Theatre Performances - Ardis I (Les Enfants maudits)
      The ardors and arbours of Ardis

Ardis, the art and the ardor, this is Ada’s obsessive Leitmotiv.
“I am thinking of aurocks and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, refuge of art.” (Lolita)

When Fanny & Alexander baptized its theatrical seat, in Ravenna, about three years ago, among all the possible names, they chose to borrow a name from literature.
“Ardis Hall”, the mythical mansion in Ada, the crucial point of Ada and Van’s love, Eden and Hades, the basis of the artwork’s very idea. A name tasting of ardor. Sound name, planet name. A name meaning “arrow” in ancient Greek.

Ada’s plot is apparently simple. Ada is Van’s first love. Van is Ada’s first love. They are lovers, but they are brother and sister too. They are expected to be born from brother-germans, and in the novel everything is precisely calculated to conceal and disclose, in turn imperceptibly, the real nature of their love. At the same time Ada and Van are strangely similar and resolutely different: their love can go from the most absolute and craziest narcissism to the most violent and atrocious breaking off.

They live in Antiterra, our twin planet, where the Earth’s idea is a myth and every form of art is a game. After eighty years, Ada and Van are still together, and they disappear together, like an evanescence, from the book of memories where Van tells the tale of their love. Martyrs of time, endlessly and blissfully decrepit, lying down on their metaphysical bed, they can’t die, not even in the end, in the unavoidable end of the work they are composing through their own lives.

The reading of Ada is a contest, a gesture of pure eroticism, of ardent antagonism between reader and author. The tale is revealed by precise and stratified notes, by rapid intuitions. It forces to sudden sensual abandons and continuous starts of intellect, to murderous games (“pun assasine”), to games of worlds (“playing a game of worlds”).

We have imagined these intense alterations, games of “words-worlds”, from a cosmologic point of view, giving them a specific fantastic geography. Ardis I is the first of the seven “dwellings” where Fanny & Alexander will stop, for Ada, a family chronicle. This one is the dwelling of Eden where Ada and Van first met, the lost and impossible dwelling of an obsessive myth which is incandescent now, for Nabokov and also for Fanny & Alexander.

For us this dwelling has got a strange specific nature, it’s a kind of entrance, an allusive room, an enigmatic place called “chamber cinema”.

  back to top   Chamber cinema

Try to imagine a garden inside a concert hall, and a gallery inside this garden…
Can you? OK, here is one of the possible definitions of “chamber cinema”.

Now try to imagine a gallery, and think about it as if it was inside a theatre; the theatre itself is placed inside a novel, which sometimes seems to change into that garden where you left from; try to change it into a kind of demonic Eden.
The novel is an ardent love novel from the very beginning. We must say it. Even if some of you might have thought about it as a simple garden, where lots of things, love too, have happened.

In the end - we’re asking it almost in a low voice – try to imagine yourself asleep, inside the room where you have placed the Ardis garden, and then imagine to wake up and to be the victims of a magnificent mistake: that garden, all of a sudden, is not a garden anymore, but a naked room, full of eyes, staring you and calling you from another garden.
The problem of the entrance inside the novel, inside the love which has been promised to you, is a problem of holes, openings and creaks to pass through.

So imagine a closed door, in a room, where a shapeless opening reveals some figures at the windows with a view over the novel you are getting ready to welcome. Windows, it’s well known, are literature’s comfort in person all over the centuries. So this story of love and windows will comfort you all.

We have placed in front of your window the view over a room: a painting exactly portraying the portion of landscape covered by the painting. If the subject of the painting was a tree, it would hide another tree behind it, outside the room. The same thing will happen for different subjects, then: birds, kisses, betrayals. They will be, for all of you spectators, sometimes inside the room, in the painting, sometimes on the outside, in the real landscape. So the room will be an open window on the wall of a room, but it will have a view over a room containing the house. The figure of a woman, for example, will be a face which is a part of her very own body (her eyes will be her breasts, her mouth will be her sex).

This world, the world of chamber cinema, will offer a full justification to all your needs: the narrative, literary, pictorial, musical and botanical ones. But we would like to point out, as a matter of fact, that it will only be one of the possible sensorial experiences, which will slip from every objective examination. This experience will partially reward you for the trust you put in the novel-garden you have left from, showing you that maybe your pleasure of spectators, if it exists, is only due to an enigma linked to you, to the painting and to the novel; in the end, it will show you that it’s up to you to decide if you want to pass through it or not.


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Promenada | Lucinda Museum | Vaniada | Aqua Marina | Adescamenti | Ardis II

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