Women who resist the violence of the gods.

Where is the source of mythology? In us? In us alone?

Myriad tints appeared besides the Tyrian purple—royal dye, extracted in brass vessels.—As the bow, that spans new glory in the curving sky, its glittering rays reflected in the rain, spreads out a multitude of blended tints, in scintillating beauty to the sight of all who gaze upon it; — so the threads, inwoven, mingled in a thousand tints, harmonious and contrasting; shot with gold: and there, depicted in those shining webs, were shown the histories of ancient days. (Ovid, Le Metamorfosi, Book VI)

The Metamorphoses – the poem of ceaseless transformation – is now on stage.
It becomes concrete image, vision, body. A scene of unspeakable conflict between the divine and the human; of divine hubris; of the desperate and proud resistance/resilience of the living. Of a god, devoured by desire, who makes rape his implacable weapon. And of women who, in myth as well, are the indelible mark of resistance, of opposition – every bit as implacable – to conflict, to war, and to violence.

After investigating the forms of ritual and the theatre in hand-to-hand combat with the tragedy and comedy of Ancient Greece, Astràgali Teatro is now grappling with Ovid’s Metamorphoses, in the need to interact with and explore myth and its forms. This exploration is not at all reassuring, nor in the least consoling , as Aby Warburg had already known when he spoke of “living mythology.”

A mythology as alive as Athena and Arachne are so marvellously and dramatically alive, in that room that is the scene of the contest, of the power of the gods, and also of their arrogance and violence; it is where the story is retold of human resistance to the divine, when Arachne, the famous weaver from Lydia, challenges Minerva, the protector of thread and looms, to a contest.

The outcome of the contest is a terrible one, because Arachne’s punishment for having violated taboo – and for having laid bare the secret of how the gods abused mortals – is a terrible one, too.

Thus, in myth, the story lives on of women who cross our sea, on the borderline between life and death, called upon to change skin towards a new condition, provided they lose their memory and, perhaps, part of their sense of self. Metamorphosis, then, is the voice of women who sing of life, who make a mockery of their tormentors, who appeal to the need for closeness, proximity, and solidarity in the face of the violence that divides us.


Women who resist the violence of the gods

By Ovid
Written and directed by Fabio Tolledi
With Lenia Gadaleta, Roberta Quarta, Simonetta Rotundo, Petur Gaidarov, Onur Uysal, Hamado Jean-Baptiste Tiemtoré
Music: InSintesi- Alessandro Lorusso, Francesco Andriani
Organization: Ivano Gorgoni
Contacts: Pierluigi Greco
Production: 2016


Woman recount the ancient stories of the Metamorphoses, interweaving the songs, images, and myths of our most important Mediterranean tradition.
Metamorphosis is image becoming life.
Metamorphosis is the destiny of the name that becomes a thing. Daphne, Echo, and Narcisus dance as things, while becoming things.
The song of the resistance of love – double-stitched on the skin that becomes a name. Flotsam on this common sea that recognizes no one.
Metamorfosi tells the story of a male god who violates women’s bodies; the stories of Philomena, of Io, of Europa speak of resistance to this violence.
We, who have always been migrants, weave these ancient myths to open our eyes and our hearts to the present time. The Mediterranean is a small sea of many cultures, and around us is the growing need to return and tell ourselves the stories that for centuries have given us the very meaning of life.
Women who sing of life, who enchant the world.

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    Metamorphosis - Xenia performing
    Metamorphosis - Xenia performing
    Metamorphosis - Xenia performing
    Metamorphosis - Xenia performing