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LET’S STOP THE RULES

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE ITALIAN PERFORMER AND CHOREOGRAPHER MATTEO SEDDA, WHO HAS BEEN LIVING IN BRUSSELS FOR SEVEN YEARS AND IS ONE OF THE FOUNDERS, TOGETHER WITH ALESSANDRA FERRERI AND JOSHUA VANHAVERBEKE, OF THE COLLETTIVO VITAMINA BORN IN 2020.


© Fabio Sau / IgorxMoreno

HOW WOULD YOU SUMMARISE YOUR ARTISTIC JOURNEY SO FAR?


After graduating as a dancer from the Accademia Dancehaus in Milan, I went to Antwerp to join Jan Fabre's company, where I was involved in the Mount Olympus performance and other productions. Later I worked for other choreographers - Enzo Cosimi, Igor Moreno, Aïda Gabriels and her company Oester - in productions combining concert and performance; currently I'm working as a choreographer and a dancer for the musical project "Bodybodybodybody" by composers Dag Taeldemen and Andrew Van Ostade and for the Collettivo VITAMINA



© Francis Vanhee / Oester

HOW DO YOU FEEL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING A PERFORMER AND A CHOREOGRAPHER?


I feel more freedom and I am more creative when I perform for someone else, whereas as a choreographer I have to deal with some practical factors that hold me back; I have to think about the whole production process, and the pure creative act sometimes has to be put aside (it has to coexist with other kinds of anxieties).


© Lepomme / Dag Taeldemen e Andrew Van Ostade

HOW DO YOU, AS A CREATIVE, UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF DARING?


To dare is to believe in yourself, first of all, to be able to make decisions and not to be afraid to make choices, even drastic ones, such as deciding to leave a path you have taken or not to follow the generally accepted rules. As a creator, it is important not to compromise too much with the expectations of the audience or the theatre manager, but to have the courage to always follow your instincts.

However, I must point out that nowadays, with the power of social media and uncontrolled comments, the public condition many decisions and, unfortunately, the life cycle of a show depends on sales.


© Francis Vanhee / Oester

HOW IMPORTANT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH FABRE IN SHAPING YOUR PERSONAL POETICS?


Fabre has shaped me not only as a performer but also as a person, making me realise that my weaknesses are my strengths, and this has influenced my style on stage and my creative poetics.

The awareness of my uniqueness has led me to find my own physical way, an authentic style of movement that may not suit everyone when you have to be chosen at an audition, for example.


© Jelena Jankovic

In 2018, I had the opportunity to create a solo for Jan Fabre entitled 'The Generosity of Dorcas'. Dorcas, mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, was a woman who made clothes to give to widows in her village as an act of love for God.

With Fabre, our focus was on the performer's generosity and the way his body, stripped naked by fatigue, dies giving itself to the audience.

Physical exhaustion to the limit is one of my favourite ways of working because it allows the performer to be stripped of the superstructures that inhabit him, making him vulnerable, fragile and therefore authentic in the eyes of the audience by destroying the wall of the unreachable that separates him and the audience.


© Guido De Vos

HOW HAS YOUR VISION OF THE THEATRE CHANGED? WHEN WAS THE MOMENT WHEN YOU SAID THAT FROM NOW ON EVERYTHING WOULD BE DIFFERENT?


Definitely Mount Olympus, the work about the cult of tragedy and Dionysian rituals, which had me on stage for 24 hours straight. It gave me a completely new vision of my own body through the physical and mental fatigue of such a long performance. A kind of ecstasy through overwhelming physical action. With this experience, I realised that I need to see theatre made of extreme truth, of extreme involvement of the physical, of something that leaves me stunned, as Mount Olympus left me stunned, something that makes me tremble inside, that raises universal questions, that challenges me.

I increasingly need, to feed my creativity, something that makes me uncomfortable, brings me to change, and makes me lose my coordinates.


© Jelena Jancovic

HOW ARE GENDER ISSUES ADDRESSED IN THEATRE?


The ultimate goal is to create respect for others, beyond the human being as such, also as a worker.

At the moment there is chaos, because we are still in a phase of transition towards acceptance and full integration. A revolution is taking place and we are in the middle of it.


© Paolo Ferreri

THE COLLETTIVO VITAMINA


The collective I founded with Alessandra Ferreri and Joshua Vanhaverbeke combines dance and visual arts. We come from three different backgrounds and in our performances we try to combine our individual experiences in choreography, theatre and drama, video, music and light design.

Each of us has his or her own focus, but we see ourselves as choreographers on the same level, with none of our disciplines dominating the others.


© Lepomme / VITAMINA.

DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE...


To be able to participate fully in the theatre system. We are still a young collective and we are at the beginning of our journey; the goal is to become established in the ministerially subsidised circuit. This would help to start collaborating with partners and theatres.


HOW TO STAND OUT IN TODAY'S TURBULENT SEA OF CREATIVITY?


It may seem banal but being extremely authentic plays a very important role. Of course, in addition to talent and professionalism, built up also in academies, which are so much denigrated, but for me they play a fundamental role. In any case, it is difficult to emerge, not impossible, but difficult.


© Fabio Sau / IgorxMoreno

YOUR POETICS IN TWO WORDS


Before, the message was personal and became almost political, now I realise that I don't want to give a message. The performance must become a kind of experience to be shared with the audience, without forcing it into a particular reading.

Then I destroy myself on stage and the audience is like in an arena watching a gladiator, as happens in the Bodybodybodybody performance in a concert style with Dag and Andrew .

The body is always the protagonist and on stage, it has to be something powerful at first, it has to wear armour that gradually breaks down and shows humanity, and this humanity connects me to the audience, this fragility becomes real strength.

In principle, it is very similar to the physical self-harm that is present in many religions.

So, what is the difference between a believer who hurts himself in order to touch God and a performer who dances to the limits of his strength in order to reach a utopian place?


The Collettivo VITAMINA is coming soon:

15 April - Festival Danza in Rete (Urban Dance XL) - Vicenza (IT)

12-14 May - Sa Manifattura - Cagliari (IT) 1 June - KLAP Maison pour la danse - Marseille (FR)

15 June - C12 - Bruxelles (BE)

9-10 September - Festival Ammutinamenti, Ravenna (IT)

24-25 September - Città delle 100 Scale Festival, Potenza (IT)

6 October - B