A CREATION BY FRANCESCO SGRO’
This creation arose from the desire to make room for study, both physical and dramaturgical, that puts circus actions and the centre of a work. On stage, three juggler-acrobats are supported by a musician and a lighting tech/audio engineer. The interaction between what these five people produce will bring an innovative composition tolife, the fulcrum of which is the work itself and respect for each of the art forms represented.
Music is an art, juggling is an art, acrobatics are an art, as is the transformation of sound and light.
The figure who is usually found working in the shadows of the control room, the engineer, in Collapse the Box becomes an actor manoeuvring fundamental components of the show’s dramaturgical script.
A search for what still hasn’t been seen; an attempt to enter a completely-unexplored world, get lost and then find oneself again takes place through a journey with professionals who are also friends that have shared years of work and study. In doing so, our understanding of juggling develops into understanding of juggling develops into an art of manipulation between objects, movement, sound and light.
The need for this work comes from the passage of time, the natural evolution of a path that has lasted many years. The desire derives from Francesco Sgrò’s need to return to his origins as a juggler, now also able to draw upon a wealth of experience working as a circus director and years of artistic study spent developing his understanding of sound and movement.
Not only Sgrò, but in recent years the other performers have analysed the relationship between physical and acrobatic gestures and objects, seeking to make circus disciplines emotionally engaging. In addition, they’ve continuously collaborated with each other in order to understand when the interaction between their art forms might lead to a new discipline instead of simply creating a mash-up.
We hope this performance is one that cannot be categorized, that it eschews classification among the arts, a performance that makes the moment on stage and the encounter with the audience the motive for its very existence. It is sure to be a shock for those used to saying ‘this isn’t dance’, ‘this isn’t circus’ and ‘this isn’t music’.
The body and objects
The language used to develop this material is purely physical. The interaction between characters and objects is experienced and externalized through the body via physical motifs based on movements selected over the years.
The manipulation of objects doesn’t take on an aesthetic form, but seeks out the possibility of giving them life, transforming them into other players on the stage. The bodies presented are chameleon-like: musicians become dancers, jugglers become musicians, engineers become actors. Spectators will no longer catalogue the performers by their craft, but rather simply recognise them as human beings immersed in actions on stage.
Acrobat, juggler, performer and graduate of the Flic Circus School, Francesco Sgrò also studied classic guitar at the Conservatorio di Torino and deepened his artistic literacy via theatre and dance training, seeking greater expressive versatility through familiarity with different performance disciplines. In relation to the circus, Sgrò is particularly dedicated to juggling and aerial art forms, from acrobatics to floor work and verticalism, working with internationally-renowned artists. As for dance, he studied primarily with members of the Enclave Dance Company between Tortosa and Brussels, discovering and analysing ‘flying low’, a contemporary dance style that meshes perfectly with circus acrobatics.
He was one of the artists who performed during the closing ceremony of the 2006 Turin Olympics, and he has participated in numerous Gran Galà di Giocoleria (Juggling Gala) events in Italy and abroad.
In 2007, Sgrò conquered the Genoa Science Festival with his Circoscienza project.
Since 2009, he’s worked as a dancer in three Sosta Palmizi productions: Scarpe by Giorgio Rossi, AmaFi by Raffaella Giordano and Ellipsis, where he collaborated as an assistant director and acrobat.
With Collettivo 320chili, which he founded, Sgrò took first place at the 2010 Equilibrio festival held at the Parco della Musica Auditorium in Rome (Artistic Director: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui), with his performance titled Ai Migranti (For Migrants). In addition, he is the director and actor in Invisibile, a contemporary circus act currently on tour in Italy and abroad.
Sgrò is the director, creator and performer in Just Another Normal Day, a production by Sosta Palmizi and the Flic Circus School.
In 2013, he took on the choreographic direction of Design Dance, one of the leading performances among the events for the Milan’s Salone del Mobile.
In 2013, he supervised and performed in the acrobatic act for “The Cal”, the 2014 Pirelli calendar for FLIC.
Artistic Director at the Fuma che’nduma children’s circus schools, as of September 2012 he has been the Artistic Director of the FLIC Circus School in Turin also.
In 2015 he directed the opening performance for Turin European Capital of Sport for Flic.
In 2016 he started collaborating with the Codarts Circus School of Rotterdam as a guest director and artistic coach.
In 2016, along with a group of fellow artists, he founded Collettivo “Fabbrica C”, a collective dedicated to new studies in contemporary circus acts.
In 2017 he was a performer in “Secret Pieces”, a travelling show featuring choreography by Giorgio Rossi and Raffaella Giordano.