-out friends and admirers, collaborators old and new; different kinds of colleagues (directors, choreographers and dancers), organisers and producers, fellow adventurers from different periods and of course, the writers, scholars and critics who have most closely followed her career. We elicit their comments about the rehearsal process, for statements about periods in her career as author and invite sincere, documented attempts to analyse her shows. This will once again lead to the endless series of questions which can be asked about the incredible body of her contemporary and "classic" work, which manages to defy time, fashion and the predictability of conventions.

Europe Theatre Prize
VIII edition

Taormina, 6-7-8-9 aprile 2000

Venerdì 7

Palazzo dei Congressi, Sala B

ore 10,00 Premio Europa Nuove Realtà Teatrali
incontro con il Theatergroep Hollandia
a cura di Arthur Sonnen
Coordina Luk Vanden Dries (Università di Antwerp)
Partecipano: Tom Blokdijk (dramaturg), Paul Koek (direttore artistico e musicale), Hein Janssen (Volkskrant Amsterdam), Henk Oosterling (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Gerald Sigmund (Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung), Johan Simons (direttore artistico), Arthur Sonnen (Theaterfestival, Amsterdam), Helena Varopoulou (Università di Atene), Jeroem Willems (attore).
ore 12,30 Premio Europa Nuove Realtà Teatrali
incontro con Thomas Ostermeier
Partecipano: Jens Hillije, Marius von Mayemburg e gli attori dello spettacolo "Gier"

Sabato 8

Palazzo dei Congressi, Sala B

ore 9,30 Premio Speciale al Bitef.
Incontro con Jovan Cirillov,
direttore del Bitef di Belgrado.
Partecipano: Nedad Prokic e Biljana Srbljanovic.
ore 11,00 Incontro: Peter Brook e l'Africa,
(dalla creazione del Cirt fino ad oggi),
partecipano: Marie Hélène Estienne
(collaboratrice di Peter Brook e adattatrice
di Le Costume) e Bakary Sangaré (attore),
a cura di Georges Banu.

ore 13,00 Premio Europa Nuove Realtà Teatrali
incontro con la Socíetas Raffaello Sanzio
a cura di Franco Quadri.


Domenica 9

Palazzo dei Congressi, Sala B

ore 9,30 Menzione Speciale a Ibrahim Spahic'.
Incontro con Ibrahim Spahic' e il Quartetto d'Archi di Sarajevo
a cura di Josè Monleon. Proiezione video.

ore 11,00 Europe Theatre Prize :

"La fucina di un teatro necessario".
Convegno su Lev Dodin, a cura di Franco Quadri (I parte).
Partecipano: Elena Sergueevna Alekseeva (critico), Inna Natanovna Bazilevskaya (critico), Michael Billington (critico The Guardian), David Borovski (scenografo), Friel Brian (autore), Gianfranco Capitta (critico Il Manifesto), Martin Dewhirst (Università di Glasgow), Declan Donellan (regista), Svetlana Vladimirovna Druzhinina (editore),Veniamin Filshtinsky (Accademia teatrale San Pietroburgo), Valerii Galendeev (Accademia di Teatro di San Pietroburgo), Ninel Chasbulatovna Ismailova (critico), Renate Klett (critico), Serguei Kourychev (attore), Eduard Kotcergin (scenografo), Alan Lyddiard (regista), Tostern Mass (Berliner Festspiele), Cesare Mazzonis (direttore Teatro Comunale Firenze), Kirsikka Moring (Critico Helsingin Sanomat), Vladimir Dmitrievich Savitskii (critico), Peter Semak (attore), Oleg Mikhailovich Serdobolskii (giornalista), Mikhail Shvidkoi (Ministro della cultura), Anatolii Mironovich Smelianski (critico), Patrick Sommier (produttore), Mikhail Stronin (Maly Drama Theatre).

