Holy and Profane Love






Director: Renzo Vescovi

The equivalence between time and space is an old topos of the European theatrical tradition. Mentioning the travel it seems obvious to think of space. Yet a farther thought may suggest that the meaning of some travels lies in the profundity of time rather than in the vastity of space. From this double category stems the performance called Holy and profane love - playing between Bharata Natyam and Flamenco.

The work starts with a number of dances from the South Indian classical repertoire, known as Bharata Natyam. This is the most renowned of the classical women’s Indian dances. Its very name (Natyam = theatre, Bharata = India)  suggests that this is classical theatre par excellence. As it has often happened to Asian traditions under Western colonial rule, this ancient form of stage culture has risked total extinction. The emulation of the British colonisers by the Indian higher classes had proscribed this form of art to clandestinity or worse to disinterest, on account of its presumed primitiveness and obscenity. In fact, this is a sophisticated artistic experience of an high mystical level based on the same metaphors of erotic relationship we can find in much spiritual literature, starting with the Song of Songs from the Bible.

To this first part of the performance a second one is connected, which is dedicated to Flamenco. Naturally, this is not a bizarre or extravagant trip between India and Andalusia. Under the apparent distance, the aggressive eroticism of the bailaoras with the fold of their gown between their fingers is bound by way of secular sedimentation or romantic transmutation to the sacred world of the Devadasi, the women priests of Indian temples. A sign of this is the general language of the body, and especially the technique of the so called zapateado, i.e. the tip-heel step which brings to Spain – through the long Gypsies’ travel – the essential grammar of Indian classic theatre-dance. The analogy of forms binds the savour of long forgotten world: the devotion of a prayer that becomes dance, the sense of honour and devotion that are given to, and at the same time take shape from, the Andalusian Gypsy guitars.

Download: HOLY AND PROFANE LOVE_Artistic dossier





«[...]Teatro tascabile di Bergamo’s artists are able to enchant also with intimate events of dance-theatre […] charged with suggestion, colours, sensuality and able to amaze, to leave open-mouthed every kind of audience with no difference of age.»
Il Gazzettino (Italy)

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