Edinburgh Fringe 2022
A choreography for several polystyrene shapes and one human. Materia explores the possibilities of polystyrene, to the point it becomes alive and protagonist of the events on stage. A path leads and follows the material from the hesitating movement quality of a delicate encounter to the loud soundscape of a self-sufficient apparatus. Drifting between calmness and darkness, between discovery and destruction. Award-winning producers Aurora Nova and Andrea Salustri present a performance where man and polystyrene dialogue in a non verbal language. Within a set score, objects are free to perform and take initiatives.
We’ve all played with styrofoam, the one time ubiquitous packing material which, when stressed can break into small pieces. In Materia, we watch the chemically manufactured material as it interacts with wind, pressure and humans. What we get is something different to each of us. On a monochromatic stage with stark lighting Andrea Saustri asks us to make our own narrative as he makes styrofoam balls float in midair and spin around each other as orbiting planets in bumper cars. Close microphones enhance the delicate sounds providing a soundtrack to the mesmerising movement.
Using an array of small but seemingly very strong fans, Salustri focuses the wind currents on various forms of polystyrene to encourage movement which let the audience overlay their own story about what is happening in front of them. Sheets of Styrofoam waddle like drunken penguins, pellets of styrofoam poured in the center of an upturned fan creating a white, tornado raining little white bbs throughout the performance space.
Salustri also studied dance and fills a beautiful section with a pas de deux with a small sheet of Polystyrene. His movements sway, keeping his partner in constant motion, and like ice dancers, throws his partner in the air, spinning like a frisbee, to be caught and swayed away again.
In giving the audience the opportunity to discover their own storyline, we are given the chance to personify basic physics into a complicated push and pull of possibilities. As the program reaches its climax, Salustri engages one experiment after another, filling the stage with scenic and sonic elements that are hypnotic and mesmeric. Balls spin, panels waddle, pellets shower while the soundscape grows louder and louder with strobe lights creating a kind of mad scientist laboratory. The Doctor Moreau of the polystyrene scene. This is a one-of-a-kind show that offers an opportunity to reach inside ourselves and find our own story.