Tradition has it that peasants in southern Italy who worked in the fields were often bitten by tarantulas, causing them to suffer severe convulsions. To cure and accompany them, the tarantella was born, a rhythm that accompanies the convulsions of the sick person in a kind of choreographic exorcism. This is not the only such occurrence in Europe in recent centuries. In 1636, a collective madness was documented in Strasbourg that reportedly had hundreds of people dancing in the street incessantly for days on end, in what became known as the dance of Saint Vitus. These rituals of collective catharsis are now recreated in the key of our times with the union of the talents of Raül Refree, the playwright Jordi Oriol and the singer Maria Mazzotta. Every summer, the “tarantismo” brings hundreds of people together to dance in Puglia, the heel of the Italian boot, and thus participate in a kind of modern cathartic ritual. Evoé! is a concert that draws on the musical tradition to explore the literary references of collective catharsis. The spectator is thus placed at the centre of the cathartic experience.
We are invited to participate in this ritual by the musician, composer and producer Raül Refree, one of the most acclaimed Spanish producers of the last decade, whose work with innovative artists such as Rosalía, Niño de Elche and Guitarricadelafuente has placed him at the forefront of the so-called “new flamenco” movement and in the recovery of roots music. With him is Maria Mazzotta, one of the most essential voices of traditional Italian music and world music, who was the voice of the traditional music group from Puglia Canzoniere Grecanico Salentinoel; and the actor, author, musician and playwright Jordi Oriol, author of productions such as L’empestat (Grec 2016) and La mala dicció (2021).
On this occasion, these three artists will be accompanied by the Cor Plèiade, a choir of high-pitched voices specialising in 20th and 21st century composers.
A “carte blanche” from the Grec Festival to Raül Refree
A co-production of the Grec 2023 Festival de Barcelona, Festival Clàssics and Fira Mediterrània de Manresa.
With the support of Fabra i Coats: Fàbrica de creació.
In cooperation with Puglia Sounds EXPORT 2023 Programming.
Directed by: Raül Refree. Written by: Jordi Oriol. Music: Raül Refree. Voice: Maria Mazzotta. Voice choir: Cor Plèiade.