Émile, or On Education

direction Alexia Sarantopoulou
original music Yorgia Karidi
light design Marie Sol Kim
performer Ondina Quadri
a Motus production
in coproduction with Santarcangelo Festival
with the support of L’arboreto – Teatro Dimora | La Corte Ospitale ::: Centro di Residenza Emilia-Romagna; Ravenna Teatr, MiBAC,
Regione Emilia-Romagna

The performance is a hybrid between a live concert and a visual art piece. The initial inspiration comes from the book Émile, or On Education, a study on human nature by the illuminist philosopher, writer and composer Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Written in 1762, it is a hymn to nature, to equality and freedom. The philosopher, persuaded of the innate goodness of the human soul, traces the origin of all evil in the rise of society, opposing the concept of nature and the concept of culture.
Other inspiration for the performance is Six moral tales by Eric Rohmer, where the heroes, located in some natural landscape, on the mountains, by the sea or a lake, full of contradictions and confusion, talk about everything, from moral issues to nature, from music to ethnology. Still lifes, Luigi Ontani’s works, baroque painting, Laurie Anderson’s music and tales, Donna Haraway’s thought are all other sources of inspiration. Image and sound will occupy two distinct physical places.

Seemingly distant elements will meet in a possibly incoherent manner, giving birth to new meaning and aesthetic possibilities. The sometimes sentimental and naïve juxtaposition of contrasting inspirations is the origin of this performance.

Alexia Sarantopoulou

Alexia Sarantopoulou was born in Athens. She graduated in Sociology at Panteion Univeristy of Athens, she studied dance at Laban Center of London and obtained a master degree in Theory of Architecture at Athens Polytechnic school.
In 2007 she founded the collective ERRANDS together with others architects and visual artists, that was shown in San Paolo Architecture Biennial, Athens Art Biennial, Istanbul Design Biennial, Gardentopia – Matera capitale della cultura 2019. She started working as an actress in 2010 with Motus. She is part of the theatre company Nova Melancholia since 2014. She lives and workes as an actress between Athens and Italy. 

Ondina Quadri

Ondina Quadri is born in Fiesole (Italy). She joins the film industry in 2013 with the movie Amori e Metamorfosi from the franco-israeli director Yanira Yariv (Locarno Festival 2014). She is the main actress in Carlo Lavagna’s Arianna (Venice Film Festival 2015), for which she wins the Globo d’oro as best actress, and in the movie Il Nido (Locarno Festival 2016).
As a theatre performer she works with Motus, Nova Melancholia, Teatro Valdoca,  Kokoschka Revival. In 2017-18 she designs and directs the show TakenForGranted with Paola Stella Minni and Konstantinos Rizos. In the field of visual arts, she collaborates with Ludovica Carbotta, Andreco.
In 2018 she founds the band GiogioAndTheBabygang.

Alexia Sarantopoulou e Ondina Quadri meet for the first time while working on Motus’ show Raffiche in 2016. In 2018 they collaborate on Nova Melancholia’s performance Immagina un paesaggio eroico. In May 2019, during the project Ecce cor meum organized by Teatro Valdoca, they present in Cesena for the first time as an artistic duo a first study on Émile, or On Education of Jean Jacques Rousseau.

Creative residencies

19 – 30 August 2020
public opening Saturday 29th August 2020
L’arboreto – Teatro Dimora di Mondaino
Mondaino (RN)

22 September – 6 October 2020
CSS – Dialoghi / Residenze delle arti performative a Villa Manin
Villa Manin, Passariano di Codroipo (UD)