Founded in Rimini in 1991 by Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò, Motus Theatre Company burst onto the scene with productions wielding great physical and emotional impact, managing to anticipate and portray the fiercest contradictions of the present day. In a short time it has earned several acknowledgements and prestigious prizes.
Interpreting the words and thought of authors such as Beckett, DeLillo, Genet, Fassbinder, Rilke or Pasolini, it has experienced and created hyper-contemporary theatre trends, landing to Myth in their radical reinterpretation of Antigone as an archetype of struggle and resistance in the light of the Greek crisis. The year 2008 opens the cycle Syrma Antigónes, part of which is Alexis. Una tragedia greca (2010) which explores the revolutions in the contemporary world and received the Critics’ Choice Award by the Québec Association of Theatre Critics.
With AnimalePolitico Project (2011-2013), the company intercept worries, impulses, images and projections on the “Tomorrow that makes everybody tremble” through several Public Actions. First of all The Plot is the Revolution (2011), a moving encounter between “two Antigones”: Silvia Calderoni and Judith Malina of The Living Theatre. Nella Tempesta (2013) and Caliban Cannibal (2013) are also a part of this itinerary capable of evoking the tragedy of migration.
In 2014 the company works on the adaptation and direction of the baroque semi-opera King Arthur, with words by John Dryden and music by Henry Purcell.
Since 2015 Motus has focused on the theme of the border/conflict through a research project starting with the performance MDLSX, a solo of Silvia Calderoni about the right to the freedom of transitioning from one gender to another, demolishing every kind of prejudice and barrier. The project continues with Raffiche (2016) and Über Raffiche (2017), reflections on the barriers inside the bodies, on identity, rebellion and the suspension of the will to define the self.
In 2016 the company organized the three-months-long monographic project “HELLO STRANGER”, sponsored by the Municipality of Bologna celebrating the 25th anniversary of Motus.
With PANORAMA (2018) – co-produced by La Mama ETC of New York, premiered in January 2018 and nominated for best direction at the Ubu Prizes 2019 and for Outstanding Innovative Design and Outstanding Performance Art Production at the Innovative Theatre Award of New York – Motus claims the right to migration weaving new existential panoramas, where the migrant condition is converted into an intrinsic characteristic of existence.
In 2018 Motus continues its exploration of the relationship between theatrical and cinematographic languages with the performance Chroma Keys, premiered at Santarcangelo Festival.
All the artistic work of the company is interweaved with an intense program of public meetings, lectures and masterclasses at various Italian and foreign universities: from IUAV university in Venice, in the frame of the MA course in Performing Arts; to La Manufacture – Haute école de théâtre de la Suisse Romande in Lausanne, with which the collaboration started in 2014 and continued through 2019 with the teaching to the 15 students of the acting BA. This experience will end with the graduation show Rip it up and start again (2019): a musical encounter with the very lively germs of the Post-punk culture.
In 2019 Motus begins a new partnership with the Master DAS Theatre – directed by Silvia Bottiroli – of the Academy of Theatre and Dance in Amsterdam, with a special edition of the residency program Nomadic Block.
In 2010 Enrico Casagrande, on behalf of the whole group, is artistic director of the 40th edition of Santarcangelo Festival. In 2020, the company is invited to curate its artistic direction again, for the extraordinary edition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Festival.