Performance di

Robert Wilson



Gioacchino Rossini

Philip Glass



Brad Gooch

Maita Di Niscemi


Christophe De Menil


Ai Weissbard

Robert Wilson

Assistente alla regia

Ann Christin R˛mmen

con Leslie Baker


Alessandro Dieli

Marina Frigeni

Salvatore Giaconia

Marianna Kavallieratos

Elisabetta Rosso

Demetris Siakaras

Evri Sophroniadou

Voci recitanti

Francesco Cordella

Stefano Guizzi

Laura Pasetti

Giorgia Senesi

Colin Taylor

Robert Wilson

Stage manager

Sue Jane Stoker

Technical director

Reinhard Bichsel

Sound engineer

Peter Cerone

Mr. Wilsons

personal assistant

Mafthew Haas

Project manager

Elisabetta Di Mambro

Prodotto da

Change Performing Arts Milano

in collaborazione con Watermili Center European Cultural Center of Delphi le Manege Maubeuge Art Carnuntum of Wien Japan Performing Arts Center

Robert Wilson ringrazia gli sponsor mondialiá che appoggiano questo lavoro attraverso i contributi alla Fondazione Byrd Hoffman:
Lily Auchincloss, Irving e Dianne Benson, Pierre BergÚ Michael Caddell, Tracey Conwell, Ethel de Croisset, Cygne Design, Marina Eliades. Betty Freeman, Meredith Long, Lufthansa G.A, Mark Rudkin, Louisa Stude Sarofim, Victoire Schumberger, la Fondazione Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds, Annalise Soros Stanley Stairs, Robert W. Wilson, Woodward Charitable Trust e un anonimo donatore.


La storia

Part I: A poet

The Man on the Rock, a poet, speaks the Homeric Hymn to Demeter which tells the story of the kidnapping of her daughter Persephone by Hades, god of the underwood, who wants to marry her and keep her in the darkness of the underworld. Accepting the prayers of Demeter, Zeus allows Persephone to come back to light to see her mother and sends Hermes, messanger of the gods, to give inform Hades. Before Persephone leaves the underworld, Hades makes her eat the grains of the pomegranate which magically will oblige her to go back to the darkness for a least 1/3 of the year. This agreement restores the harmony between the gods and the balance of the seasons on the earth. The Greek deities and characters are introduced and their relationships are relealed through a continuous physical sequence.

Part IIa: The story

Hades, approaches Persephone, awakens her senses, and the couple begins their descent into the Underworld. Demeter confronts Zeus asking him to make Hades return her daughter, Persephone, to her. Demeter proclaims that without Persephone the earth 's balance will be destroyed. Zeus responds that his interest is to maintain balance amongst the powers at any cost.

Part III: Underworld

Persephone and Hades reside in the Underworld. Meanwhile Zeus and Demeter continue their struggle over Persephone's release, using Hermes as their messenger.
In the end, Hermes leads Persephone away from Hades to begin her divided life between Earth and the Underworld.

Part lIb:

The story ends Persephone spends her life traveling between her husband and mother. She spends half of a year with Demeter and the other half with Hades Persephorne describes her life as one of partial fulfillment. When she is with Hades she misses Demeter and when with Demeter she misses her husband.

Part IV: The family

The Greek gather at a table. The voice of the mortals speaks and is angry at the Gods and Goddesses for fighting. Their dispute has caused and imbalance in the world - which exists without ritual, shrines, or sacrifice. The characters depart from the table as the scene evolves. Zeus and Nike are the last to leave, at which time Zeus proclaims a need to restore balance in the world. The Poet is again alone and he finishes telling the Homeric Ode to Demeter

My idea of theatre

Often people ask me what my theatre is about: usually I say I do not know. My work is, in most cases, formal. It is not interpretative. To me interpretation is not the responsability of the director the author or the performer: interpretation is for the public.
I simply like to consider my theatre as the work of an artist. my interest is the same for the movement, the word, the light, the sound, the images. I am convinced that theatre is the place where all the different forms of art can meet. And in this coexistence there is room for music, dance, acting.

My way of working

The steps of my work are very clear to me: I started with some "mute works", the ones that the French critics called "structured silences". I have always been interested in something that is in between art and life.
The performers of my works are not necessarily dancers and the training I request has to do with the execution of "easy" movements that have to be memorized on the basis of a simple arithmetical count: they are almost automatic movements. The behaviour I want on stage is extremely formal, it does not have to be spontaneus, it must be seen at a glance as an artificial movement created for the theatre. The spontaneity comes in executing these precise movements .

About Persephone

I think of my work as one work an "opus", a construction, a product that evolves in time and combines various elements and precious collaborations. Recently, in 1993, I created an art installation for the Venice Biennale in a old granary: "Memory/Loss", which was awarded the Golden Lion for Sculpture.
Starting from this work I developed this concept in 1994, in Gibellina-Italy, where I created "T.S.E.", a wor'k inspired by T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" with the music by Philip Glass. It was a sort of "installation with actors" staged in the non-conventional space of a granary: the floor had been covered with sand. Amongst the various scenes there is one dedicated to the ancient Greek myth of "Persephone".
Working at the scene, extending it and adding new parts, I created the theatre production "Persephone": the show has been presented until now in outdoors venues of great visual and architectonic impact such as the Ancient Stadium of Delphi or the Fortress of Instanbul. Now, at the end of this work in progress, the piece is ready to be presented in its final form for theatrical spaces.

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