“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…” An off-screen voice enunciates, one by one, the articles from the universal declaration of human rights. It is an arbitrating voice, both in Spanish and German. The stage is four-sided. The two dancers are pugilists. In the background we hear the sound of Bach. “To dance is to get involved,” says Mattia Russo. “It is expressing what we want to reveal. Hence the dance does not necessarily have to be beautiful.”
Therefore, Kor’sia, a group founded in 2014, does not hesitate to employ cinema, photography, literature, and sculpture as references. Human takes point of departure in the works of the Italian artist Umberto Ciceri. Since the beginning of time, art has given testimony to its love of freedom, so in this new piece the gaze is fixed on what is happening (to us) now. Children are exploited by multinational companies, women are mistreated, and people are fleeing from their countries without their belongings and without finding refuge anywhere. But why then did we say that the universal rights are also human rights?
Since the dawn of time, art has shown its love for humanity and freedom. So in its latest work, Kor’sia is working with the artist Umberto Ciceri to reflect on the growing loss of rights that our society is experiencing. Human (Fights-Rights-Lights) came into being as a scenic research project attempting to represent the demand and need to revise this epic moment in contemporary art. Through the creation of images of movement with an enormous evocative power, Kor’sia attempts to stimulate the involvement of the spectator in the creative process.
Human is a play conceived in three acts by the Italian artist Umberto Ciceri. It could be defined as a polyphonic opera, whose profound text evokes the thirty articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The three stages of the play are mentioned in the title: Experience, Knowledge, and Conscience. Each of the stages is formed into an epic cycle that constantly tries to transform and renew itself.
The narrative technique is not limited to relating society’s development from a western point of view. From the mists of time we rediscover the Sumerian, Persian, Hindu and African civilizations. Our trajectory takes us through different manifestations such as the Code of Ur-Nammu, The Cyrus Cylinder, The Edicts of Ashoka, and the Kurukan Fuga until the present Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the most recent attempt of regulation, the most famous and the least respected.
In Human, the thirty articles of the declaration are sung to Bach’s choral music and choreographed by Kor’sia’s unmistakable dance language in search of what these rights attempt to achieve: respect, equilibrium and a state of grace.
Due to its attractive mix of registers and languages, such as its hidden messages in the drama closely resembling theatrical language, Human is an ideal piece to bring dance closer to the general public. Moreover, the nature of the main theme makes it a project very suitable to get students from secondary schools, conservatories, and dance or music schools involved. Finally, it also allows us to look for collaboration with local charity organizations or ones of international scope such as the United Nations, Amnesty International or Red Cross.
In order to set up this socio-artistic project, the Kor’sia group has had the help and support from the Italian author and artist Umberto Ciceri, who has succeeded in giving both a social and artistic dimension to his neurophysiological knowledge.
Born in 1961, Umberto Ciceri lives and works in Barcelona and Bologna. His artistic and performance work has been presented in prestigious contemporary art fairs such as: Context Art Miami, CI Contemporary Istanbul, Contemporary Art Cologne, Scope New York, PAD Paris Art Fair, and Art Taipei. He also participated in the Italian pavilion at the 54th biennial of Venetian Art. His works are found in private collections throughout Europe, the United States, the Middle East, South America and Asia.
For the making of Human, the artist had support from eminent and generous celebrities who all shared a message of solidarity through this creation. Thus we find the maestro and orchestra director Guido Corti, widely considered one of the best Italian musicians, chorus director Antonio Greco, who transcribed the Rights into Bach’s score, the prestigious chapel chorus Costanzo Porta of Cremona, the exceptional engineer Marzio Benelli and other people such as David Byrne, Eurythmics, Gipsy Kings, and Paolo Conte.