If you come from southern Italy you will know that you have Greek origins.
The Greeks, those who gave the origins to Magna Graecia, are fathers of the European theater and precursors of psychoanalysis. With the birth of tragedy, the highest narrative form, sophisticated and complex, they began to investigate the psyche of man to evolve and to improve the community. This happened before the birth of Christ.
The man inner analysis born through the theater has led to philosophy, philology and everything that has allowed us to evolve.
Since the twentieth century, in much of the Western world, the format and the narrative made in Hollywood have been affirmed. A one-sided, simplified narrative, with a standardized happy ending that perhaps consoles but does not help us. It distances us from reality and often leads us to delegate responsibilities.
Achieving awareness is a responsibility we have with ourselves and with the community, and it is our moral task. In order to go back doing this, we need to re-educate ourself to think. Therefore what is better than a “Stragedia”?
“Vite di Ginius” is an original piece. It is the result of a complex work of the author on language (songs of verses in Dante’s rhymes and futuristic language), on music (composed by the same author) and on the human psyche.
“Vite di Ginius” makes its world premiere on July 2 at the Campania Teatro Festival.
Written, directed and performed by Max Mazzotta, “Lives of Ginius” is the path of the inner analysis of a man who, after death, embarks on an important journey that will lead him to awareness and purification.
Ginius is dead. His soul has left his body and is alone in the boat of Charon, ferryman of Hades. Now he is a soul who, guided by a mysterious voice, goes beyond time and space and relives significant episodes, of some of his past lives, that have marked him.
The verses in alternating rhyme and chants in Dante’s triplets chain characterize the supernatural dimension of the entire first part of the work which sees the soul of Ginius at the same time protagonist and observer of the events that occur in remote and future times.
The journey begins in 1800. Ginius is ’Za’ Popa.
As a child Za ‘Popa had a play friend, Ninuzzu, who, one day, died while playing in the fields.
The old Za ‘Popa tells the audience and the dead child what happened that day. The sad event will forever leave a mark and a deep sense of guilt in her heart.
The journey of Ginius’ soul continues and reaches Rome, the capital in the 1960s.
Ginius is now Nanni, in love and loved by Nina. Her brother, violent and possessive, threatens Nanni so that he will no longer see her girlfriend. One day due to her cowardice Nanni lets Nina be killed.
We reach today, where Ginius is Gianni, Nino’s older brother.
After the death of their parents, following a series of strange events, Gianni takes Nino to a nursing home. There is bitterness between the two brothers and during a brutal quarrel Gianni, seized by a raptus, kills Nino.
This experience becomes devastating for Ginius who is now his own interpreter and witness. He cannot get rid of this pain as Dorian Gray did. He needs to experiences the pain and terror of himself.
Remembering is painful. At this point, he no longer wants to remember. Although memory in order to recognize oneself and to achieve self-awareness, memory is necessary. And then he wonders, questioning the mysterious voice.
Ginius is now Ginius and he is in 2800. In this world where man has abandoned the idea of spirituality by embracing the idea of brain and machines. It is a fantastic world where even the language, this time in prose, is futuristic.
Spirituality, love and a sense of humanity do not exist; in this society they are banned. Those who still hold these values are deemed subversive and sentenced to imprisonment, hard labor and death penalty. Ginius relives another life where he is a lieutenant who has to question a subversive.
Memories are covered by time and just over time they fade, so it is necessary to go back to the past and remember. Since the theories on reincarnation foresee the loss of the memory of the previous life, being dead, Ginius does not remember. The formation of a conscience presupposes a memory. A path is needed. Ginius enters the clouds of time in an a-spatial and a-temporal channel that leads him towards an awareness that is not immediate but begins to emerge with the surfacing of memories. Ginius experiences four reincarnations and until the moment of the third reincarnation he is guilty and unaware.
INTERVIEW with Max Mazzotta.
Is “Vite di Ginius” (Lives of Ginius) a tragedy?
MM – It could be defined as a tragicomedy or, better, a “Stragedy” that is neither tragedy nor comedy. It is a tragedy because there are deaths, but it is not the Greek tragedy. Deaths are necessary because, being a rebirth, Ginius’s soul must necessarily die before reliving. But it is also ironic because if we take the tragic to the extreme, it paradoxically becomes comical. In any case, I don’t like to define it because a specific thing would not exist. There is always contamination. Those who will attend will ‘see’. –
Does Za ’Popa stand for Aunt Popa?
MM – Za ‘Popa is a nickname for a kind of witch. A gruff, gruff old woman. It is a character that belongs to the Calabrian collective imagination, especially to the imagination of children.
In reality, her name is Giovannina. –
Can you tell us a little more about “Vite di Ginius”’ characters?
MM – To give a continuous meaning to the cycle of death and rebirth, the root of the names of the characters is always the same: Giannina, Ninuzzu, Nanni, Nina, Gianni, Nino Ginius. I was inspired by the character of the commedia dell’Arte lo Zanni / Gianni; and the characters are always in pairs.
The first character, Giovannina, was a silent witness to the death of a friend of her age.
The second character, Nanni, could have done something to avoid the death of his sweetheart but he didn’t. Gianni, the third character, has a complicated story with his younger brother Nino. The two brothers love and hate each other as in a paradox. During the umpteenth fight, Gianni kills him in a fit. On every occasion the characters are cowards. They are unable to overcome things because they do not know what it means to love. –
You wrote “Lives of Ginius” five years ago. Why did you wait so long before representing it?
MM – In reality, the issue that moves the subject arose a lot earlier.
I decided to represent it now because this is the time. I followed the time so that there were the right conjunctures to make it happen and now we are.-
If we think about it, when in hindsight we look at what we have done in the past we may not recognize ourselves. Sometimes we may even be afraid of discovering ourselves.
Why is it painful for Ginius to remember? –
MM – It is difficult to recognize the “yourself” of that time.
People don’t like to remember. Remembering the things that have marked you is painful. I refer to memories that are not in the brain. They are memories that you have inside, that affect your conscience and leave marks that make us suffer. Then we remove them. –
Why is it important to achieve awareness?
MM – Knowing who we are, even in just one life, in this life, is important.
To pass it on to our children, grandchildren. It is important for our evolution. Otherwise what would we live to do? –
What do you wish to “Vite di Ginius”?
MM – I hope it can give to the audience an incentive to think.-
For the first time ever Max Mazzotta will perform in Napoli. Napoli is a city that he highly esteems, and whose culture and people he appreciates.
MM – The Neapolitan public is a refined public for its great theatrical as well as musical tradition. Despite being very conservative, Neapolitans are also very innovative. A Neapolitan tradition is first known and then surpassed. On the other hand, if you don’t know it you can’t do it. There is always art and music in Napoli –
In addition to theater and music, there is something else that brings us closer. The Cosenza language, in fact, is very close to the Neapolitan one. Some expressions and interlayers are even the same. Unfortunately there are no texts and there are no schools where Calabrian is taught. Imagine how much work is the research that prepares the drafting of a text! Fortunately, despite difficulties, time and “calamities” of this particular moment, there are still artists who offer a contribution to the change and to the evolution of man like Max Mazzotta does through his profound and accurate work on “Vite di Ginius”.