hugs in space
Indian premiere - Bangalore - April 2017
The performance Hugs in Space created for the National Gallery of Modern Art of Bengaluru is performed by 60 dancers and have been supported by Attakkalari Centre For Movement Arts of Bangalore and Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Mumbai, India.
Stefano Fardelli hardly wanted to work on Hugs in Space for trying to break up one of the taboo of its society: the “hug”.
In the country all the couples cannot express affection for the other in public: only straight men, because close friends, can hug each other and hold both hands.
Stefano Fardelli was born when the Berlin Wall was still intact, and he grew up in the post Berlin Wall atmosphere after its demolition.
Today, watching the news on tv, it seems to him we are going back to that past, that seemed to be gone but is somehow coming back.
We did not learn from history and again we are building many “walls”, both physically and not.
It is scientifically proved that when you hug someone, in those seconds, something happens to you, your mood changes: and this contact with the other at the level of the heart generates a need to give and to receive love.
This is one of the aims of the project: to spread out a message where the “feeling of love” is protagonist with the hope that in the next future all the “walls” will be pulled down and we will all be closer to each other, without any fear.
If in India the hug is a taboo because of social and religious limitations, in Europe the hug is a taboo because people today are afraid, afraid of the unknown and of what is different from us, and it is not difficult to imagine why, as you can just open the TV to see what the man is doing in the world.
The piece wants to explore 28 different kind of hugs and the relation that the hugs create between the two bodies: contact points and empty spaces.
Stefano Fardelli chose this number because the Berlin Wall was on for 28 years. Repeating and destroying the hugs many times, dancers find new solutions to recreate the same hugs in a different way, using the space too. There is no music and no choreography.
Dancers take their position in relation with the space, they hold it for a minute or up to 30 minutes and then walking they change their place again, taking a new position in a new area of the museum, or maybe in the same room they already occupied.
In every hall for performances the dancers have a different task and so a different way to work on the 28 hugs and sometimes it involve the audience too.