KOMOCO / Sofia Nappi, „PUPO“ | WP on January 13, 2024 at Tanz Köln

KOMOCO / Sofia Nappi, „PUPO“ | WP on January 13, 2024 at Tanz Köln

Preparation is everything: In autumn, Sofia Nappi and her fabulous KOMOCO dancers evenly split six weeks of intensive creation between their co-production partners’ locations ROXY Ulm and Burghof Lörrach to make significant headway on their latest production PUPO.

Workshops and showings for the audience in both cities were the perfect appetisers for the performances in January 2024 and conveyed what a special choreography PUPO is going to be. After all, the coming world premiere doesn’t just tell any old story, but translates a piece of world literature into a danced metamorphosis. The puppet, the child (pupo in Italian) Pinocchio becomes a human being, an adult – and PUPO shows the high price paid for this transformation. Atmospherically reminiscent of commedia dell’arte and with impressive theatrical effects, PUPO serves as a danced encouragement to face life: No matter how old you are, always keep in touch with your inner child!
A first impression of Sofia Nappi’s sensitive, flowing movement language and the virtuoso dancing of PUPO is provided by the rehearsal trailer. We hope you will soon be able to see the final result for yourself …

KOMOCO / Sofia Nappi
World premiere PUPO

By and with KOMOCO: Arthur Bouilliol, Gregorio Dragoni, Glenda Gheller, India Guanzini, Paolo Piancastelli, Leonardo de Santis, Julie Vivès
Choreography: Sofia Nappi
Choreographic assistance: Adriano Popolo Rubbio
Music: Dead Combo, Jean du Voyage, Irfan, Frédéric Chopin and others
Sound design: Ed Mars & Sofia Nappi
Lighting design: Alessandro Caso
Costume design: Judith Adam
Tour management: ecotopia dance productions

PUPO is a collaboration of Burghof Lörrach (D), Danse Danse Montréal (CA), ecotopia dance productions (D), Escher Theater (L), KOMOCO / Sofia Nappi, MART Foundation (US), ROXY Ulm (D), Sosta Palmizi (I), Tanz Köln (D), Theater Winterthur (CH) and Tollhaus Karlsruhe (D).

Rehearsal photos by Jeanette Bak

Pinocchio is alive … The enduring fascination that this 19th century classic has had on generations of readers young and old can perhaps only be compared to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Both are about growing up in a magical and often frightening world – and both are much more complex and dark than one would expect from a novel for children. Sofia Nappi and KOMOCO are as interested in the otherworld as they are in the transformation from puppet to human. The setting, which works heavily with lighting effects, and the commedia dell’arte-inspired costumes create a surreal, fairytale-like atmosphere. Instead of retelling the story, however, the choreographer focuses primarily on the physical and psychological aspects of the metamorphosis. The dancers seem to be suspended on strings or to detach themselves from them, they move clumsily like puppets – and often like animals. Even more decisive is the spiritual dimension of this process. Sofia Nappi shows us an initiation that takes place in several phases. At first the innocent, impulsive child, replaced by the hedonistic teenager always looking for the next kick – culminating in the crucial, transformative moment of self-realisation, which is aided by mentor figures, just like in Collodi’s novel. In order to grow up, the child and the teenager in us, must die, painfully. For facing our own selves requires honesty about our weaknesses and mistakes. At the same time, we gain something very valuable: true humanity and – this is very important to the choreographer – the support of the community. In the end, the story comes full circle. Being mature means that we are able to reconnect with the purity and goodness of our inner child. The foolish puppet Pinocchio thus gives us a self-empowering insight: we can choose who we want to be.

World premiere on Saturday, January 13, 2024 at Tanz Köln an den Bühnen Köln
further performances: Sunday, January 14, 2024 Tanz Köln / Wednesday, January 17, 2024 ROXY Ulm / Sunday, January 21, 2024 Burghof Lörrach / Wednesday, January 24, 2024 Tollhaus Karlsruhe / Italian premiere on Saturday, February 17, 2024 at Equilibrio Festival Rome / Thursday, March 28, 2024 Belgrade International Dance Festival
as well as in the 2025/26 season Danse Danse Montréal / Escher Theater (Luxemburg) and Theater Winterthur (Switzerland)

About Sofia Nappi

The international choreographer and dancer from Italy trained at the Ailey School in New York and deepened her studies internationally. The close contact with the Hofesh Shechter Dance Company and her involvement with Ohad Naharin’s Gaga language had a particular influence on her work.
Sofia Nappi is artistic director and co-founder of KOMOCO, supported by the contemporary dance association Sosta Palmizi in Cortona (Arezzo) and her first muses Adriano Popolo Rubbio and Paolo Piancastelli. Already with her first pieces for KOMOCO, Nappi won the Introdans Partner Award 2021 at the Rotterdam International Duet Choreography Competition 2021 as well as the First Prize, the Critics‘ Prize and the Production Prize of the Tanja-Liedtke-Stiftung at the 35th International Competition for Choreography Hannover 2021. KOMOCO has performed in Germany, Austria, the USA, Italy, the Netherlands, Israel, France, Albania, Spain, the Canary Islands, Mexico, Kosovo, Belgium and Hungary as well as at numerous Italian and international festivals and dance platforms, including La Biennale Di Venezia, the Albania Meeting Dance Festival, the RomaEuropa Festival, MASDANZA, the COLOURS International Dance Festival in Stuttgart and the Teatro del Canal Madrid.
What’s more, Sofia Nappi regularly collaborates as a freelance choreographer with renowned international ballet and dance companies: In December 2021, she staged her piece Holelah, originally created for La Biennale Di Venezia 2019, with the ballet company of the Nationaltheater Mannheim. 2023 saw the world premieres of Tagadà for the Staatsballett Hannover and Moving Cloud for the Scottish Dance Theater as a contribution to the bill Celtic Connections. A new creation for the Dutch company Introdans was premiered in May 2023. For 2024, the Nederlands Dans Theater has commissioned a new work from her. At the same time, Sofia Nappi works internationally in research and professional training, e.g. at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, at the Micadanses Dance Research Center at Le Carreau du Temple in Paris, at the Henny Jurriëns Studio in Amsterdam, at Elephant in the Black Box and at Danza180 in Madrid, at Tanzpunkt Hannover, at the D. A.F. Dance Arts Faculty in Rome, at the Balletto di Toscana or at Opus Ballet in Florence, always in close collaboration with the dancers of her company KOMOCO.
More information: https://www.sostapalmizi.it/en/artisti_associati_/sofia-nappi/

Rehearsal photos by Jeanette Bak
Image 4: Glenda Gheller and Arthur Bouilliol