La Testimone

Creation 1999


Choreographed and performed by
Carlotta Sagna, Caterina Sagna
Original Text
Lluisa Cunillé
Original music
Rombout Willems
Tobia Ercolino
Light design
Nuccio Marino

Translation from catalan
Gina Maneri (in italian) - John London (in english) - Edmond Raillard (in french)
Music played by 
Coen van Het Hof - Jan Harshagen - Simon Wieringa - Peter-Paul van Hest

Festival Sipario Ducale - Pesaro & Urbino (Italy)
Compagnie Sutki - Turin (Italy)
Needcompany - Brussels (Belgium)
Vooruit - Ghent (Belgium)
Teatro Fondamenta Nuove - Venice (Italy)
Teatro Comunale di Cagli - Pesaro & Urbino (Italy)


[...] Last part of a trilogy preceded by Cassandra (a work focusing on the relation between will and destiny) and Spiritual Exercises (on the relation between will and faith), The Witness assumes the aspects of contemporary life and is an inquiry on the relation of the individual will to the outside world. Considering daily reality as a bearer of a hidden truth, my sister Carlotta and I have built a character who evolves as a result of the observation of reality. A search for one’s own identity and an interior investigation express themselves through a continuous naming of the things which form one’s universe. The communication opens progressively outwards, little by little, as the awareness of the surrounding reality increases, and therefore the naming of things becomes gradually more articulate. Some short texts commissioned for The Witness to Lluïsa Cunillé are inserted in the performance. Every single piece of text unveils a fragment of reality and is elaborated around each one of our five senses, considered to be the vehicle which allows the contact with the external. Beside the audience, there is a second figure, on stage, observing the main character’s communication attempts. We tried to avoid framing the function of this witness into a precise role: exploiting our resemblance and insisting on an almost constant static condition, we have opened a new possibiloity: that this witness may be a sort of mirror reflecting both what is happening on stage and the position of observer which is intrinsic to every spectator. [...]

Caterina Sagna
Frankfurt, 1999 from an interview with Susanne Winnacker


"[...] I walk on the street for a few minutes without meeting anyone, there’s only somebody who now and then peers out at me from a window, behind the curtains. I step into an empty bar and linger at the counter a few seconds, but since nobody is coming I head for the door to leave, though at this point I see a juke-box and move toward it, I select a song and put a coin in the slot, after a few seconds the music starts, suddenly somebody grabs me by the shoulders, I try to turn back but he is stronger than me, so eventually I stop wriggling, while the music goes on. I ask him who he is, but he does not answer. The music in the juke-box ends and now he asks me if i would like him to put on another song, I beg him to let me go, but he asks me one more time if I want to hear another song, so I answer I do not. He tells me he has one last coin left and he will put on the song I want. I tell him again that I would prefer he did not put on any music, that I would prefer hearing nothing, so he says it is impossible to hear nothing, that you always hear something, I tell him again that I don’t want to hear anything, he puts both his hands on my ears and asks me if I hear anything, I tell him I hear his voice, he presses his hands harder on my ears and asks again if I hear anything, I reply that yes, I hear his voice, so he clenches my head between his hands even tighter and asks me one more time if I hear anything, I answer yes, I can still hear his voice, he tightens his grip still harder and then I do not hear his voice any longer, I only hear my blood hammering in my temples, and then I scream, because I do not even hear my own voice, only my blood hammering in my temples louder and louder. [...]"

Lluïsa Cunillé


Leaning out over the abyss of the pit, like Alice in front of the mirror unable to reflect, a woman without a name evokes the fragments of a private story, or perhaps simply denounces her need for an interlocutor, for an "other" who would pull her away and deliver her back to herself.

Sitting on one side, vigilant, the witness listens, observes: ready to give a measure, to offer a limit to hesitations or bewilderments; ready to lift up once again who is about to succumb in the struggle with the angel; ready to disappear beyond the abyss, behind the mirror, where we spectators - other witnesses - remain, in silence, to observe.

Andrea Nanni