Gli Anni by Marco D’Agnostin | review

Words by Giordana Patumi.

In the intimate Teatrostudio of the Lugano Arte e Culturacenter in Lugano, Switzerland, on Valentine’s, I set myself a date with dance to watch Marco D’Agostin new work Gli Anni.

Gli Annil is a new element for Italian choreographer Marco D’Agostin. Two of the most considered vivid talents of the national scene and of the choreographic universe come together to give life to a work inspired, even in its title, Gli Anni, by one of the most important novels by the French Prize Nobel writer Annie Ernaux and at the same time, however, also refers to an Italian famous song by music group 883, released in the 1990s. As always in D’Agostin’swork, sentimental afflatus, literature and the pop universe come together in a personal fresco.

The performance opens and closes formally as a novel – that novel with which it is associated for its memoir investigation – but inside there are the most famous pop and rock songs of the past decades that follow one another to fortify with shared elements certain biographical nuclei belonging to the dancer or – at certain points one has the doubt – to the author.

The dancer enters the stage with a rucksack on her shoulders. She counts lemons bought at the market in a loud voice; it is a child’s game in which not to get stuck, otherwise you go back to the beginning. In the background you can hear how the music comes out of a disturbed sound of an audiocassette (sound mix by LSKA), mixed with voices from the street, chatter, film dialogues. Everything is articulated like a great underground zapping, hysterical, fluctuating, but is the emergence of our memories so different from the swamp of memory in which they are immersed? This fragmentariness, which on the one hand defies comprehension due to the deliberate choice of ‘not being’, really, a novel or a song but a choreography with stretches of text, is thus the protective veil in which the comic and the tragic occur in the same space, sometimes mixed together.

D’Agostin himself, an artist who has soon become solid and mature as already noted in First Love, declares how this work is an “attempt to rescue as many images as possible from oblivion”; This intention tries to emerge in the choreographic contrast with which Marta Ciappina, a dancer of absolute level, betrays her unexceptionable technical virtuosity with an ironic composition, markedly clumsy, that is, with the attitude that presides over our relationship with memories, with the tales of our little epic, of our personal heroism dematerialised by self-inflicted derision out of embarrassment. The oblivion in which the images are placed is the recondite memory that is evoked with difficulty, with the discomfort of unveiling through which to admit the restless discomfort of the true.