THE STORY OF THE COMPANY
Caterina and Carlotta Sagna alternate between working on their own and in collaboration. As children, they would often perform in shows directed by their mother, choreographer/teacher Anna Sagna.
Whether gazing at the world or co-directing shows, Caterina and Carlotta have followed overlapping paths. They both base the work process on interactions rather than on achieving specific goals. This shared outlook has incited them to join forces in a single company, thus putting an official stamp on an ongoing situation.
With this new work, Caterina and Carlotta wish to investigate the junction between dance and words.
Theater and text have always played an important role in their choreography. This role has assumed various forms: a clear division between text and dance (La Testimone, Tourlourou), implying that certain topics cannot be confined to a single means of expression; a meshwork between text and dance, with one flowing into the other, thus blurring the boundaries between movement and word, abstraction and narration.
Despite this emphasis on text, the work of the Sagna sisters is fundamentally contemporary dance. Their shows highlight and intensify dance by way of words.
Text is handled from the standpoint of a choreographer or dancer: onstage, words are given the same treatment as movements.
Even the shows with a strong textual bent (Ad Vitam, Heil Tanz !) are essentially dance pieces that pursue a detailed exploration of the body, its posture, its tensions and releases, expansions, imbalances, tiny tremors…
Their choreography never aims to be purely aesthetic, but examines the relationship between dance and narration. For Caterina and Carlotta, narration is not limited to a specific story; it is never strictly ‘narrative’, but rather emotional or thematic. Depending on the show’s topic, dance can be the pivot for constructing a discourse (Relation Publique), or it can deliberately hide, substitute, amplify, censor, sidetrack, or undercut the topic at hand.
These diverse functions can also coexist in a single show, enabling the audience to perceive the overall show as contradictory, absurd, puzzling, or funny.
In Nuda Vita, dance emerges where speech is silenced; it emerges in order to silence words. Dance replaces words, explaining and adding in their stead. It amplifies, improves (or worsens), and unsettles.
Caterina Sagna made her debut as a performer in the company Sutki in Torino, directed by Anna Sagna. In 1980 she entered Carolyn Carlson’s company at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, and performed in many Jorma Uotinen’s productions.
In 1987 she founded the company Nadir, and began a cycle of literary-based choreographies, among which Les bonnesby Jean Genet for the show Lemercier in 1988, La voix humaine by Jean Cocteau (1989), Lenz by Buchner, Quaderni in ottavo by Franz Kafka (1991), the writings of Corrado Bertoni for Le sommeil des malfaiteurs (1992), theDuino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke for Le passé est encore à venir (1993), and the maxims of Paul Valéry for La migration des sens (1995). The only exception in this period is Isoi (1994), a work about resemblance with her sister Carlotta Sagna.
This first phase of her work, marked by an introspective and visionary research, came to an end in 1999 with a trilogy made up of the two solos Cassandra (based on Christa Wolf’s text) and Esercizi Spirituali (from Ignazio de Loyola, interpreted by the choreographer herself) and of the duo La testimone, created with her sister Carlotta Sagna on original writings by Lluisa Cunillé.
In 2000 Caterina Sagna founded the Associazione Compagnia Caterina Sagna in Italy.
With the creation of La Signora (2000), another period began, characterized by irony and humour, displaying fresh aspects of her inspiration. The following work was Transgedy, a solo created for Alessandro Bernardeschi at the Festival d’Avignon (as part of “Le Vif du sujet”) in 2001. In the same year she began the partnership with Roberto Fratini Serafide, the author of texts and dramaturgy for Sorelline (inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women). Since then, he has been working with Caterina by writing the text and dramaturgy of every of her projects.
In 2002, she created Relation Publique in partnership with her sister Carlotta Sagna. The very same year she received the prize “Nouveau Talent Chorégraphique” from the SACD.
After presenting the show Heil Tanz ! (2004), she transferred in 2005 her company to Rennes (France), where Basso Ostinato has been performed for the first time on November 7th 2006, in the festival Mettre en scène of the TNB (Théatre National de Bretagne).
In 2006, she took part in the project NACHTSCHADE / NIGHTSHADE / BELLADONNE /NACHTSCHATTEN in which several contemporary artists - such as Vera Mantero, Eric De Volder, Alain Platel, Wim Vandekeybus, Claudia Triozzi, et Johanne Saunier – are asked to choreographed strip-tease shows.
In June 2008 she created the first excavation for the show P.O.M.P.E.I. in Napoli, within the framework of Napoli Teatro Festival Italia. In November she created in Toulouse, at Théâtre Garonne, the 2nd excavation.
In January 2010, she went to Venezuela to impart her show La Signora to three performers from the Rio Teatro Caribe in Caracas.
As guest choreographer, she took part – with Malou Airaudo and Carolyn Carlson – in the project Present Memory, a performance presented in February 2010 at the CCN of Roubaix.
