The story of one catastrophe, and of the many stories revolving around it
July 1930, a hurricane hits the village of Montello, Bergamo. Valerio Millefoglie’s La comunione dell’aria tells the story of the event, or rather the stories revolving around it. In a dramatic reading, accompanied by music, sound effects, rap intervals, and live ink illustrations by Marco Petrella, the hurricane functions as a pivotal device as the author/reader/performer shifts between the perspectives of different characters; getting really close to the event, then really far; dancing between newspaper reports and imaginary biographies.
In this way, the tale of Shu, a dyspneic child trying to unravel his trauma in therapy, ties with the invention of the theremin. And the funeral of saxophone player Eddie Busnello seems to carry the echo of the seven strikes of lighting that hit Virginia ranger Roy Sullivan in the span of a few years. What ties each story together, big or small, real or imaginary, is the same air that makes characters float in Peterella’s drawings, with a dream-like quality that evokes both the poetry and the alienation that comes from experiencing such a catastrophe. The result is an extremely immersive, multisensory performance that mixes historical chronicle and emotion, pulling and pushing seemingly unrelated objects in a singular, powerful movement. Just like a hurricane.