Italian dance duo to perform Maria Addolorata piece at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Inspired by Catholic iconography, the show is a moving exploration of the universality of human suffering through dance

This article is from 2014.

Italian duo to perform Maria Addolorata at 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Alex Brenner

It’s an old cliché that artists have to suffer for their discipline. But Italian dancers Chiara Taviani and Carlo Massari are pushing this notion further than most, in a show that aims to investigate the experience of human suffering.

‘We find it strange that a subject matter that touches us all is not present more often on stage,’ says Massari, co-choreographer and performer in the duet. ‘Suffering is universal, all of us experience it, still we shun away from delving into its meaning.’

The show’s title roughly translates as ‘Our Lady of Sorrows’, and was inspired by Catholic iconography. But the pair hopes that the piece can transcend religion to speak universally. Their aim is to explore both physical and mental suffering and its effects on others, from sympathy to confusion to humour.

Surely, however, there is a price to pay for recreating all that misery, night after night? ‘There is a crucial dividing line between portraying a part with empathy, but recognising that we are not the characters,’ says Taviani. ‘Once you metabolise this concept, you can give it all to the part and step out of it, with love and respect, till the following performance.’

Summerhall, 0845 874 3001, 1–24 Aug, 6.40pm, £10 (£8; family ticket £26).


This article is from 2014.

Maria Addolorata

Dance theatre on a theme of suffering.