I arrived in Palermo five days ago to start work on a performance in collaboration with local musicians and performers to create a site-specific piece in a derelict warehouse in Palermo, at the Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa. The project is part of a mini-festival organised by Andrea Cusumano with a view to having an annual exchange project between his base in Palermo and Goldsmiths College (at which Andrea is a tutor). Michelle Li is working with me in directing and overseeing the devising process, but it is very much an open collaboration taking material from the site, the city and the performers we are working with - we didn't bring a piece with us to perform but the theme relates to our continuing exploration of intercultural exchange and immigration - something very relevant to Sicily's history and current situation.
Pictured is part of the warehouse space we will be working in - though it will certainly change a lot. We are performing on the 25th July so time is quite short. However, we have been lucky to have Andrea's help to find an excellent group of musicians and dancers to work with here, who have been very open to our ways of working and very creative in their own right, developing material and ideas. Collaborators include Benedetto Basile, Ricchezza Falcone, Elisa D'Allesandro, Michele Piccione, Lorenzo Badagliacca, Veronica Racito, Fulvio Di Genova and Alice Corso. Michele and Benedetto are members of Lassatil Abballari, who play traditional music and instruments from lots of different cultures as well as composing their own material in those genres.