the company

[eng] Damiano Ottavio Bigi and Alessandra Paoletti meet in Istanbul in 2013. Here it began their collaboration with the project Yuvaya Dönmek, Babam için – Back Home, to my father for the Istanbul Municipal Theater. Their work is born in a dialogue with languages of different nature, moving between the genres of dance, theater and visual arts. The essential elements of their creations come out from an exploration that leans on structural, dramaturgical and kinaesthetic compositional schemes, often deriving from scientific disciplines. The personal and the emotional are so pressed out from a more analytic creative process that, from time to time, moves new forms of relationships and perspectives on the body articulation in space and time.

[ita] Damiano Ottavio Bigi e Alessandra Paoletti iniziano la loro collaborazione con il progetto Yuvaya Dönmek, Babam için – Back Home, to my father ideato per l’Istanbul Municipal Theatre. Da allora portano avanti un percorso sia pedagogico che creativo, incontrando persone provenienti da esperienze e realtà artistiche e culturali sempre diverse. Il loro lavoro nasce in un dialogo con linguaggi di diversa natura, muovendosi tra danza, teatro e arti visive. Gli elementi essenziali della loro ricerca emergono da un’esplorazione di schemi compositivi strutturali, drammaturgici e cinestesici, spesso derivanti da discipline scientifiche, che mirano di volta in volta a nuove forme di relazione e articolazione del corpo nello spazio e nel tempo.

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INTERVIEW TO DAMIANO OTTAVI BIGI by Gianfranco Capitta / Il Manifesto

Bigi (from Rome, trained as a ballet dancer from an early age, then passed through the work and school of the greatest European masters, without neglecting oriental forms up to Kazuo Ohno’s butoh) also had the essential experience of Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater, learning and dancing with her (from 2004 to 2009, the year in which the German artist passed away), and remain with the company for years, until he met Papaioannu who, with the Bausch troupe, realized the fascinating Since she (the only Italian passage, Catanzaro).

THE DANCER Thus possesses a double ‘treasure’ in his training, namely having worked with and learned from two masters who are very different, but certainly the most recognised and acclaimed of recent decades, also united by the peculiarity of not being able to define either of them simply as a ‘choreographer’. They are figures who use, each in their way, tools of investigation and communication that go beyond pure physical performance, however virtuous.  Read more

INTERVIEW TO DAMIANO BIGI by Fabiola Di Blasi / Dance Hall News

What do you see in your future?
I founded a company to be able to dedicate myself to the aspect that interests me most, the creative one, through projects that can sometimes also be educational and include encounters with the audience, which I believe is needed.
In spite of real sensations, encounters, and sensory experiences seem to be a thing of the past in our lives, what I believe is that the work of the artist – as well as the work of the teacher, the journalist, and why not, the human being – has been, is and will continue to be that of reflecting the reality in which we live, raising issues, highlighting the remote corners of our society.

[…] Having the broadest and most distant perspective possible is our responsibility as artists. It is like doing something akin to seeing our own country from afar. I am interested in the human being in society, sharing thoughts and dreams, exchanging opinions and realities, and studying the past, the present, and a possible future. It doesn’t matter if we live in a more ego-centred, self-image period, even if this is always compared to the other. I wanted to start the Fritz Company with Alessandra Paoletti for this reason.  Read more

DAMIANO OTTAVIO BIGI in “Approaching the Lighthouse”
review from LF Magazine

A solo, on a stylistic and interpretative level, that is perfect in pushing the boundaries of dance, crossing those of theatre. Bigi proposes himself in a figure who goes beyond the human being, an artistic entity in search – at first plausible, then almost desperate – of a performance that does him justice.

