Located in the Italian city of Syracuse, the Italian Institute for Ancient Drama (INDA) has been producing since the 1910s a world-renowned season of ancient drama performances that attracts visitors from around the world.
The venue for the annual events is the famous 5th century BC Greek theatre of Syracuse, offering a unique context and experience.
The Institute’s Art Academy for Ancient Drama (ADDA), training young theatre professionals, has closed the current final year with a performance of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s work Pilade, an ideal continuation of Aeschylus’s Oresteia that the Italian author conceived in 1966.
Pilade is the story of awareness of those who have never spoken and have always been in the shadows, as noted by the director Bitonti. While in Aeschylus his strength is inherent in his silence, in Pasolini’s creation Pylades takes the floor and finally acts for a real social and human “revolution.” But his rebellion will resolve in surrender, and Pylades will experience the same torment as the poet Pasolini who had bitterly understood that intellectuals could not make revolutions; they can instead only “dream ” or hope for them.
The scenography combines the architecture of a former convent’s courtyard, home to the Academy, and props inspired by Jannis Kounellis’ arte povera, with hints of Mimmo Rotella’s torn billboards, in a parallel with Pasolini’s time. The set features a ritual circle as a site-specific installation, with ten straw-bottomed chairs. The action takes place combining the ancient archaic myth with references to the post-war rural world and the contemporary one.
As noted by art historian Gabriele Romeo, “Pylades, Orestes and the Goddess Athena try to unleash their impulses: so that the enchanted solitary props are translated—interspersed with the various performing actions of the actors—in that classical and aggregating drama handed down to us by Jannis Kounellis with his site-specific works. Monolithic representations of Hellenic heads, vice-versa in those numerous chaining chairs, which configure—with the action of choral weeping poured out by performing women on stage—the magic circle as an intrauterine rituality of the mother/earth relationship.”
More on the Academy: Fondazione INDA