Modica Street Musical: The Present, The Past and The Possible
Public performance and exhibition curated by M. Lucchetti
The new public work by Marinella Senatore: “Modica Street Musical – The Present, The Past and The Possible”, is a 4 hours long musical travelling around the city of Modica, with two ACTS and an INTERMEZZO, The musical is entirely composed and interpreted with the collaboration of over a hundred inhabitants of Modica and the surrounding area. Modica Street Musical is inspired by public ceremonies, the civil and religious rituals of the Italian tradition, and festivals and mass events, interweaving this intangible heritage with the format of the street musical.
Modica Street Musical weaves together some of the formats used by Senatore in the past – from the cinema set to the theatre production, passing through the school of narrative dance for nonprofessionals – in order to reflect on the political nature of collective formations and on their impact on the social history of places and communities. Forms of protest by oppressed minorities re-emerge from the past of Sicily in the guise of music, choreographies, and storytelling, to merge with the repertoires of bands, groups and other collective creations troupes composed by younger generations. The exchange between the legacy and the present is built through a new popular vocabulary that brings the musical back to its origins: a 19th Century North American society show genre for lower classes. The migrants, coming from the most diverse origins, in fact, found in this genre the chance to give form to a theatre of revolt that could speak emphatically to the biggest number of people, creating inclusion, avoiding higher culture codes and articulating ideas of emancipation and common good among working class people. In the same way, the Modica Street Musical seamlessly juxtaposes classical music pieces and pop songs, engaged theatre and entertainment, mass movements and ballet choreographies.
Divided into three parts, the work devotes Act I to the Present, where dozens of formations will create a multifaceted performance with the intent of offering a sounding board to those who locally turn their energies to forming the new generations through music, dance and other activities. It is a great fresco of the city’s cultural liveliness, paying special attention to what brings people together and spawns a transitory community composed of people from very different walks of life.
Intermezzo is dedicated to the Past. At this juncture, the past is evoked with a specific and limited function: not as a cumbersome and inhibiting legacy of alternative scenarios to the present, but in its capacity to bear witness to the evolutions of the social fabric through the historical transformations of such a unique territory in the Sicilian ecosystem: choice of stories, anecdotes, and significant local historical events will be recited by direct and indirect witnesses (storytellers, sign language interpreter, anarchists, among others)
Act II is the final act and focuses on the Possible, chosen as an alternative category to the future, underscoring the need for tangible actions that will stem from recognition of the existent and informed by the careful reading of what has been.
Senatore thus invited the Italian composer Emiliano Branda to write a soundtrack about Modica, starting with materials collected through a request made to residents in June to send in all the sounds, memories, and citations that, in their minds, form the sonic backdrop of the city. The MODICA SOUNDTRACK is the legacy that Marinella Senatore’s public work is leaving to the population that so generously chose to participate in a musical about them and that would project to the outside the complexity of being together and forming a community today.
Backstage photo by Andrea Samonà.