Chiara Bersani (Italy)
Creation / action: Chiara Bersani
Sound design: F. De Isabella
Stage manager: Paolo Tizianel
Dramaturgical advice: Luca Poncetta, Gaia Clotilde Chernetih
Moving coach: Marta Ciappina
Artistical advice: Marco D’Agostin
Styling: Elisa Orlandini
Producer: Eleonora Cavallo
Administrative advice: Chiara Fava
Diffusion and communication: Giulia Traversi
Photographer: Roberta Segata
Production: Associazione Culturale Corpoceleste_C.C.00#
Co-production: Santarcangelo Festival, CSC – Centro per la Scena Contemporanea (Bassano del Grappa) with the support of Centrale FIES (Dro), Graner (Barcellona), Carrozzerie | N.o.T. (Roma), CapoTrave/Kilowatt (Sansepolcro). ResiDance XL – luoghi e progetti di residenza per creazioni coreografiche azione della Rete Anticorpi XL – Network Giovane Danza D’autore coordinata da L’arboreto – Teatro Dimora di Mondaino.
Pictures: Roberta Segata, Alice Brazzit
Seeking Unicorns is a version of the work designed for non-theatrical spaces: empty, full, silent, and crowded ones. Spaces, the light and history of which ask to be heard and inhabited.
In these spaces, the Unicorn tries to find itself in a new form, stripping itself of its best clothes. In doing so, it renounces the fables of the theatre to start a journey of eyes and breaths destined to be different for every audience.
The search for a site-specific sound environment aims at creating the communication between the spectators and the action, sharpening the listening and the senses, training the eye. The unicorn is always in search of the other, it is hunting. Experience new forms of love, find something, or maybe not, and small wonders can happen in the wait that may change completely his research, his “Seeking of… Seeking for …”.
I, Chiara Bersani, 98 cm tall, I self-proclaim flesh, muscles and bones of the unicorn. As I don’t know its heart, I’ll try to give it my breath and my eyes. I’ll dress their image up, I’ll make a costume out of them, that will become armour and skin. We will discover our movements, our kisses, our greetings, our yawns, by means of a dialogue between my shape, that acts, and their shape, that clothes.
I’ll take the responsibly of welcoming its long-standing bewilderment. I declare to give voice to the universal questions that puzzled it: “Why do I exist?” “Where do I come from?” “If tomorrow you find me in your garden, what will you do?”, “Am I good or bad?”, “Do I believe in God or am I God?”, “Where’s my love?” and “Who has killed them?”, “Why cannot I choose to die, now that I have reached the most humiliating step of my aging and became just a horned horse, with rainbows coming out of my ass?”
Chiara Bersani (1984), an Italian artist in the fields of visual and performing arts, works mainly in the field of theatrical research and draws from contemporary dance and performing arts. As an actress/performer, she has worked with leading figures on the European contemporary scene, such as Lenz Rifrazioni (IT), Alessandro Sciarroni/Corpoceleste_C.C.00 (IT), La Tristura (E), Rodrigo Garcia (E), Jérôme Bel (FR), Babilonia Teatri (IT), and Marco D’Agostin.
Afflicted by a medium-severe form of Osteogenesis imperfecta, Chiara is interested in the body’s political significance, and has started a research project divided into three performative experiments: “Tell Me More”, “Miracle Blade”, and “Goodnight, Peeping Tom”. She is currently working on her first solo project to be called “Gentle Unicorn” and holds a scholarship from the School of Higher Education in Screenplay for Cinema directed by Marco Bellocchio. In 2019, she was awarded the prestigious Ubu prize as Best Performer under 35.
Chiara Bersani about the political body:
“Since I started to work as a performer and, later, as a director/author, I have always focused my thoughts on the body, as the custodian of a unique and singular story. After a long journey on biographic and autobiographic imaginaries, I have started to change the way of thinking about the very same concept of the body. The body didn’t seem to me anymore like a mere testimony of a lived story, but a political entity, earmarked as such by the means of clashes and encounters with the society. I have then started to frame the concept of the political body.
The body performs its social function when it chooses to merge into society by imposing to the others to be seen. The person who meets it is forced to give it a meaning, to interpret it, to create expectations around it. The body chooses to accomplish its political duty when it welcomes the meanings that are given to itself, it analyses them, and it personalised them by transforming into a manifest that is aware of itself.
You aren’t the one interpreting me, I’ll show you the way to understand me. I take the responsibility to draw the image that the world will have of myself.
This reflection has permeated all works I have created as an author since 2012. The political body has always been a transversal subject of study, observed on different ways and on different bodies. Now, with Gentle Unicorn, it’s time for me to challenge this subject by embodying it myself, alone, on stage.”