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EUFONIA GENIUS LOCI COOPERATIVE SOCIETY Performing arts between heritage and future

Call for proposals EACEA 34/2018
Detailed description of the project.
October 2018
Senior Partner (LP):
Euphonia – Astragali Teatro (Italy);
Partners (PP):
ITALY: University of Salento – Department of History, Society and Human Studies (Italy)
GREECE: Municipality of Zakynthos; Theater Tsi Zakynthos
FRANCE: ITI General Directorate
ROMANIA: Constanta State Theater
SPAIN: 'Alicia Alonso' Dance Foundation – Rey Juan Carlos University
Associate Partners:
Nova Vita (Italy); Xenia (Italy); 'Creative Apulia' production district (Italy)
Implementation time: September 2019 – January 2021


Genius loci is the connection of women and men with their environment, culture, desires, it is the expression of a community. We are convinced that there is a Genius Loci of Europe that expresses itself through its arts, its cultures, in its multiple and diverse expressions, in its "Unity in Diversity." Genio loci expresses men's desires for their environment, to rediscover the cohesive power of cultural heritage, for a sense of belonging that can foster awareness of nature and culture, a loci of love, for an open society. It is difficult to care for the common goods without special attention, without a form of love loci. The care of the common heritage must be based on strong ties, in strong emotions. It is the feeling of improving the European cultural heritage, to creating a better environment and deeper relationships and respectful, which can be more inclusive.

Artists, citizens, stakeholders must fight together for civic participation within the European framework, to new forms of citizenship through better cultural practices, mobility, exchange of ideas and debate, Artistic initiatives that involve communities, promoting love for culture in its multiple expressions European performing arts are a driving force in Europe and advocate for principles that are at the base of the European Union, such as equality, democracy, solidarity and non-discrimination. In this historical moment, furthermore, it is necessary for European artists to open new views, broaden horizons, and deal with the most important challenges of our societies.

The project enhances a journey through European performing arts, through cross-border exchanges, to highlight common artistic practices, as well as different approaches, backgrounds, methods, to create innovative artistic products and practices generated by joint work between European artists and between artists and people on the basis of exchange and mutual knowledge. It is important to recover and exchange the meanings and forms of European theatrical heritage, to understand and highlight its value for communities, also in a historical moment that sees European feelings and values ​​at risk under the threat of nationalism and xenophobic instances. Cultural heritage is a source of knowledge that can bring people together, revive memories and generate understanding of the present and our future.
This was also expressed in the objectives of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH 2018). The European performing arts are an extraordinary, diversified and intercultural resource whose improvement
It is essential to create awareness about common values ​​and diversities, to strengthen the sense of belonging to a common European space. The wealth of forms that animate the performing arts in
Europe is a heritage that demands recognition and visibility.
The theater invokes its ancient function as a place of social relations and a place of elaboration of social reality on a symbolic and imaginative level. Through the performing arts it is possible to operate a rcritical reflection on social aspects and, sometimes, to produce a change at some levels of society itself.
Scenic representation within the project
The project aims to promote cultural cooperation and intercultural dialogue by connecting artists with people, cultural heritage with places and social contexts, through the implementation of artistic residencies in four different locations: Zakynthos (Greece), Segovia (Spain), Constanta (Romania), Lecce (Italy), including the realization of joint work by European artists, finalized in a joint meeting theater production, site-specific performances, community and knowledge-sharing events.
The project will explore theoretically and practically different forms of performing arts: comic theater culture in Italy, dating back to one of its most popular theatrical forms, Commedia dell'Arte (Astragali Theatre), Ancient Greek Drama and the peculiar form of comedy of Omilias (Theatro tsi Zakynthos), the theatrical and literary mythological Heritage with the Festival 'Myths of the Polis' in Romania (National
Teatro de Constanza), the heritage of dance, from contemporary dance to the heritage of popular dance, in Spain ('Alicia Alonso' Dance Foundation of the University of Madrid 'Rey Juan Carlos'). The relationships between different types of actions have always been reciprocal and fertile, with a constant
exchange of content and techniques, thus forming interactions, tracking intersecting forms, with a constant interweaving of nomadic routes. Each partner has a peculiar field of practice that can
exchange with others.
The contact and confrontation of different theatrical practices can have a great innovative impact in terms of renewal of methodologies, aesthetic approaches, diversification of technical means, openness to different cultural origins. Various artistic forms come into contact through practical articulation work of professional artists.
Participation as a partner of the General Directorate of the International Theater Institute (ITI) UNESCO gives added value to this research into theatrical forms. ITI was created at the initiative of
the first Director-General of UNESCO, Sir Julian Huxley, and the playwright and novelist, JB Priestly in 1948, just after the Second World War. Its objectives are the promotion of intercultural dialogue, culture and diversity through the performing arts, for the improvement and respect of UNESCO values ​​in the culture, education and arts.
THE ITI has become the world's largest organization for the performing arts, with more than 100 centers spread across all continents. A wide range of mobility activities is carried out in the countries involved based on exchange of artists and works of art, as well as public participation actions, which are intertwined with participatory research on the project's themes. Activities (artistic activities, research, audience development actions, a theatrical production) improve the meeting and joint work between artists and cultural operators from different countries and the participation of the public, to address both the innovation of artistic languages ​​and their social impact. The actions are based on the community, in the belief that culture is a factor of social inclusion. A transversal action is undertaken to involve different stakeholders and have a bottom-up effect, to achieve social participation and impact.

About the Author

Alicia Alonso University Institute of Dance