Sotterraneo was hosted, in September 2019, by ACT Festival, organized by Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center.
Thanks to the synergy activated with the director Ophelia Wang, Sotterraneo was able to take advantage of a research residence for the original project presented at Crossing the sea, entitled “The Angel of history”, which envisages various stages of creation and site-specific research, as well as presenting its own show during the Festival, programming their “Overload” for the first time in China. During his stay at the Festival, Sotterraneo was able to attend the programming and get in touch with Asian artists and operators.
We immersed ourselves in a deeply diversified context with respect to the concept of “residence” we are used to, with a sort of crowding-out that brought us into close contact (even physically, given the coexistence inside the space) with the working reality of the SDAC. Being a very early design phase, and therefore mainly theoretical and study work, the “cohabitation” was absolutely peaceful and fertile, allowing us to develop dialogues with Ophelia – often prolonged for dinner – with respect to the Angel of history and its future possibilities.
The conversations with Ophelia helped us to clarify the context in which the works presented at the Festival were inserted, also with respect to Chinese production methods, circulation, and their funding system, thus inserting the simple vision of shows in a wider context than again highlighted differences and assonances.
Replicas of the show were both a success, in front of a full and attentive room that showed that it was almost not at all confused by scenic mechanisms and references of which we feared the excessive hook with the so-called “western” culture: the meeting with the public after the first reply, and the meeting with some spectators in the following days, they showed a lively and punctual interest in the work, highlighting peculiar points of view able to move thoughts and reflections useful to our poetry.