Of the many excesses Festival Due Dimensioni is guilty of, the one for too much restraint has just been committed once: when it has been named. In fact it was soon clear that two dimensions were too few to include the paths, suggestions and clues, the levels of discovery and connection that crossed themselves along the intense years. They were too few to testify that it is not important how long the travel is, but it is what you discover while you are travelling. This festival has actually been a travel, and it has been desired, made and sustained exclusively by theatre people and musicians, who managed to involve other musicians and theatre makers before anyone else. In a moment in which proposals and answers seemed to be in a strong coincidence of will and time. Maybe.
First it was ancient and new: it seems to be strange now, but there was a time in which ancient music performed with period instruments and techniques was a surprise, a discovery. This discovery has been made in Parma, in the Festival Due Dimensioni, of course. Fortepianos, harpsichords, ensembles, countertenors, flutes of all kinds packed the stage of Teatro Due in a crowd that witnessed how hastening the times is the only way to live them. Ancient and modern, and Cantigas de Santa Maria, Brandeburgers, Cantatas were followed by Castaldi and Juan Hidalgo, futurist soirees, so rich in music and events, so alive and so real. Heterogeneous, dispersed, non-academic, across-the-board? After a little time, there started to be too many definitions, along with the enrichment of the proposals in an excitement that was careless of the organizational constraints. The “soirees Satie”, the vocal experiments of Frank Royon Le Mée, the acclaimed underwater concert by Michel Redolfi, that induced the most formal critics to come and watch it in their swimwear since they could only hear it in the pool, the classic-like experiments of the chanteuse Alice, the Opera “Genesi” by Franco Battiato, the “Threepenny opera” directed by Gaslini with jazz, baroque and rock singers, all these events grew in those fertile years, in which the newest ideas (someone called them crazy) always found someone saying: why not? It’s just like the thing I wanna do! As it was for the music, Parma was the place in which Minimalism was born, in Festival Due Dimensioni. Many years had to come to see it again, poured in every musical and theatre programme.
In a period in which we don’t deserve to “crash boundaries”, “enlarge seasons”, “melt genres”, we find ourselves talking about a Festival that, with extremely poor means but with pure richness of ideas, put together names like Alvin Curran and Stanley Hoogland, Cathy Berberian and Sergio Vartolo, Kenneth Gilbert and Meredith Monk, Anner Bijilsma and Antonio Ballista, Gustav Leonhardt, Michael Aspinall, Franz Brüggen and Mal Waldron, Giorgio Gaslini and Gloria Banditelli, René Jacobs and Giancarlo Cardini. These are just few names of the ones who crowded the programme of this long-eyed Festival.
Vincenzo Raffaele Segreto