In october 2010, she creates with her sister Carlotta the piece Nuda Vita, in the frame of Biennale de la Danse de Lyon.
Her last piece, Bal en Chine, has been presented in January 2013 at Théâtre Pôle Sud in Strasbourg, where the company has been in residency since January 2012.
Carlotta Sagna trained as a dancer with her mother Anna Sagna, herself choreographer and teacher in Turin. Then she trained at the Classic Dance Academy at Monte Carlo and at Mudra in Brussels. She danced in several creations by Micha Van Hoecke, L’Ensemble company, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and Rosas, and with Caterina Sagna.
She has turned more and more towards theater and joins Cesare Ronconi’s theater company, La Valdoca in Italy before joining in 1993 Needcompany, directed by Jan Lauwers.
She performed in all the plays of Jan Lauwers and created the choregraphy for Caligula (s a solo, “one dance for internal organs”, in which feet and hands seemed to be vanished), Morning Song and Needcompany’sKing Lear.
In 2000, she acted in DeaDDogsDon’t Dance/DjamesDjoyceDeaD, spectacle of Jan Lauwers for two actors and eleven Ballett franfurt’s Dancers.
Carlotta Sagna continued her work with Needcompany in Goldfish Game, a full-length film directed by Jan Lauwers. Two years later, Jan Lauwers premiered No Comment, four monologues for actresses, and called on Carlotta to play Salomé.
With her sister, Caterina Sagna, she created La Testimone, danced and played with original texts by Lluisa Cunillé, followed by Relation Publique in which she played herself as sister and co-choreographer. She took part in the premiere of Cateriana's play Heil Tanz! by taking charge of the direction.
In 2002, with the support of Needcompanyshe premiered her own show A, in which she cast Lisa Gunstone and Antoine Effroy as themselves – actors / dancers both sure-footed and awkward, comedy and tragedy rubbing shoulders.
In 2004 SACD and the Avignon Festival invited her to provide a short piece for Sujet à Vif leaving her free to choose her own actor / performers. She called upon Jone San Martin and wrote a kind of paean to the dancer: Tourlourou. Lucy Nightingale –and then Satchie Noro- took over the role in forthcoming productions.
In 2005, she settle in France and created new shows from then, such as Oui oui, pourquoi pas, en effet ! (in February 2007) for 4 perfomers.
In April 2009, she created with the author Olivia Rosenthal on a small performance Petite pièce avec Olivia.
In January 2010, she created the solo AD VITAM in which she performs as well. In this show, she calls into question and analyzes the thin line between normal and pathlogical.
In 2010, she choreographed a new performance for Jone San Martin, C’est même pas vrai, in which she explores the relative diference between Truth and Lie.
In November 2011, invited by the festival Torinodanza in Turin, Carlotta Sagna presents Fuga in collaboration with Arnaud Sallé. In January 2012, she creates a show for young audiences, Cuisses de grenouille, performance for everyone from the age of 5, with three dancers and one live musician.
Born in 1973 in Paimpol, Alexandra Bertaut leaves and works in Paris. After studying Arts, Fashion and Environment, she worked with José Montalvo & Dominique Hervieu, Osman Khelili, Edmond Russo & Shlomi Tuizer, Fabrice Lambert, Carlotta Sagna, Su-Feh Lee & Benoît Lachambre.
She considers the body as a subjet instead of a stalking horse, and tries to direct it with cloth. These body wrapping, or second skin as she says, take part in definying identities and individualities. According to her, costumes are made to mark the boundary between inside and outside.
Claire Croizé, was born in 1979 in France. She studied at P.A.R.T.S, the contemporary Dance school directed by Anne-Teresa de Keersmaeker.
In 2000, she created her fisrt performance for 5 dancers. In 2002 she created her first solo "Blowing up", produced by the Choreographisches Zentrum NRW in Essen (Germany).
Meanwhile, she has danced inRelation Publique (Caterina Sagna's Company) since May 2002. In 2003 she danced in the company Adekwhat, directed by Philippe Blanchard (Sweden) and then setteld in Belgium where she danced with Etienne Guilloteau in the duet "Skène" produced by the WP Zimmer and Antwerp City.
ROBERTO FRATINI SERAFIDE
After studying Theatrical Theory in the The Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Robert Fratini Serafide became the assistant and playwright of the Choreograph Micha van Hoecke from 1995 to 1998. Then, he created his own performances in Palermo in 1997-1998 with the Substanz company.
He has been teaching Dance Theory at Pisa University since 2002 and at the Superior Conservatory of Dance in Barcelona since 2003.
He regularly holds lectures on Dance History and writes papers on Dance Theory in Italian or Foreign journals.
He is also the author of Nodo Parlato, a poems collection published in 2000 Crocetti in Italie.