incontro con LEV DODIN


"La fucina di un teatro necessario"
La radiografia di una carriera, impostata nel periodo più stagnante della storia dell'Unione Sovietica nell'intento di contestarlo con passione e maturata nelle successive fasi del cambiamento lavorando in tournée a stretto contatto con la scena occidentale, è di per sé un'operazione complessa che sarà sottoposta, nei tempi concisi accordati al Convegno, a punti di vista divergenti e complementari tesi a sottolineare via via l'impostazione artistica e politica del lavoro di Lev Dodin dai suoi inizi alla rifondazione del Teatro Malij, le tecniche coinvolgenti la formazione, l'integrazione tra diverse generazioni di attori, l'approccio a testi classici in modo nuovo e il confronto con opere contemporanee, ma soprattutto l'intensa attività di teatralizzazione della narrativa e l'elaborazione di un proprio modo di scrittura scenica in mesi di lavoro, rifacendosi ai maestri della scuola russa e integrandone l'insegnamento.
Saranno certamente illuminanti a questo proposito - prima di arrivare alle conclusioni di Dodin, che è un intellettuale e uno studioso prima ancora che un teatrante volto alla pratica - le testimonianze dei suoi compagni d'esperienza, dal suo consigliere e dramaturg Michail Stronin ai colleghi nell'insegnamento, ad attori come Peter Semak e Tatiana Toumanova, al suo staff più legato al procedere giornaliero, ma anche a due grandi della scenografia russa che con Dodin hanno collaborato magistralmente, come David Borovskij e Eduard Kotcergin.
Ma non si potrà ignorare il contributo di un ministro della cultura fuori dal comune essendosi anche distinto per l'acutezza di critico militante quale Michail Shvidkoij, o luminari della critica russa del peso di Anatolij Smelianskij, a confronto con le voci dei recensori europei, di autori della portata di Friel, di direttori di festival, che più direttamente all'estero hanno assistito all'arricchirsi dell'avventura internazionale di un regista, di una compagnia e di un teatro con il loro stimolo. Perché la grandezza del Malij sta in una trasformazione compiuta dagli anni '80 a oggi europeizzando la propria struttura col mantenersi fedelissimo ai propri principi che hanno alla base la necessità del fare teatro e la sua adesione artigianale alla quotidianità come ai tempi e nelle idealità degli storici maestri.

Franco Quadri

Europe Theatre Prize
IX edition

Taormina, 5-6-7-8 aprile 2001

Palazzo dei Congressi

Venerdi 6

sala B
Conferenza-incontro con Heiner Goebbels
a cura di Renate Klett (Critico). Partecipano: Stephan Buchberger (Drammaturgo Max Black), Hans Burkhard Schlichting (Drammaturgo Radio Drama SWR Baden-Baden), Helga Finter (Studiosa di Teatro), René Gonzales (Sovrintendente Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne), Hans-Thies Lehmann (Università di Francoforte), David Moss (Cantante e percussionista), Gerald Siegmund (Critico-Studioso di Teatro), Helene Varopoulos (Università di Atene), André Wilms (Attore-Regista).

Sabato 7 aprile

sala B
Conferenza-incontro con Alain Platel
A cura di Jean Marc Adolphe (Critico - Direttore Théâtre de la Bastille)
Partecipano: Silvia Bonucci (Interprete), Guy Cools (Direttore Centre d'Arts Vooruit), Bernard Faivre D'Arcier (Direttore Festival d'Avignone), Fabrizio Grifasi (Dir. Fondazione Roma Europa), Frie Leysen (Direttrice Kunste Festival des Arts - Bruxelles), Christoph Marthaler (Regista - Direttore Schauspielhaus Zurigo), Michael Morris (Direttore Art Angel), Monique Veaute (Direttore Fondazione Roma Europa).

Sabato 7 e Domenica 8

sala B
Michel Piccoli ovvero il viaggio a doppio senso: teatro-cinema
convegno su Michel Piccoli coordinato da Georges Banu (Direttore artistico Académie Expérimentale des Thèâtres - Presidente Association International des Critiques de Thèâtre) e Serge Toubiana (Editore e Critico, ex-Direttore Cahiers du Cinéma). Partecipano: Humbert Balsan (Produttore), Jane Birkin (Attrice), Dominique Blanc (Attrice), Marcel Bluwal (Regista), Luc Bondy (Direttore Wiener Festwochen-Regista), Pascal Bonitzer (Regista), Marcel Bozonnet (Direttore Conservatoire National Superieur d'Art Dramatique), Jean-Claude Carrière (Scrittore), Jérôme Clément (Presidente ARTE), Alain Crombecque (Direttore Festival d'Automne), Peter Del Monte (Regista), Armelle Héliot (Critico), Michelle Kokosowski (Direttrice Académie Expérimentale des Thèâtres) Laurence Liban (Critico), Claude Mouriéras (Regista), Tatiana Proskournikova (Critico), Michel Vaïs (Segretario Generale AICT - Radio Canada).


Michel Piccoli
a dual career: theatre-cinema

Wim Wenders used to say that only in the cinema can we see an actor both when he is young and at the end of his career. These two moments coexist on screen, but never on stage. This thought means that we have to watch a great theatre actor with particular attention, since we are destined to preserve that memory. We are responsible for its living on as a legacy. And one day, like now, we spectators will be called upon to bring alive the memories of those performances that form our theatrical "biography".
We cannot discuss the work of an actor before having seen "the flower" of his art, as the Japanese master Zeami once said. So what is the use of talking about an experience that has been denied to others, to those who are younger? Is it only a means of leafing through the various chapters of a spectator's memory that can only communicate with similar memories? No, because speaking about an actor also means referring to his attitude towards his work and the world, ethics and commitment, his colleagues and the public. This is all that we can communicate to others to reveal an actor's identity. The rest is only autobiographical memory, and requires that talent for evocation that only story-tellers or writers possess. How can one express in words that extraordinary emotion experienced in those rare moments when an actor is completely in the part, when his art seems to be the expression of a better life?
In spite of the difficulties, one has to accept this encounter with a great actor's experiences. It is a challenge that must be faced if we are to recreate the image of an artist who has eliminated the frontiers between the arts and nations; Michel Piccoli is the protagonist of an ongoing journey between theatre and cinema, the same journey that leads him from one Mediterranean country to another. Here we are concerned with showing the role his art has played in normalizing the relationship between screen and stage. He occupies the space in between, where dialogue is interwoven.
After a brilliant debut with Jean Villar, who is still a legend in French theatre, Michel Piccoli gave a memorable performance as Don Giovanni in the television film directed by Marcel Bluwal. He returned to the stage to work with the leading directors in European theatre: Peter Brook, Klaus Michael Grüber, Patrice Chéreau, Luc Bondy and Robert Wilson. He has always given everything to each performance, and been prepared to totally immerse himself in the character. He has always succeeded in remaining "open".

