A sailing boat and a theatre stage have much in common: both places could not exist without our constant self-responsibility.
Founded in Cagliari (Italy) in 1999, the theatre company Compagnia Çàjka has sailed for over 25,000 nautical miles on a sailing boat, performing shows in Mediterranean ports.
Teatridimare is the name of the theatre-sailing project which has now got to its 16h year. It is an original and unique vehicle for interaction and opportunity for different cultures to meet: the harmony of the duo 'sea – theatre', Compagnia Çàjka's strong point, becomes a possible and ideal bridge between different cultures and countries, an opportunity to cross new cultural frontiers.
The philosophy of travelling, which is at the core of theatrical adventures of all times, withholds the very sense of meeting and exchanges. These key words also introduce two coinciding concepts. Firstly, the coherent choice of considering performing arts not as a chance of merely “showing off”, but as a place where it becomes possible to relate to other cultures; secondly, an opening to pedagogical dynamics which encourage meaningful and peaceful relationships between people.
In Teatridimare, the traditional formula 'the audience go to see the show' is turned upside down becoming 'the theatre goes to the audience'. The ordinary places of our day-to-day life (harbours, quays, courtyards, squares, streets etc.) become “extra-ordinary”, embracing a diverse and multi-cultural audience.
It's a “cultural barter” through which coastal towns and cities can rediscover their original identity, whereby ports go back to being lived as places where to meet and exchange emotions.
The project lives in its capacity to invent and adapt performances to places which are testimonies of the local architecture and culture.
Teatridimare is not only about performing, but it also wishes to introduce its public to a broader culture of the sea, to be intended as a direct experience of life, of the environment and as a meeting place.
Teatridimare is a permanent project which does not limit itself merely to the theatrical-sailing phase or the tours of the company, but it also extends as far as including local institutional partners and populations. It is an itinerant theatrical laboratory which is based on the idea of shared creativity, in which different theatrical codes are combined, where specific professional know-hows are exchanged during rehearsals and in workshops; in particular, the latter are designed for professionals but are also open to the general public (adults and children) and generally aim at weaving together different techniques and dynamics with this special art of living.
Staging and performing the shows
A sailing boat, George, enters the harbour at dusk: on board, the actors-sailors carry out the usual approach and mooring manoeuvres. All stage props, costumes, light and sound systems are on the boat: in this way, the Compagnia Çàjka is able to autonomously set up their shows on the quays or elsewhere (squares, streets, historical centres, amphitheatres or other areas dedicated to performing arts), as previously agreed with the hosting organization.
The boat arrives the day prior to the show and becomes the backstage. In the afternoon, in order to to promote and advertise the show, the actors perform a musical-theatrical parade along the streets of the town/city, following the ancient tradition of town criers.
The following day the boat is unloaded and the stage is set up there and then: the audience suddenly see the birth of the show as it's happening.
Teatridimare: an important and exclusive means for communication and promotion for selective sponsors.
For local governments and private businesses, Teatridimare represents an innovative opportunity to promote their image and their products: for the entire duration of the tour, the exposure of the project, the large number of spectators and media coverage on the one hand, and the uniqueness and cultural value of the product on the other, are a guarantee for success.
While moored in the harbour, the boat also acts as an info-point, giving all sorts of information to adults and children, such as practical and technical aspects of both theatre and sailing, environmental issues related especially to the Mediterranean Sea, as well as environmentally- friendly and correct behaviour at sea, thus becoming a meeting place for the general public and sponsors.