Motus was set up in Rimini in 1991 by Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Francesconi Nicolò.

After graduation (respectively in History of Economics and Sociology), they had the idea of forming an independent group which was initially called Opere dell'ingegno.

In 1991 they put on Stati d'assedio, inspired by Albert Camus’ play L’état de siège, a show which involved the public in a mobile itinerary. Right from this early experience, the “polymorphic” nature of the new artistic formation was delineated: over and above actors, the project included musicians, graphic artists and sculptors.

In 1992 the group changed its name to Motus. This was the start of a long series of productions and small events curated and directed by both Enrico and Daniela, the former particularly interested in mise-en-scène and the latter in the dramaturgical process and writing. Both of them, moreover, often acted in the shows.

In the same year they produced Strada Principale and Strade Secondarie, dedicated to Paul Klee and Samuel Beckett.

In 1993, for the Scenario prize, they created AID. Zona ad alta tensione. With this show, they began collaborating with Moroccan students and workers, setting up a series of initiatives aimed at interchange with Islamic culture and culminating in their organisation of the project Maghreb e Senegal, fra letteratura ed oralità. I teatri della differenza for DAMS of Bologna (Teatro la Soffitta), in collaboration with Ravenna Teatro.

With the explosive show Catrame, premiered in 1996 at the Teatro Petrella in Longiano and inspired by J. G. Ballard’s The Atrocity Exhibition and Crash, Motus achieved recognition at national and international level.

In 1998, O.F. ovvero Orlando Furioso debuted at the Rotonda della Besana for the Festival Teatri 90 of Milan. The video of the show, directed by Enrico Casagrande, Daniela Nicolò and David Zamagni, won the Production Prize at the TTV Festival Riccione '99, and the show itself made an important tour of Italy and Eastern Europe.

In November 1999 Motus was awarded the Special Ubu Prize “for the insistent and creative coherency of visionary research into redesigning spaces and filtering myths.” In the same year the magazine “Lo straniero”, editor Goffredo Fofi, awarded the group the Young Talent

Prize for the following reasons: "After interesting and provocative rehearsals the group put on Orlando Furioso which, with a brilliant visual-sound aesthetic reminiscent of Romagnol origins (from Fellini to Casadei) but also sharing a post-modern collective imagination that runs from comics to photography, painting and fashion, tackled an ironic interpretation of the “crisis of the male”, particularly underscored by Deleuze and other analysts of our bizarre and troubled contemporaneity".

In November 2000 in Milan, the Ubu Prizes judges awarded the company the Special Ubu Prize for the "Project Prototipo, independently run by Fanny&Alexander, Masque Teatro, Motus and Teatrino Clandestino at Interzona in Verona, in the context of the Venice Biennale, for the planning and implementation of a profitable experience of collaboration, in an extraordinary space, among young theatre companies."

Then the new theatre project Rooms came into being, on the theme of hotel rooms, which with the show Twin Rooms enjoyed important co-production with the Venice Theatre Biennale and the International Network Temps d'Image of Paris (with which Motus still collaborates today). The stage in this case became an actual set with theatre and filmic narration side by side.

In December 2002, crowning two years of intense work, the company was

awarded its third Special Ubu Prize "for the play of splitting images and narrative in the evolution of the Rooms Project."

In 2003 a new artistic voyage began through the words and images of Pier Paolo Pasolini: a journey inaugurated with the special event Come un cane senza padrone, presented in the context of the project Petrolio, curated by Mario Martone in Naples.

In 2005 work began on another author maudit, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, with the documentary-project Piccoli Episodi di fascismo quotidiano.

In spring 2007 Motus began a specific, almost documentary exploration of adolescence, given form in the project X(ics)Racconti crudeli della giovinezza which includes 4 shows, a film and eclectic moments of performance.

In 2009 the project Syrma Antigónes was begun, developed in a relationship of continuity with the previous production Ics (X) Racconti crudeli della giovinezza: the idea was to carry out an analysis of the relationship/conflict between generations, taking the tragic figure of Antigone as an archetype of struggle and resistance. Three contests arose from the project – neither shows nor performances but “contests”, meaning confrontations/clashes between two actors only: Let The sunshine In, Too Late and Iovadovia. The journey however was completed in autumn 2010 with the premiere, at the Festival Vie di Modena, of the show Alexis. A Greek tragedy.

In 2010 Enrico Casagrande, on behalf of the whole company, was artistic director of the 40th Santarcangelo Festival. In Summer 2011, Motus has opened a broader and visionary front of observation to “collect” figurative projections of the “Tomorrow that makes everybody tremble”, darting into the intricate panorama of revolutionary artists, writers, philosophers, comics artists and architects who have imagined (and still try to imagine) the Upcoming Near Future.

Making the Plot 2011>2068 is the new itinerary that through public actions, workshops, residencies will lead the company to a new show, Nella Tempesta.

In May 13, The plot is the revolution, the first opening-encounter of that new project, took place at the Teatro Petrella in Longiano as part of the Santarcangelo Festival 2011, an event that saw the meeting of two “Antigones”, Judith Malina of the Living Theatre and Silvia Calderoni: a dialogue between different generations, experiences, voices and physicalities that leads us to go on believing in theatre as a possibility of influencing the present.

During this itinerary, as the directors of Motus were reading some science fiction novels, they discovered a true link between the events and the themes of the Shakespeare's Tempest. They consequently chose this text as a basis for the dramaturgy of Nella Tempesta. During the 2013/2014 season, Nella Tempesta is on tour in all Europe.

The Caliban Cannibal performance, presented in October 2013 in Marseille during the Festival actOral, is a subsequent stage of the project.

All Daniela and Enrico’s artistic work goes hand in hand with an intense programme of public meetings, lectures and master classes at Italian and foreign universities, precisely in connection with the company’s complex theatrical and videographic projects.

                   © Ligne Directe 2010
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