[…] The fluidity of the gestures in the dance sequences is, to put it mildly, hypnotic. It seems as though the dancer wanted to cling to the air and float in it, to flee from that need to perform that imprisoned him within himself, that overwhelmed him in a dark storm, dazed by terrifying sounds, in which he feels lost and longs to “find the light again.”  Read more

INTERVIEW TO ALESSANDRA PAOLETTI by Andrea Porcheddu / ebook Le Signore Attrici
I have known Alessandra Paoletti as an actress since her debut shortly after graduating from the ‘Silvio d’Amico’ Academy in Rome. One day a few years ago, she informed me that she was leaving for Istanbul. She has occasionally kept me updated via Skype or email on her activities in Turkey: before a workshop, then a performance, and again a complete production.

Amidst a thousand difficulties – while the Taksim Square uprising erupts, while the Middle East is in flames – she obstinately continues to make her theatre: petite, with piercing green eyes, she shows a rare determination. She tells me about the very nice meeting with Julie Anne Stanzak and Damiano Ottavio Bigi, from Pina Bausch’s TanzTheater Wuppertal, who will joyfully join the project. She tells me about the long chat with the artist Adrian Paci, who will give her the image of ‘Home to go’, that inverted roof that will mark the climate and vision of the show to come. Out of all of this came a work (the show is entitled ‘Yuvaya Donmek, babam için – Back Home, to my father’) that told an uncomfortable, complex, politically burning story: the story of a return home, which involves Turks and Greeks, in an affair that began over a century ago.

[…] Things took a different turn. In twenty days, everything changed: the laws, the theatre management. Strikes began.

We worked with great difficulty. We knew nothing of what was going to happen. To go on stage, we needed authorization on the final text from a government censorship commission: confusing, unclear bureaucratic steps.

We came to a standstill because those in authority kept pushing back the start of rehearsals; eventually, they informed me that the show would probably be cancelled. The theatre director talked about a further obstacle […]

How did you manage to move forward?
After a year of real struggle, of searching for support to overcome the impasse, a possibility had opened up.
We started rehearsals for the play without official approval in October 2013.

What was the problem? The subject matter?
We chose a very complex subject on which oblivion had fallen: the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey sanctioned by the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. A starting point to talk about something that is still very much felt today in Turkey and beyond.

Each actor who participated in the production has a strong personal history, some connected to that particular exchange of populations. One of the company’s actresses was in exile for sixteen years. Sixteen years constantly feeling compelled to explain who she was, to justify herself, because nobody knew her before. Another, a Kurd, comes from the town where the PKK was born. Her father was imprisoned and tortured. The show is entitled ‘Back Home’, and for someone like her, ‘going home, in a place burnt 56 times, was a painful prospect.

Do you do politics?
Back home is the story of a family who had only 15 minutes to gather everything possible and leave home forever, leaving them wondering what to do next. An entire generation in those years experienced what it meant to be ‘twice a stranger’: in both the land where they were born and where they grew old.
I think Back home is a political play.  Read more


Yuvaya Donmek/Back home is a project hosted by the Istanbul Şheir Tiyatrosu-Istanbul Municipal Theatre, conceived by Alessandra Paoletti, director and playwright of the show (together with the choreographers of the Wuppertal Tanztheater Pina Bausch, Julie Anne Stanzak and Damiano Ottavio Bigi). It brought together a group of people with different origins, languages and artistic backgrounds, in Istanbul, on the border between East and West, in which separated worlds placed in front of each other to form a ‘common’ zone.

[…] Begun in Istanbul in 2012 from collecting testimonies of some of the relatives of the ‘Lausanne exchanged’, the text gradually took shape, through historical and literary insights, in a stage script that Paoletti skilfully constructed over a long time with the actors of the Istanbul Şheir Tiyatrosu. The Roman director is animated by the urgency of weaving a plot that would give voice to the profound desire for reunion and re-appropriation of those who experienced separation and migration. Reaffirming the unacceptable explicit use made, and is still made, of religion and ethnicity as criteria for condemnation and expulsion, she has constructed a performance of great visual and emotional force, for which the word “necessary” is as mandatory as ever. She created a show that we would like to belong to everyone.  Read more

the team