Dewey Dell’s (deweydell.com) work is visionary and experimental. The three siblings, Agata, Demetrio, Teodora Castellucci and Eugenio Resta grew up artistically sharing the formative experience of the Stoa in Cesena. In 2007, the three children of the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio‘s (raffaellosanzio.org) founder, and Eugenio formed their own company. Greatly appreciated at international level they are one of the few young Italian companies who make an innovative contribution to choreography. RedMilk met them on the eve of their move to Berlin for an artist residency.
When and how did the idea to create Dewey Dell evolve?
Dewey Dell as a company was founded by the urgency of four guys to bring to life certain ideas that, with a sketch, a simple installation or other forms different from the theather, are difficult to grasp. This aim satisfies an intimate desire to seek out and create a different world from the one we live in. When in 2007 we performed our first show, à elle vide, we did not yet know who we were, what we were doing and if we really wanted this to become our profession. The need to continue, at any cost, creating new performances gave us answers to these questions.
You are one of the most interesting young groups of avant-garde choreographers, how do you approach choreography and what are the starting points?
What inspires us most about choreography is always the limits and strengths of costumes with inherent characteristics of the various materials used requiring a very precise way of moving from the dancer. Movement and costumes are inseparably combined, forming the figure that appears as it really is, not simply for how it dances. The starting points and essence of our process is, therefore, to be able to tune these aspects each time, so that everything flows towards the idea you want to achieve. Ancient Greek and Roman art often tells us of ways to address corporeality. We often think that only after browsing many images of statues can we realize how to deal with the presence in the scene. The statues with a single pose choose a crucial moment, a moment of intense meaning.
Your performances are works of real art perfect in their shortness and attention to details. What are the ingredients that always occur in your creations?
There are many images and few thoughts behind our performances: pictures, figures, landscapes whose absolute and simple power amaze us. Everything starts with an idea that we call “mother”, an image that asks us to create her a universe around. In the case of a living figure, for example, we think about how it moves, how it reacts to sound and to environment, how to make it speaks. Music, gestures, stage and lights are the elements that seek out the form the idea has imprinted on them. Even nature has a great fascination for us: some elements, such as water or wind, have always been sources of important inspiration.
What inspires you most at the moment?
The illustrator and cartoonist Jim Woodring; “My life in the bush of ghosts” a novel by Amos Tutuola; Gnawa Music of Marrakesh; Phoenecia by the record label Schematic; “A Catalogue of Sounds, 1995 -1997” by Jakob Ullmann; Forest Swords; Paul Graham; “Full Moon” a photograph book by Michael Light.
It was recently released the first EP by Black Fanfare, Demetrio’s electronic music project, often accompanies your productions. What is the relationship between the two realities?
In our performances it is not always clear what the relationship between dance and sound is. The music sometimes comes ahead of figures, sometimes following them or even emerging with them. The sound keeps fictional characters alive, natural and not artificially constructed, creating their shadows, their breath, their air. Since 2011 Dewey Dell and Black Fanfare have created a form of concert where the sound, in dialogue with actions and habits of the musicians, gives rise to short and concrete visions in which the movement takes on the same preponderance of an item with the intent almost to create an onomatopoeia of the movement.
What do you have in-store for the next few months?
Until April, we will be in Berlin working on several projects: a new performance at Tanzfabrik Berlin, a workshop followed by the show Grave and several concerts with Black Fanfare. In May at Centrale Fies (Tn) we will continue the collaboration with Australian artist Justin Shoulder for the work “The Exchange”, which will end in 2014 with a final show created through a series of art residencies in Italy and Australia. In June we’re going to Tokyo to work directly with the theater director Kuro Tanino and comic book artist Yuichi Yokoyama on a new project whose debut is scheduled for December 2013.