VIII Premio Europa per il Teatro a Lev Dodin
VI Premio Europa Nuove Realtà Teatrali
Theatergroep Hollandia Thomas Ostermeier Socíetas Raffaello Sanzio


A student of one of Stanislavsky's most faithful followers, Lev Dodin left his native Siberia for the old cities of former Russia when he was very young. He has devoted his life to a teaching method that is never separated from practice, and this was his starting point for founding a company that was seen as an extended family, with a belief in ensemble performances and workshops, even before he was called upon to direct the Maly in 1983 and make it a leading theatre in the last decades of the twentieth century. The House was born as a play for his group, who graduated from the Drama School in St. Petersburg, after months spent in the northern village where Feodor Abramov wrote his novel on the trials and tribulations of peasant life. It was adapted for the stage by using improvisation to render the actual true-to-life atmosphere to be found in Brothers and Sisters. This tragic epic of the kolkhoz, inspired by the author himself in the mid-eighties, takes place in the space of eight emotional hours of tears and laughter and plumbs the depths of the "great Russian soul", which is one of the director's favourite subjects, together with the controversial analysis of the history of his country, especially through the adaptation of novels for the theatre. The culmination of this was the staging of a Dostoyevsky classic that had long been banned, The Demons, which he rehearsed for three years and was staged regularly by the Maly company for nine years in ten-hour performances of thrilling words and actions. These already imply a discourse on the revolutionary spirit of a people that serves as an introduction to the metaphor of the suicidal utopia expressed in Andrei Platonov's Cevengur, the recent stage masterpiece floating on water, and the Untitled Play by Chekhov, translated by Dodin into a dance through the twentieth century. Gaudeamus, on the contrary, is set on a snowy stage and is the first of the plays produced with the Drama School students. It is a satire on Russian training for military service that unfortunately remains very topical today, and is part of the repertoire that focuses on contemporary man, which the company offers to its public worldwide, thus restoring to us a sense of the necessity for the theatre.


The Hollandia Theatergroep, founded in 1985 by choreographer/director Johan Simons and composer/director Poul Koek, holds an important position in the Dutch theatre world. From the outset the group's plays have been distinguished by their ensemble dimension and by their capacity to become integrated with places outside the usual theatre circuits. The Hollandia Theatergroep has devoted itself to theatrical research without ever disassociating itself from a strong participation in current social and political debates. The Hollandia Theatergroep has based its exploration of language on famous texts, especially ancient and modern tragedies, but also on non-theatrical literary motifs. In addition, the group has developed a mix of languages that permits it to perform within the sphere of the theatre, dance and the most sophisticated musical expressions. The Hollandia Theatergroep's appeal lies in the variety of fields it explores and in the poetical power of its performances that are charged with unusual polemical force. The group deserves European and international acclaim. It is exceptional.


Whilst working at the "Baracke" in Berlin, Thomas Ostermeier has succeeded in leading contemporary theatre in a precise, independent direction by exploiting the discovery of new dramatists and combining this with a suitable style of direction, based - in addition to his exceptional ability to choose and direct the actors - on a timing and vision that can be compared with the cinema, life and urban imagery. Thus Ostermeier has contributed towards expressing the anxieties of the younger generations by giving a faithful, moving picture of them on stage, which is far from being "academic" and recreates a direct link with what happens in society and what is staged in the theatre. Ostermeier's theatre thus generates new energies and interests a new German and European audience.


Having come to the theatre from the visual arts, the Societas Raffaello Sanzio, which in twenty years' work has moved from a provocative ludic approach to the invention of a language, from iconoclastic theatre to a return to an imaginary Sumerian tradition, has now reached full maturity and taking the lead in new young drama by staging the great classics. Founded by two Castellacci and two Guidi brothers from Cesena, the Societas has remained an extended family group in which mothers, aunts, sons, daughters and animals all play a part, and has now taken on the new role of teaching new actors and children. It has also adapted a series of non-mystifying fairy-tales for the stage for children. But it has been the process of re-inventing the classics by personally re-experiencing them and focusing on the communication of energy, that led this company to tour the world and become the main attraction at major festivals. And now we have Romeo Castellucci's group moving from an autistic Hamlet prey to his animalistic physicality, in a mechanized context, to a radical reading of a different Shakespeare, based on a corporality that does not exclude disease; and hence to a cosmic vision in two weighty triptychs: the imaginary and creative Orestea and the memorable recreation of Genesis. This is a self-analysis of the superhuman work of the artist and a reflection on the history of man and the progress of science through the mystery of the relationship between good and evil, in an increasingly less verbal and more visual conception of the theatre, where the rapid sequence of the electric sparks of sound is an increasingly decisive factor in the emotional attack on the audience.