WHAT IS PI(È)CE?
The intergenerational scenic creation project PI(È)CE, begins its journey in 2011, under the coordination and artistic direction of Constanza Brnčić, Albert Tola and Julio Álvarez and produced by the Tantarantana theater of Barcelona. Throughout these years there has been constant collaboration with the musician Nuno Rebelo and the multifaceted artist Beatriz González Magadán.
In its first edition PI(È)CE was a scenic creation workshop aimed at young people from the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona that took place outside school hours. In the following editions, senior people from the neighborhood joined in and we began to work in the public high schools in the area, during school hours and in collaboration with the teaching staff. The result is an artistic and social experience that favors listening and reflection dynamics on learning processes, on the place and function of artistic practice and, in short, on the social, political and economic environment of the people involved. Through words, body and movement, through encounters between people of different ages, origins and languages, we propose an immersion in a process of collective creation: the result is presented in the theater, which opens its doors to other audiences, to other gazes.
HOW DO WE WORK?
At PI(È)CE Shelter, the process consists of rehearsing in the classrooms of the city's public high schools during school hours. With the complicity of some older people from the neighborhood, we collectively create a stage piece. The work seeks to predispose students, teachers, artists and volunteers to a state of listening and attention. In this sense, listening is the master line that encompasses all aspects of our project; it is the methodological principle that guides us during rehearsals.
Due to this methodology, it is impossible to put a form or thematic content before the group encounter, although in recent editions themes such as identity and memory have emerged naturally. We listen to what arouses and make it grow intuitively.
The process of listening often involves a process of translation. We translate the gestures, the words, the way of occupying space, the gaze of others. And in this translation exercise, ignorances are revealed, we connect with other aspects of communication, with other layers of meaning. The very "not understanding" the other person sometimes offers a space free of prejudices from which to look each other.
The experience of these years has led us to work often on dreams as a starting point for the creation of dreamscapes. The improvisation from the body, the movement and the automatic writing, generate an indirect way of creating materials as well as of exposing them, and grant to the modesty a remarkable expressive force that marks a very specific and rare scenic tone in this type of plays. The work of musical creation is also based on the possibilities and abilities of the participants, as well as on the insertion, during the process, of sound objects and simple instruments with which a particular musical and sonorous universe is created in each piece. The music is closely linked to the scenic actions and is created or appears in the very process of construction of the play.
This dreamlike texture conveys an encounter between choreography, words and music, born from the listening and complicity of our collaboration as choreographer, playwright and musician. Thus, over the years, a scenic language of our own has been forged, in which these three levels converge.
BODY, WORD, MUSIC: THREE DRAMATURGICAL LEVELS
The dramaturgical construction of the piece, as we said, is composed of three levels: body, words and sound. Each of these three levels is born and develops from the themes that emerge in the process. In the musical work, we seek to create a sound universe specific to each piece, which is born from the gesture of the performers, from their way of moving through the space and also from what the stage narrative itself requires.
Thus, the participants can sing, make sounds with different objects, dance with music that the musician proposes and composes. The choreographic work is very attentive to this link with sound, just as the words spoken on stage also attend to the general musicality of the piece. The three levels compose a complex dramaturgy in which sounds and words resonate in the gesture of the body, the movement generates sense and also sound and in which a great diversity of reading possibilities are opened.
The general objective of the project is to create a space of encounter between people of different ages, origins, languages and social strata who rarely find the occasion and the place to listen to each other. Through the process of creation, we seek to foster a work environment in which we accompany each other in the construction of something in common.
The creation of a scenic piece that is presented in the theater is the tangible result of this process. This performance piece aims to respond to a series of artistic objectives: an investigation and experimentation of the body/language/sound relationship; a critical revision of the nature of the scenic; a search for other narrative forms and an exploration of what it means to dance for each of us.
It also responds to a series of pedagogical objectives: to foster the possibility of expression, in the collective, of the emotion and the look on things of each one of the participants, as well as teamwork; to encourage responsibility, care for the other, respect; to offer essential tools for learning such as the structuring of thought, conceptualization, analytical, synthetic and critical capacity; a better knowledge of one's own body, of one's own expressive capacities -both at the level of language and of movement and music- and the development of affective memory; to explore creative intimacy with words, movement and music; to awaken a closeness and enjoyment not imposed, but participated in, with contemporary artistic practices.
Finally, the project seeks to generate new audiences, open the exhibition spaces of contemporary arts to the neighborhoods and expand their sphere of influence.
TWO NEW CHALLENGES: PI(È)CE COMPANY AND INTERNATIONALIZATION
Guided by these objectives and deepening this practice, in the last four years we have developed two new areas of action. On the one hand, the creation of PI(È)CE COMPANY, which brings together all those people we have met during these ten years of work and who have felt challenged and identified with the project, thus wanting to deepen and give continuity to their own stage adventure. The first production of this group is Li diuen mar (2016), within the framework of the Grec Festival of Barcelona and premiered at the Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona's (CCCB) Theater. The second major production arrives in 2019, also within the framework of the Grec Festival of Barcelona and at the CCCB Theater, with the title Oi Néoi (els nous), with great success of audience and critics. This company is permeable to new incorporations and works in a more professionalizing dynamic, deepening the scenic techniques and research typical of a process of artistic creation.
On the other hand, between 2018 and until 2021, PI(È)CE is part of the European project RAPPORT, subsidized by the Creative Europe fund of the European Union. In this project we have shared methodologies and exchanged experiences with partners ACTA Theatre (England), Historieberattarna (Sweden), Teatr Grodzki (Poland). The result of the process has been the two audiovisual pieces This place 2020 and Scrapbook 2021.