DispensaBarzotti’s original creations are meant to question the idea of perception. The link between what is human and what is not, what is animate and what is inanimate, between reality and magic, or reality and illusion are some of the main focuses of our investigation. DispensaBarzotti’s repertoire ranges from site-specific projects to performances for both theatres and public spaces, mixing puppet theatre, dance, mime and illusionism, according to our research of a more visual and physical form of theatre-making.
Alessandra Ventrella and Rocco Manfredi met at Paolo Grassi Civic School of Dramatic Arts in Milan, and they decided to found the company in 2014. From the very beginning, they discussed on how to stage alternative and fantastic universes, in order to propose a composite playwriting to their public, inviting them to find their own path within the multiple reading levels of the performance. Fantastic narrative, cinema, anthropology and philosophy are some of their main sources of inspiration.
Their first performance was La Morte tifa Barbie, traveling theatre for puppets, actors, objects and paintings. In 2015 they wrote their first play for the theatre, Homologia, a wordless journey through masks, dusty memories and dreams that will never come true. They also conceived a site-specific performance inspired by Bruno Shultz’s Cinnamon Shops, Elogio del manichino, for S-chiusi Festival 2015, in collaboration with Teatro delle Briciole of Parma. They designed an itinerant performance for Insolito Festival 2016, Cosa sono le lucciole, inspired by G. Didi-Huberman’s Survival of the Fireflies. In 2017, they loosely adapted Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein into Victor, another play for the theatre dealing with the fear of letting go the past and the monsters born from it. In 2018, the installation art project Progetto Wonder came to life, as a way to investigate our community’s conception of magic.
Since 2015, DispensaBarzotti has directed many experimental theatre workshops for adults and children, professionals and amateurs. For its work, the company has received several national and international awards, and their plays have been presented at many Italian and foreign festivals: Santarcangelo’s Festival dei Teatri, Operaestate Festival, Volterra Festival, Festival de Almada (Portugal), Terni Festival, Small Season Festival (Bulgaria) and many more. In 2018 and 2019 they attended the professionalizing workshop Magie Nouvelle organized in Châlons-en-Champagne (France) by the CNAC – Centre National des Arts du Cirque.
The art movement Magie Nouvelle, born in France about fifteen years ago, aims to join magic and other forms of artistic expression: during their shows a hip-hop dancer suddenly begins to levitate; the colors of a painting might change for no apparent reason; an actor has a conversation with what turns out to be a ghost. Here, all the things that art normally make us imagine, all of a sudden become true.
From 2019, the company is based in Marseilles, France.