Since 2001, he has been working with Caterina Sagna as the playwright and author of the text of Sorelline, Relation Publique, Heil Tanz, Basso Ostinato, P.O.M.P.E.I. and Nuda Vita.
Enlightener, he has been working with Caterina et Carlotta Sagna since 2002. In 2009, he created his own company..
Lisa Gunstone studied dance et the London Contemporary Dance School. She worked with Angela Woodhouse and Helen Bailey. Settled in Bruxelles since 1994, she performed for Karin Vynke, Alain Platel, Pierre Droulers, Carlotta Sagna (A) and Caterina Sagna (Relation Publique).
After studying in the Accademia Isola Danza from The Venice Biennale, Antonio Montanile performed in a few of Carolyn Carlson’s shows (Parabolain 1999, Light Bringers-Araba Fenicein 2000) and J.Beuys Song in 2001).
Then, he danced in Abbondanza – Bertoni Company ( Mozart Hotel) and Caterina Sagna’s performances such as Relation Publique (2002), Heil Tanz ! (2004), Basso Ostinato(2006), P.O.M.P.E.I.(2008) andSorelline.
As a choreographer, he createdQuduo (2001), Punto con Fondo (a five-performer show created in 2002) -both performances were produced by The Venice Biennale-, Niedich(2003) and Un Fascio di Nervi (2009). His two last choreographies were presented in several festivals: RomaEuropa (IT), Danse à Lille (FR), Julidans in Amsterdam (NL), Tangente in Montreal (CA), Printemps de la danse in Tunisia, TanecPraha in Prague, Kanuti Gildi Saal à Tallin, Incursioni di Maggio à Castiglioncello, Ekonoclaste in Wuppertal, etc.
In 1996, he won the 1st Prize in Cita di Rietti International Contest.
In 2002, his show Quoduo has been selected as the Italian Ambassador in Aerowaves Festival by The Place Theater in London.
Later on, Un Fascio di Nervi has been hold, as well, by The Fabbrica Europa (IT) in the official selection of The Moving Festival.
VIVIANE DE MUYNCK
She studied drama at the Conservatory in Brussels, where she was a student of Jan Decorte. From 1980 she was a member of the Mannen van den Dam collective and acted in Strindberg’s De Pelikaan, Feydeau’s Het laxeermiddel, Bernhard’s De macht der gewoonte and Strauss’ Het Park. In 1987 she won the Theo d’Or Prize for her performance as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which Sam Bogaerts directed for the De Witte Kraai company. After that she joined Maatschappij Discordia and performed in Alfred Jarry’s UBU ROI, Judith Herzberg’s Kras, Handke’s Das Spiel vom Fragen, and Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night.
Collaboration with three theatres in the Netherlands resulted inCount your Blessings with Toneelgroep Amsterdam, directed by Gerardjan Rijnders, Iphigenia in Taurus with the Nationaal Toneel in The Hague, directed by Ger Thijs and Hamlet with Het Zuidelijk Toneel, directed by Ivo Van Hove. She also acted in two Kaaitheater productions: in 1994 in Pijl van de Tijd (Martin Amis), directed by Guy Cassiers and in 1995 the part of Odysseus in Philoktetes Variations (Müller, Gide, Jesuren) by Jan Ritsema, alongside Dirk Roofthooft and Ron Vawter. She also made guest appearances with The Wooster Group in O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape and other plays. She acted in Relazione Pubblica, a choreographic piece by Caterina and Carlotta Sagna. In 2007 she played the leading part in Ein fest für Boris, a creation for the Salzburger Festspiele.
She studied classical dance with Wilfride Piollet before learning from Daniel Franck and Daïni Kudo. After a short stay in Berlin a the Deustch Oper, she joined from 1991 to 1995 the Berlin alternative Perming Arts stage, where she took part in many performances. Back to France, she worked with several choreographers such as Andy Degroat, Shiro Daïmon, Françoise Murcia, Mié Coquempot, Blanca Li…She also experimented Theater with Michelle Heidorf.
In 1999 she was laureate of the Villa Kujoyama ("Villa Medicis Hor-les-murs") in Kyoto with Alain Rigout. She discovered aeorbatics with Michel Nowak at L'école de Cirque des Noctambules in Nanterre. Meanwhile, she founded the comany Furinkaï in 2002, which was i residency at the Théâtre de Brétigny from 2004 to 2008. Since 2002, she has been teaching dance to childdren from the psychotherapy and rehabilitation centre of Senlis. From 2008, she has been also teaching trapeze at L'Ecole de Cirque des Noctambules in Nanterre. Currently, she performs in Michel Schweitzer's, Adrien Mondot's, James Thiérrée's and Carlotta Sagna's shows.
Since 2009 she has been performing in Carlotta Sagna's solo Tourlourou.
Graduated in both classical and modern dance from The Padoue Academy, Mauro Paccagnella then began working as a performer and choreographer in Italy.
