MARCO D'AGOSTIN (ITALY)
24.05.2023, Boris Hristov House of Culture, Plovdiv
The performance is in English, with no translation.
Some letters go unanswered. Some messages reach other people years later.
The dance, however, will be seen as a tribute to a perished star and a reflection on the unspoken words, belated goodbyes, and missed moments. Remembering the legacy of leaving it all on stage, unconditionally and irrepressibly, Italian choreographer Marco D’Agostin dedicates BEST REGARDS to Nigel Charnock, the British performing arts legend. A rebel, experimenter, mentor, and inspiration, Charnock revolutionized dance, theatre, leaving a bright trail.
After meeting in 2010 and working together, Marco D’Agostin has completely changed his perspective as a choreographer and performer – on stage, limits don’t exist, and there are no impossible things. BEST REGARDS is his dance farewell to Charnock, but also a worship of the love of dance, the passion to burn every time you step on the stage.
You were too much.
Not just plain funny but, you know:
silly funny, witty funny,
biting funny, cutting funny, ferocious funny,
despondent funny, frightening funny.
And physical too.
Yes too physical by half.
Too body, body.
Too bodily body to be theatre
and too entertaining to be serious.”
– Wendy Houston, a letter to Nigel Charnock
With these words, Wendy Houston would say goodbye to his friend and colleague Nigel Charnock, a few days after he died, in 2012. Nigel had been one of the co-founders of DV8 Physical Theater in the ‘80s; he had then left and followed his own research, creating and performing a formidable series of solos. For whom had met him, he was exactly as Wendy wrote, “too much”.
With his performances, hyperkinetic explosions in which singing, dancing, screaming, fiction, and performance were intertwined on top of an abyssal emptiness, he broadened the borders of “contemporary dance” and seemed to perfectly embody the possibility of art that David Foster Wallace defined as “failed entertainment”. Everything in him was energy, desire, will. Yet, as he desperately repeats in his solo One Dixon Road, “there’s nothing else, it’s nothing, nothing”.
“BEST REGARDS is the letter I am writing, 8 years late, to someone who can no longer reply. It’s a way of saying:
Dear N, I wanted to be too much too.
As Ottavio Fatica pointed out when translating the epistolary between Lowell and Bishop, “letters delivered too late impeach time for not being that assiduous duration you would assume it is, instead constellation, milky way of instants”. Each letter leaves from a present towards another one that might not be there to wait for it.
From this present moment I make an invitation to the audience: let’s sing all together about a nostalgia that belongs to us all, we who did not arrive in time to say what we wanted. In the shadow of the expired time, and under the light that Nigel keeps projecting on the scene, let’s make this insistent refrain resonate, let’s unroll a blank sheet of paper in front of our eyes and ask ourselves: how do we want to start, this impossible letter?”
– Marco D’Agostin
“A jewel.” – Rosita Boisseau, Le Monde
“Unstoppable firework of skill… BEST REGARDS, seen at the avant-première, already has all
the qualities to be a success.” – Sergio Trombetta, La Stampa
“A smart and melancholic piece, subtle and passionate.” – Laura Bevione, paneacquaculture
Marco D’Agostin is an Italian artist active in the fields of dance and performance, winner of the UBU award as best performer under 35. He is associate artist at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan (2022-2024).
His work questions the role and functioning of memory, and focuses on the relationship between performer and spectator. Dance, a complex geography in which sounds, words and movements constantly collide, tends towards the emotional compromise of the ones who perform and the ones who watch.
After training with internationally renowned masters (Yasmeen Godder, Nigel Charnock, Rosemary Butcher, Wendy Houstoun, Emio Greco), he began his career as an interpreter, dancing for, among others, Claudia Castellucci /Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, Alessandro Sciarroni, Liz Santoro, Iris Erez, Tabea Martin.
Since 2010 he has developed his own choreographic research taking part in numerous international projects (ChoreoRoam Europe, Act Your Age, Triptych). He was twice among the Priority Companies of the European network Aerowaves. He presented his works in many European festivals and venues (Rencontres choréographiques int. de Seine-Saint-Denis, Théatre de La Ville in Paris, Les Brigittines in
Brussels, The Place Theater in London, Sala Hiroshima in Barcelona, Tanzhaus Zürich, Schaubühne in Leipzig, SESC Pompeia in Sao Paolo, Santarcangelo Festival, Romaeuropa, VIE Festival, Torinodanza, OperaEstate, among others).
Since 2019, invited by Boris Charmatz, he’s been one of the twenty dancers of the XX Dancers for the 20th century project, in which he performs the “Schuhplattler” repertoire from Folk-s by Alessandro Sciarroni. In 2020 he was invited by Marie Chouinard, director of the Dance Biennale in Venice, to
create a new creation for the dancers of the Biennale College.
Marco D’Agostin is one of the founders of VAN, a dance production organization recognized and supported by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities since 2015.
Premio UBU – best performer under 35 (2018)
Teatro Libero di Palermo – BEFestival (2017)
Re)connaissance, Grénoble – 2nd prize (2017)
Premio Prospettiva Danza (2012)
Premio Scenario – special mention (2011)
Gd’A Veneto Award (2010)