This will mainly be a meeting of theatre and film people, a means of becoming familiar with the personality of this consummate actor. Afterwards, Michel Piccoli will discuss with Serge Toubiana and Georges Banu, his twofold experience that combines theatre and cinema; an experience he has always approached with confidence, as if it were a game. Predictable careers and long-term plans are an anathema to Michel Piccoli, who is the magnetic force that acts on these two closely-related arts. He has always placed his trust in the characters he has to play and the words he has to communicate. In this sense, he is (let's say it !) a "humanist artist".
There will be a screening of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard directed by Peter Brook, in which Piccoli gives one of his finest theatrical performances: Gaev, the brother, who to defend his own childhood relinquishes the garden, symbolic of a past and a class that is disappearing. The film screenings will span the actor's remarkable, multifaceted career - on which Marcello Mastroianni and Marco Ferreri could have shed even more light...
The event will be further enriched by exchanges between theatre and film critics, experts with differing views on the theatre actor/film actor issue.
Pirandello, the Sicilian author who reduced the mechanisms of the theatre to a minimum to intensify it, is the ally Michel Piccoli has chosen to honour the Europe Theatre Prize. He will bring alive again the words of Cotrone in The Mountain Giants and, for one evening, we shall have the privilege of watching a unique experience.

Georges Banu

Michel Piccoli
During his fine acting career, Michel Piccoli has worked with some of the most important, and creative, European film directors: Buñuel, Ferreri, Godard, Sautet, Demy, Bellocchio, Carax, Oliveira, Varda, etc. He always put himself in their hands, and his readiness to be guided by them allowed him to create unforgettable characters, and us to enter their world. Michel has brought this extraordinary willingness to co-operate also to many traditional genres (thrillers, comedies, psychological dramas). Like other great French movie actors - Raimu and Michel Simon for example - Piccoli has always looked on his profession as a blessing rather than a burden, considering himself primarily a player at the service of the text and the director. He never offers any resistance, nor does he seek any form of autonomy or enter that "virtual" dimension in which an artist is only accountable to himself and his own ego. Michel Piccoli's art is not founded on a "mirror effect" that enhances the actor's image, exalting and ennobling him, to the detriment of the film or the character. The more humble an actor, the greater he is. Piccoli finds his own dimension and freedom by accommodating, in a completely natural way and without forcing things, the needs of the mise-en-scène and the director's point of view. By placing himself at the service of the character and the author, an actor reveals his own greatness, which has nothing to do with over-emphasis, excessiveness, formality or arrogance. This is the fundamental characteristic of Piccoli's artistic career which, like that of his friend Marcello Mastroianni, has taken him to the top.
In appraising his work, we cannot talk about a style of acting or a technique: he surprises us and, to a certain extent, surprises himself with each performance. As elusive and highly-charged as an electron, Piccoli has always brought new life even to classic roles, re-interpreting the Don Juan (with Bluwal), the libertine (with Deville) or other characters with a hint of De Sade (with Buñuel and Granier-Deferre), without ever putting himself on a pedestal and "looking down" on the film or isolating himself in his greatness. The explanation for this is linked to childhood: as well as his love for acting, Piccoli adopts a very serious approach to the game of acting, which stems from his sincerity and his innocence. In his case, the pleasure derived from acting has its roots in a latent rather than regressive area that is ready to reveal itself in a way that is often impetuous, in an instinct that consists in allowing words and gestures to be expressed spontaneously. Piccoli's style confirms that there exists in him a kind of "pre-thought" characterised by intuition and naturalness, a power that must not be curbed or dominated, but handled in such a way that it manifests itself at the right time, according to the director's requirements. Thanks to his ingenuous, childlike wisdom, Piccoli has never become a caricature of himself. To avoid the trap he only has to allow a quintessential and intangible part of his childhood to surface, which eschews stereotypes and boredom.
Michel Piccoli has brought this same sincerity and innocence to his work as a film director. His first full-length feature Alors voilà has both surprised and astonished viewers because of its extremely free style, original acting and refined images. Another tour de force, worthy of Michel Piccoli.

Serge Toubiana