Physics of the Bitter Communion

Dance by Mòra Company

Choreography: Claudia Castellucci
Music from the Catalogue d’Oiseauux by Olivier Messiaen
performed live by pianist Matteo Ramon Arevalos
with an apex by Stefano Bartolini

Dancers: Sissj Bassani, Silvia Ciancimino, René Ramos,
Francesca Siracusa, Pier Paolo Zimmermann

Sets and lights: Eugenio Resta
Stage technician: Francesca Di Serio
Production director: Benedetta Briglia
Organisation: Valeria Farima
Administration: Michela Medri, Simona Barducci, Elisa Bruno
Production: Societas, Cesena
Co-production: La Biennale di Venezia

photo Nicolò Gialain
Andrea Avezzù

This dance passes through a series of movements deduced from Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux, composed for piano between 1956 and 1958, following a long period of observation and transcription of birdsong. The vocal production of birds creates rhythms that lead to the contemplative and non-mensural interpretation of this dance. It is not possible to rely on a schematic memory, because the rhythms are unpredictable. And yet, the freedom of birdsong can be taken as a model and ‘learned’, provided that one experiences this dance with a sense of remaining in the ‘now’, with no regard to measure, attentive to rhythm alone. What we intend to learn from birds is their inclination towards events that always take place in the present, with no projections aimed towards future targets, with a full consummation in the ‘now’. One also has the impression that each part of birdsong has an equal value, in terms of importance, and this leads to a sense of absolute continuity, which no interval nor rest can interrupt.


The Dancers of Fisica dell’aspra comunione now take this continuity as their model and must thus avoid the slightest break or technical pause, as when a singer takes a breath. They consume the dance thanks to decisions that are quicker than verbal language, in which the time of the will becomes entirely united with their actual, physical, and environmental reality, fully identifying with the ‘now’. For complete integrity between sound and movement the piano is on the stage, played live.

Fisica dell’aspra comunione premiered for the first time at the Venice Biennale 2020 – 14th International Festival of Contemporary Dance directed by Marie Chouinard on the occasion of the awarding of the Silver Lion to Claudia Castellucci.