Interview with Stephane Gentilini and David Menes
How did it all start back in time and what are the countries you have toured so far?
S: All started by a phone call, around Christmas time, when a collector proposed to Daniele and Julie to make a show with this painting: Tristan fou! This painting was paint by Dali for an opera that he directed in the 40ies. It was lost for many years and found back again, so Daniele accepted and here is the outcome. We’re currently 13 on stage but we think we are 14. This painting is like an old actor to me. For me, it’s like the grandma of the company. So far, we’re touring in Canada, Slovenia, Hungary, France, Spain, Colombia, Uruguay, and Brazil.
D: La veritá started as a dream of Compagnia Finzi pasca, a dream about truth, about real and unreal, a show that would keep the spectator travelling from reality to the dream without notice. Then the backdrop arrived, and everything took a Dali’s texture. Surrealism all around, Tristan and Isolde and the dream. We worked hard in Lugano, and later on in Montreal. The dream came true again. After a year, we have been in Canada, Uruguay, Brazil, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Madrid, Denmark, Colombia, Abu Dhabi… I’m still thinking all this journey is a dream and that one day I’ll wake up!
How do you manage to remain faithful to Salvador Dali’s spirit all through the years?
S: We are inspired by the universe of Dali for the rhythm and scenography but we mainly follow our way. We are still talking about what is real on stage and what is not .The focus is not only on Dali.
D: It is exactly the opposite way Salvador Dali would have liked it, right? Being unfaithful to his work would have made him smile. Play with his world in our way, mixing our dreams with his painting, adding circus, jokes, and music is a very serious combination with his work.
What are the show techniques you focus on?
S: It has been 15 years that I’m juggling and for this show, I have the pleasure to do hula hoop with Evelyne. And, to juggle with diabolo and bounce ball with David, Marco, and JP. After those years the main focus is less about the technique, but more about the way to concretize it; to play, and dance, and to make the public forget about the technique.
D: We focus on being together, we focus on creating a dream inside ourselves, to traveling in our sub-consciousness. Thus, we become able to touch the audience carefully… But we dream with open eyes, to always know where we find each other, and then help each other to succeed. Then, singing, acrobatics, juggling, pole dancing, clowning, wheels…all that becomes easy!
Do colors play an artistic role in the artistic performance?
S: Each scene has different colors, and it makes an influence just like music does. For this show, I think the atmosphere changed a lot from an act to another… Daniele play with the craziness of Francisco, sorry Salvatore…
D: The colors are very important. You could see the atmosphere change when a new color gets on stage, red as blood, but also as tomatoes, ‘cause the dream of truth always hits you with a color… we wake up and it’s blue, and then we dream of a river of red falling from the ceiling. Sometimes it is so intense that my life becomes white and I see nothing… It is beautiful to see an actor change colors on stage.
Are there any limits to the show’s artistic creation?
S: Daniele was completely free for the show creation because we don’t pretend to create a show about Dali. We have the chance to have this painting witch gives us a universe, but we are still going in the direction we want.
D: There are limits. Limits of what we could think or not, technical limits, limits of our body’s capacities… All kind of limits, but there are no limits on what we could dream of. Sometimes, I want something for a show, a new trick, a new balance, and I can’t get it, I practice a lot and it just don’t come… And then I think how I could make it happen any other way, I do research to see if I’m not practicing in the right way, if I’m missing something, or maybe it is just impossible… Then I go to sleep and I dream about it, and it is so much easier! Between getting something done and dreaming something, I prefer to keep on dreaming. I believe one day it will become true.
What are your future projects?
S: We hope we will come up with a new creation soon but nothing is sure yet. We’re just starting to find a new idea. It’s very exciting, so we cross our fingers.
D: My daughter loves to come to my ear and whisper something… She loves secrets, we do too. Secrets are beautiful. What I can say is that the team will keep working together for many years, and that new dreams will come true.
Any messages to new artists?
S: Train a lot and forget about the technique… Start to play!
D: Don’t be scared, be patient, enjoy your meal and take a little nap. Thank you!