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The Compagnia Consorzio Balsamico was born in 2020 within the course of Higher Animation Training promoted by Teatro Gioco Vita and co-financed by the Emilia Romagna Region and the European Social Fund.
Giada Borgatti , Silvia Cristofori , Virginia Franchi , Eva Miškovičová and Alessandra Stefanini , coming from five different backgrounds, start a shared research project.
With a particular interest in matter and its potential, they take their first steps in investigating pure elements, such as raw materials, to bring their simple, archetypal and primordial nature into the theatrical dialogue.
In 2020 the first study These few centimeters of earth was represented within the Arrivano dal mare Festival promoted by Teatro del Drago, and within the Rifugi theater season, at the MaMiMò Theater Center - Teatro Piccolo Orologio in Reggio Emilia.
In autumn 2021 the research continues thanks to the hospitality in the Off section of the Mondial de Théâtres de Marionnettes de Charleville-Mézières Festival.
Also in 2021, the Company begins a new project dedicated to the water element, H2ops!
An illustrated show, which debuts in the autumn of 2021 in Mantua as guest of the Segni d'Infanzia Festival.
WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE DO YOU COME FROM?
I'm Virginia Franchi and I'm a director.
I graduated in 2009 from the Foundry Academy of the Arts in Rome.
There I met Lorenzo Gioielli as a teacher who I later joined as assistant director and as an assistant.
In the years following my diploma I do a lot of apprenticeship, really a lot ...
I continue to collaborate with Lorenzo, but not only.
Next to Rolando Ravello, Alberto Bassetti, Marco Mattolini and others.
I decide to make my solo debut and to start working on my projects, always linked to the actor's theater and the theater of speech, in particular to the new dramaturgy.
In 2020 I feel the need to explore new languages and I look for puppetry as a research area.
Before that I was a passionate spectator.
I'm Giada .
I am 36 years old and within Consorzio Balsamico I take care of writing and dramaturgy.
After more than ten years inside the Teatro dell'Argine, a theater company in the province of Bologna, six years ago I decided to leave the nest that raised me to look for something that was more in resonance with myself.
After having ranged from theatrical teaching, to children's theater, to organization, I wanted to delve a little more into what I felt my language: the word, the writing that becomes action.
Within Consorzio Balsamico I found exactly the right resonance of this aspect that belongs to me: the search for words that become fulcrums of power that can then be transformed into action.
What keeps us so united is the fact that there are five of us, with different voices that fit together perfectly.
Alessandra , Umbria.
In the place where I live there are plowed fields of gray earth and here and there scattered very tall oaks that stand out against the sky.
They are residues of other landscapes that I can only imagine.
They are witnesses of time, they resist anchored to the rock and to the work of the plows that from year to year deeply eat all the earth that surrounds them.
It's a bit like that for me too.
Feeling refuge in an increasingly arid territory and doing everything to ensure that nourishment is not lacking.
It is precisely in this rural context impoverished by monoculture and single thinking, to keep up the contradictions and the comparison with other realities.
This is where I built a house and raised my children, this is where I come back after every trip.
I'm Silvia , I'm 27, I live in Reggio Emilia.
I was born as an atelierista, I work together with boys and girls to observe, study but also inhabit contexts that I imagine and create ad hoc to deepen the way in which children explore, using their 100 languages, to put it in the Malaguzzi style.
This profession brings with it skills that have also entered the Balsamic Consortium .
My name is Eva Miškovičová and I am from Slovakia.
My biggest trip was coming to Italy.
I have been here for more than five years now and I live in Florence.
I come from a family where everyone made music, were they singers, musicians or teachers.
And in fact, I too sing and play many instruments.
I mainly specialize in traditional Slovak music and jazz.
Apart from music, from an early age, I drew and looked for ways to express my desire to capture different characters.
Following this figurative trend I decided to try to dedicate myself to this in my life and I decided to study scenography first in Bratislava and then in Florence where I graduated in 2020.
