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Why the chapiteau?

A question of Robert Young to Giordano Acquaviva

I like the idea that the chapiteau is stable. It could be seen as a kind of "road theatre" but I feel the contrary: stability, the ability to recreate it in the same way in any place.

The relationship between the chapiteau and the place where it will be built is important. There is the empty space that it fills, then the presence of the chapiteau which in a sense has always been there. Yet when it is removed, all that remains is a stamp on the earth, so small, a mark is all that is left of everything that has taken place there, the music, the spectators, the life of the group and the work.  

The chapiteau is also a dream for everyone who plays inside, for those who build it, for the public who sees it. It is unusual, but immediately recognizable. It is a gift for all involved, harmonious and obvious in its measure. When you are outside you already feel something very quiet that beckons you within. When within you feel in a completely warm and harmonious space which is mirrored and created by the dimensions and materials. The materials themselves are very advanced, but one has a strange sense of the proportion primarily and never feels the cold of the iron.

Each time I enter I feel the sensation of being in a place that is always there, that is fixed, that the relationship with the ground and sky are everlasting. It is something that receives and gives, it has centripetal and centrifugal force. The arrangement of the bleachers is not round, but allows everyone to have a frontal and equal experience of the work. The shape of the stage is a smile. There is no better place to sit.  

When we build the chapiteau there is nothing that is planted into the ground. It rather grows up from above the ground.  It is very gentle.

The form of the chapiteau is universal. Each one who has the experience of entering finds something to which he directly relates. It provides a grand sense of union, starting with those who build it, continuing through those who perform inside and onto those who come as spectators. It is not only our dream, but is shared by many, to enter a place where you directly experience another reality.

Something very moving is when the chapiteau is being built and the cap is being drawn upwards, and slowly upwards. It is so fragile, and yet so strong. An essential quality of the chapiteau is its sense of weightlessness.

Video Le Chapiteau - Napoli

Scheda tecnica (pdf)