He finally moved to Brussels in 1991 where he has worked with several companies such as Plan K; Charleroi/danses, Karin Pontiès, Fatou Traoré, Mossoux-Bonté, Thierry de Mey.
In 1998, he created Woosh’ing Mach’ine, a collective group made up with musicians, contemporary artists, and video directors, where dance is the binder between all these different artistic fields.
Since several years, he also has been dancing in a few of Caterina Sagna’s performances such asRelation Publique, Heil Tanz!, Basso Ostinato and P.O.M.P.E.I..
In 2009 he directed and choreographed Infudibulum" for the contemporary circus company Feria Musica (www.feriamusica.org).
SUSANA PANADEZ DÌAS
Born in barcelona, trained at L'institut del Teatre de Barcelona and at P.A.R.T.S , the contemporary Dance school directed by Anne-Teresa de Keersmaeker.
She has worked with Roberto Olivan, Sharon Zucherman and Claudio Bernardo in Belgium, Bettina Holzhausen, Fabienne Berger and Gille Jobin in Switzerland, and Caterina Sagna in Italie (Sorelline).
After studying Instrumental Writing, Musicology (Université Paris IV – Sorbonne) and Music History at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, Arnaud Sallé won the electroacoustic composition award from the Ecole Nationale de Musique de Pantin in 2000. He got several composition awards such as the radio contest La Muse en circuit, la SACEM and Radiofrance.
He creates shows, performances and recording installations (at the 10th Havana Biennial) and frequently mixes his work with other artistic disciplines such as theater (O. Balazuc, J. Boillot), musical theater (R. Auzet), dance (D. Dupuy, C. Picard, M. Gilabert, C. et C. Sagna), Video (A. Gimel), cinema (A. Georges), photography (H. Rabot), visual arts and even fashion shows.
As a composer, invited for an artist-in-residence program at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris-VI Jussieu), he currently works on creating a performance which gather a classical orchestraand en electronic ensemble : the “Meta Orchestre” (PuseMuse). He also wrote a monographic book - illustrated as a musical diary - recounting a five-year experience as the artistic director of another electronic orchestra : “l’OrMaDor”.
JONE SAN MARTIN
Born in 1966 in San Sebastian (Spain), Jone San Martin studied dance in her native town and then Barcelona (at the Institut del Teatre). At 17 years old she moved to Brussels to integrate Mudra International (Dance School directed by Maurice Béjart).
She worked with several choreographers and dance companies such as Jacopo Godani, Jose Besprosvany, Marco Berriel, Compañía Nacilonal de Danza ( Madrid), Ballet de Charleroi …
In 1992 she joined the Ballet Frankfurt directed by William Forsythe, ballet which has become “ The Forsythe Company” since 2004.
Since 2000, she has been working on her own choreographies and has created Juana la otra (2000), Ser, estar y parecer (2001), Remote Versions (2003) and Double B(l)ind(2004) two performances in collaboration with Agnès Chekroun and Fabrice Mazliah, Hostis in 2007 in collaboration with Agnès Chekroun as well, and the solo Derivado(2009).
Tijen Lawton was born in Viena from a British father and a Turkish mother. She studied dance and music from 1984 to 1988 at The Arts Educational School in London, and then at London Contemporary Dance School. In 1989, she took part in an exchange program with the prestigious Juilliard School in New York.
In 1992, she joined Emma Carlson & dancers, then in 1996 she moved to Brussels to work with Pierre Droulers on Les Beaux jours (1996), Lilas(1997) and Multum in Parvo (1998).
During that time, she created her first performances as a choreograph : Les petites formes (1997), which includesJe n’ai jamais parlé, Les Beaux Joursand Plus fort que leurs voix aiguës(1998).
In 1998, she began her collaboration with Jan Lauwers and the Needcompany in Belgium as a performer on the shows Caligula (solo choreographed by par Carlotta Sagna) and Morning Song (1999).
Since then, she has been a performer and choreopraph for the Needcompany and particularly has taken part in Grace Ellen Barkey’s performances: Few things (2000),AND (2002), Chunking (2005), the Porcelain Project (2007) and Jan Lauwer’s : Needcompany’s King Lear(2000), Images of affection (2002),No Comment (2003) La Chambre d’Isabella (2004), Le Bazar du Homard (2006), La Maison des cerfs(2008).
He had his dance education between Rome, his birthplace, and Venice, with teachers such as Sacha Ramos, Carolyn Carlson, Malou Airaudo, Joan Woodbury, Inaki Azpillaga, Janet Panetta. He has been creating his own work and danced with Giorgio Rossi, Rebecca Murgi, Rozenn Corbell, Roberto Cocconi, Antonio Montanile, Michael D’auzon, among others. In 2005 he joined Sasha Waltz & Guests.