Consorzio Balsamico, sperimentazioni con la cianotipia
HOW DID YOUR STORY IN THE BALSAMIC CONSORTIUM BEGIN AND WHAT ROLE DO YOU HAVE IN IT?
For me, Consorzio Balsamico begins like this: it was me and Alessandra Stefanini, traveling by train, returning from Piacenza on the day of the auditions for the "Animateria" course.
After that busy day ... which I remember with joy ... on the train we make ourselves this promise: we would bring, together, a work on the land and in the garden, to France.
After a year, this desire, this promise, somehow became almost a prediction, because a year later it really happened.
When we worked with Alessandra on the first study of Few centimeters of Earth in Piacenza, at some point we had to decide on the name of the group that would conduct this first study.
At that moment with us there were also Roberta Bonora and Giada Borgatti.
We really shared all day, and one day outside a supermarket we find a flyer with the words "Consorzio Balsamico" on it.
We look at each other and jump on the wagon of these words that we think would have represented us.
Later together with us Eva Miskovicova and Silvia Cristofori will join and we take the form we have today.
In the Balsamic Consortium I am in charge of directing.
Consorzio Balsamico has arrived in a personal and historical moment that is certainly unprecedented.
It has filled 2020 with all that this year has meant on a social level and it has been a great watershed of awareness, new and deeper.
The company was set up by me together with Virginia and Alessandra at first, and shortly afterwards Silvia and Eva also arrived.
Day after day it is increasingly evident that our five voices are able to mix together creating a single voice, a single voice that tells and creates an experience.
The Consortium is increasingly becoming a place to experience something.
The Consortium is the union of people united by the same fate, the five of us are undoubtedly united by the same fate, because we are united by the same vision.
I deal with dramaturgy, writing in a broad sense: fiction, writing picture books. Within the Consortium all this finds its materialization.
The adventure with the balsamic consortium for me started on the train, with an exchange of books and aspirations.
A group of women with whom to share creative processes, a common desire to give themselves space, each one different with its own identity.
On the plate I put what I am and what I carry inside.
I build puppets, theatrical machines, I create images with the most varied tools from drawing to photography, I animate and dress the scene together with the others.
The research process and the interaction between languages is the most nourishing aspect for me that I try to bring to everyday life as well.
We are a group of women and we have chosen for our peculiarities, five realities so different and ambitious that they engage in dialogue looking for a common territory and a form that respects the identities of all.
This is the challenge and the tension that leads us to continually create opportunities to work together, despite the geographical, economic and social difficulties of the time we are experiencing.
We look for a collective response to individual needs through the theater and the art that distinguishes us.
I joined the Consortium later, after it was born and when it had already begun to give wings, in short.
I remember that during the course of Animateria I was not only struck by the creation, that is, what came out of the Consortium's work, but also the ways of meeting.
So I was attentive to their steps, I also followed them because both with them and with the rest of the Animateria group, born in 2020, a very strong bond had been created.
I remember that Giada, Virginia and Alessandra sent me this email, addressed to me and to Eva, I remember this sense of surprise.
It was an email, it was unexpected and I didn't understand at all where it was going, because then in this email there was a text, there was a script.
And without thinking absolutely about the reason for this sharing, I remember that I lay down on the bed, which was the only thing that was at that time in the house where I had just moved, and I began to read very excited.
And so in this new house there was nothing but I had spent days and days repainting the walls and in front of the bed there was just the blue wall.
The text was H2Ops! That spoke of blue, of water.
I joined the Balsamic Consortium together with Silvia in 2020, therefore in full pandemic. We were called to collaborate in this show that was about to be born, at that moment there was only the text.
Now the show is there and it's called H2O Ops and it has a great story behind it.
Consortium gave us the opportunity to grow despite everything else was still in the world, at least it seemed.
We met once a week, sometimes even more, via zoom.
In this mode the show was born.
