SÃO LUIZ TEATRO MUNICIPAL - Sala Mário Viegas
7 and 8 May at 7.30pm (Fri, Sat)
9 May at 4pm (Sun)
Technique: Full-view manipulation, life-size puppet Language: Spanish, with Portuguese subtitles Age guidance: +12 Runs: 60 min.
A solo performance for an actress and a life-size puppet. Tita Iacobelli moves from one role to another with prodigious virtuosity, in a brilliant acting that makes time stop... for a moment.
In the backstage of a theatre, an old actress in her twilight years wonders what she is doing there.
A woman comes up to her and reminds her the meaning of her presence: to play the role of Arkadina in Chekhov’s The Seagull.
It will be her last role.
A farewell to the stage to immerse herself in her past-life, to reconnect with the young actress that she was. Although her memory is fading away, and she wonders about the meaning of her existence, she is determined to carry out the performance.
She tries to follow the dialogues but gets lost in her memories of the times when she was still famous in the role of the young heroine Nina. In her downfall, she reflects upon theatre, the stage fright, the fear of oblivion, the approaching retirement and the shadows of past loves. Fiction and reality, past and future, hope and disappointment are intersect.
A solo performance for an actress and a life-size puppet. Tita Iacobelli moves from one role to another with prodigious virtuosity, in a brilliant acting and a succession of extraordinary roles.
Freely inspired by Chekhov’s The Seagull, this piece is designed in permanent tension, between a classical theatre masterpiece, puppetry and the choreographed movement.
Chaika was awarded with three prizes in Chile: Best Play and Best Actress 2018 (from Circulo de Críticos de Arte de Chile) and the Audience Award for Best Stage Direction (Premios Clap).
In 2020, received the Belgium prize Maeterlinck de la Critique - Best Solo performance.
"One puppeteer actress, a puppet and a minimalist staging is enough to achieve the sublime, exploring the chiaroscuro that separates reality from theatre, life from death, memory from fantasy. Masterful. It is a lesson in writing, acting and manipulation, and a deeply moving work.
Chaika is a masterful lesson in the use of puppetry and the possibilities in which it unfolds. If only for this reason, all theatre lovers, without exception, should have the opportunity to see this performance."
-Mathieu Dochtermann, Toute la Culture
"An ode to life and theatre, Chaika is a great show, where puppetry reaches a level of artistic quality and remarkable poetic strength."
-Dominique Mussche, RTBF Culture
“Get ready for an hour-long journey to the limit of a mythical character and paranoia. An immersion in the inevitable multiple life of a great actress and in her acting, as if 'possessed' by whom she incarnates. This is no longer a play, but a cascade of mirrors in an abyss narrative: an old actress, in the twilight of her career, resumes her career in the form of a life-size puppet, which is no more than a double aged actress, who manipulates her, while playing various roles."
-Catherine Makereel, Le Soir
In 2012, Chilean actress and stage director Tita Iacobelli met the Belgo-Russian puppeteer Natacha Belova in Santiago, Chile, at the La Rebelión de los Muñecos festival. In 2015, again in Santiago they created a theatre laboratory experimenting with modern puppet theatre. When the two-month experience was over, they decided to develop a play together. Chaika is the Belova-Iacobelli company’s first creation. The process took place during four residencies in Buenos Aires, Santiago and Brussels. They presented their work for the first time in 2018 at the La Rebelión de Los Muñecos festival. Since its premiere, in addition to the awards received, the play has been acclaimed by critics and the audience.
Natacha Belova, who graduated in history, was born in Russia and lives in Belgium since 1995. She started out as a costume and set designer in her first collaborations in the Belgian and international performing arts circuit. She went on to specialise in puppet art. In conducting many projects in theatre, but also in the fields of dance, circus, cinema and opera, she acquired a vast experience that moved her to create her own projects.
In November 2017, she signed her first stage direction with Passeggeri of the Cie La Barca dei Matti at IF – Festival internazionale di Teatro di Immagine e Figura — Milan, Italy. These last few years, she has given numerous puppet workshops in 15 countries across three continents and in 2016 founded her own centre for research and training, the Ifo, a non-profit based in Brussels. She also directed a workshop in the frame of Funicular Project, an international training programme organized by A Tarumba, at the National Theatre.
Tita Iacobelli began her career as an artist in 2001. In 2003, she won the Best Actress Award at the Nuevos Directores festival. Since 2005, she is an actress and puppeteer and sometimes co-directs some of the works at Jaime Lorca’s Viajeinmóvil Company. She also gives puppet workshops. She has worked on different stages in the Americas and Europe with plays like Gulliver (2006) and Othelo (2012). Her close ties to music led her to direct several musicals with the youth theatre company Teatro de Ocasión and theatrical concerts with the Chilean fusión-jazz Congreso as well as with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Santiago Municipal Theatre.
Direction: Natacha Belova, Tita Iacobelli Outside eye: Nicole Mossoux Set design: Natacha Belova Performer: Tita lacobelli Assistant director: Edurne Rankin Dramaturgical assistant: Rodrigo Gijón Set design assistant: Gabriela González Lighting design: Gabriela González, Christian Halkin Set construction: Guy Carbonnelle, Aurélie Borremans Sound design: Gonzalo Aylwin, Simón González Music (based on Rafael Hernández's song La Pobre Gaivota): Simón González Sound and light technician: Franco Peñaloza Production: Javier Chávez, Ifo Asbl Photography: Michael Gálvez, Simon Breeveld Support: Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles-arts de la scène-service interdisciplinaire Coproduction: Mars-Mons arts de la scène, Théâtre des Martyrs, Atelier Jean Vilar // Chaika is an Ifo Asbl production, made with the support of the Fondo Nacional para el Desarrollo Cultural y las Artes National of Chile