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Centro Teatro Ateneo, University of Rome La Sapienza, UNIROMA, Italia

The University of Rome dates back to 1303 - when Pope Bonifacio VIII Caetani proclaimed the “Bolla In Supremae praeminentia Dignitatis”, founding the Studium Urbis - and is the largest University in Europe.

Department of Performing Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art


The Centro Teatro Ateneo (Sapienza University of Rome Research Centre on Theatre and Performing Arts), collaborates with the DSAS-Dipartimento di Storia dell’Arte e di Spettacolo (Department of Art History and Performance Studies) in providing the B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. courses in Performing Arts.
The CTA and the DSAS both derive from the Istituto del Teatro (Theatre Institute) of the University of Rome, the first university institute in Italy dedicated to the study of Theatre and Performing Arts from 1954 to 1985, founded by Giovanni Macchia and directed in the last 15 years by Ferruccio Marotti.  The CTA was directed from its foundation in 1980 to 2010 by Ferruccio Marotti, the current director is Valentina Valentini.
 
CTA offers the opportunity of a practical experience to students who are interested in deepening their theoretical and historical studies. Past teachers included: Eduardo De Filippo (dramaturgy), Jerzy Grotowski (archetypical techniques of the actor), Dario Fo (playwriting), Peter Brook (directing), Peter Stein (directing), Anatolj Vassiliev (directing), Ferruccio Di Cori (psychodrama), etc.
 

Eduardo De Filippo
C. Bene, E. De Filippo: Incontro con gli studenti/1



Jerzy Grotowski
Il Principe Costante, ricostruzione


Dario Fo
Il Comico, Seminario di Dario Fo g.1/1

 
Dario Fo, Eugenio Barba
Festa per Dario Fo, Ci ragiono e canto_Mont

 
Peter Brook
Jerzy Grotowski: un ricordo_sub it


Peter Brook
Laboratorio Recitare Hamlet
An important activity of the centre is the experimental use of new technologies for scientific research on theatre. Its International Scientific Board, coordinated by Ferruccio Marotti, develops researches on theatre arts and on digital technologies both in interaction with performance and as an instrument of analysis for performing arts. CTA has been coordinator of the "National research project on kinetic images digitalization as an instrument of research on performing arts" and is now the main video provider for ECLAP (European Collected Libraries for Performing Arts) co-funded by the European Union ICT Policy Support Programme as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme
 

Other CTA activities include seminars, meetings and exhibitions on theatre as well as book publishing. Workshops are held as part of the Ph.D. course in Digital Technologies for the Research on Theatre and Performing Arts.
 
The archive preserves thousands of Italian and foreign videos on theatre, 2000 of which are videos of workshops, seminars and theatre rehearsals or television cultural programs directed and produced in over forty years by Ferruccio Marotti.
 
The peculiarity of CTA contribution to ECLAP is that – with the exception of the images from the Forties about the Teatro Ateneo – it consists of documentaries and videos, produced between 1967 and 2012, which systematically documents the research activities of the Istituto del Teatro and of the Centro Teatro Ateneo. Since the beginning of the Eighties the majority of the videos was shot with two broadcast cameras (RCA TK47 and SONY 3000) to document the events from different angles. ECLAP users can access both the editing of the different angles and the entire shootings of each camera; moreover the recordings of the two cameras are synchronized, thus allowing users to deeply analyze the event through My Story Player. The possibility of viewing the same moment from different perspectives is particularly useful in an educational and academic context: it might be used, for example, to study a performer’s technique, as clearly shown by the Dario Fo’s videos, where we can notice the different expressivity of the actor’s profiles simultaneously caught by the left and right cameras.

In the majority of the collections the activity of the Italian theatre masters of the second half of the twentieth century is analyzed through their
- lessons (e.g. Peter Brook, Eduardo De Filippo, Dario Fo, Jerzy Grotowski, Chiara Guidi), 
- interviews (e.g. Eugenio Barba, Mimmo Cuticchio),
- workshops (e.g. Pierfrancesco Favino, Dario Fo, Paolo Rossi, Toni Servillo),
- seminars (e.g. Orazio Costa, Alessandro Fersen, Giorgio Strehler, Federico Tiezzi),
- reharsals (e.g. Carmelo Bene, Eduardo De Filippo, Dario Fo, Vittorio Gassman, Giorgio Marini, Gilberto Tofano).
Performances of great actors of the Art Theatre and the experimental contemporary scene (e.g. Roberto Herlitzka, Sandro Lombardi, Claudio Morganti e Toni Santagata, Rossella Or, Lucia Poli, Carlo Quartucci) and an accurate analysis of the work of the greatest Italian cinema actor, Gian Maria Volonté, are also part of the archive’s treasures.

Gian Maria Volonté:
Gian Maria Volontè: un attore contro: Ferruccio Marotti racconta la
vita di Gian Maria Volonté_pp/1

The CTA video archive reveals its European nature through many important documents depicting the work of the master who revolutionized the idea of the actor in the second half of the twentieth century: Jerzy Grotowski. His masterpiece “The Constant Prince”, together with all the lessons on the archetypical actor’s techniques he held in 1982 at the University of Rome and the interviews to both Grotowski’s collaborators and to the witnesses of his work were all recorded  by Ferruccio Marotti.
The ideas and theatre practice of another great European director, the Anglo-Russian Peter Brook, is documented by videos of the seminar he held together with Grotowski, but also through the recordings of a Brook’s conference, of his memories of Grotowski and of the elaborate workshops that his most important actors and collaborators – the English Bruce Myers, the French Paul Denizon and the Japanese Yoshi Oida – held at Centro Teatro Ateneo.
The theatrical research of the Russian Avant-garde period is represented by a long workshop of Gennadi Bogdanov, in which he reconstructs the principles and exercises of  Biomechanics, the genial actor’s technique invented by Mejerhol’d, which traces had been lost after his murder, ordered by Stalin. The Russian contemporary thatrical research is represented through the workshops and rehearsals of Pirandello’s Each His Own Way, directed by Anatolij Vasil’ev.
 
A long interview to Judith Malina and Hanon Reznikov narrates the story of the Living Theatre.
 
Another part of the audiovisual archive is dedicated to the Eastern relationship between rite and theatre, that influenced the formation of European culture. This aspect is explored through documentaries which subjects range from the Dionysiac possession rituals from Tracia – the “Anastenarides” – to the possession rituals from Eastern African areas (“Lumbi”). Other documentaries on India describe both rituals – such as those aimed to gain spiritual strength (“Charak”), evocate the dead (“Bootha Kola”) or preserve from snakes’ poison (Nagamandalam) – and traditional theatre shows rooted in rite (Chakkyarkuttu, Kolyiattam, Kathakali, Bahrata Natyam, Orissi).
 
Videos contributed by Centro Teatro Ateneo to the ECLAP portal are available for streaming all over the world and through any kind of present or future technology. Videos are available with watermark, IPR permissions are for educational use only.
High quality versions are available through the Istituto Luce, which is responsible for the digitization of the Centro Teatro Ateneo's analogue recordings and holds the IPR permissions for the commercial distribution of the digitized content.

 



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