Then, as soon as it was possible, we met to continue.
But these months of emptiness were fundamental which instead resounded with all colors for us.
Being in a group is like a family, with all the good part and all the hard part. It is difficult for me to find the right space within this group, to be neither too much nor too little, not to have the feeling of not being able to express myself fully.
Instead the beautiful part is that since we are many and all different, when the group has a problem there is always some of us who are clearheaded and manage to guide the situation so that in the end it goes for the best.
It is a precious, rare thing.
In the Balsamic Consortium I play the role of set designer together with Ale, illustrator, graphic designer and actress.
Consorzio Balsamico, sperimentazioni con la luce.
WHAT CAN AN ARTIST DO TODAY AND WHAT ROLE CAN THEY PLAY IN THE COMPLEXITY OF THE WORLD?
An artist is a human being in the first place and therefore his role since he is more in sight than society should try to be the best person possible but not towards the judgment of others but towards the judgment of himself, that is in front of to itself and remain authentic.
What can the artist do? In reality the artist can do everything .
In any historical moment, in any situation, because the human being can do everything. Also based on the parameters he chooses to give himself, the type of communication he chooses to do, the way he decides to be there, to be present.
For us the artist is a researcher .
A very important point for us is to do research not by simplifying but by trying to bring out the complexity.
Both for us who create and for the beholder.
For those who stay with us throughout the creation process.
A complexity that wants to integrate.
This word is fundamental for us: integration.
It is important to create a space for this integration to happen.
A space that starts from the group, from the encounter and from the way of crossing a work, a work.
To then bring integration to the encounter, to the movement towards the spectators.
So for me the artist is the one who creates a space in which there can be a complex and integrated movement of gaze .
There is an assumption of responsibility in this gaze.
In this desire to observe and question everything that concerns us as men.
Ask yourself questions and look for new answers.
It is certainly an act of will to deal with art and creative processes and there is a great responsibility with respect to the complexity of the world that we tend to simplify.
Which is socially flattened.
Therefore, through this search for this sensitive gaze , attention can be found towards what is most hidden.
That the time shared with the viewer is a time of opening and not of caesura.
Consorzio Balsamico, spettacolo H2Ops!.
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT ART CAN HELP TO FIND THE LOST WIRES THAT CONNECT US TO THE ENVIRONMENT?
We continuously practice this tension of relationship with the environment, if we want to give the environment a meaning as a community, as a territory, as a space for the other.
Belonging to such different territories and spaces, our very encounter is a practice. Meeting, integrating, exchanging, it is difficult to tell you how full, nourishing, our very being a group.
Our tension of encounter with the environments we are going to cross is one of openness, of integration.
We have the possibility during the creation phase of our projects to cross multiple spaces and therefore meet very different environments and communities.
And every time we ask ourselves what kind of interaction, what kind of dramaturgy is involved in these meetings.
How many authors are there in our works?
I don't know what the result is, perhaps someone else should tell us, but the tension is absolutely this: to let the other one be the author together with us.
When you are in a creative process you are not aware of everything.
There are aspects that escape us because we get lost.
We have this strength, this desire to get lost in the sensible.
Therefore it is also right not to have all the answers because the synthesis we will arrive at together will be a meeting of several parts, of several points of view, because this is how we are constituted.
Surely an element that characterizes us as a group is that of inhabiting so many different, rich landscapes that define us very much as people.
We carry the voice of the places we live in very strongly.
There is a phrase from Pontalis that says “To have any hope of being ourselves we must have many places within us” and in my opinion this is what we bring into Consorzio Balsamico.
For me, art is like a connection with the environment that unites us to our lost places, to the places we want, that we seek.
With something we have left, with something ahead.
It seems to me a suitable ship to discover everything the world has to offer .
Consorzio Balsamico, sperimentazioni con la cianotipia.
ESSENTIAL LINKOGRAPHY OF CONSORZIO BALSAMICO
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