"Advice for a young clown" May 1st, 6:30 pm

Café Philo by Giorgio Thoeni. Wednesday, May 1st, 6:30pm, Accademia Teatro Dimitri, Verscio. A meeting with Alessandro Serena

The 1970s witnessed the figure of the clown beginning to crack: a period of crisis that fortunately did not last long but which, as often happens, allowed it to take many steps forward in the process of social adaptation and in the redefinition of new areas. A character that our collective imagination connects to the tradition of the circus, the clown boasts a long and exciting genesis. From the fool’s scespiriano to the masks of the Commedia dell’Arte, from the most ancient and primitive folk festivals to the present day, a path has been built that has crossed the history of the world, entertaining deep relationships with every type of culture. From the circus to the theater, from cinema to figurative art, the adventure of clowning embraces several mechanisms and genres thanks, above all, to its great masters.


The last meeting of the second cycle of Café Philo organized by the Accademia of Verscio is dedicated to the clown with Alessandro Serena, authoritative scholar and witness of that world. Prompted by the questions of Giorgio Thoeni, he will tell the clown’s epic story through various examples, in particular, considering the story of David Larible, who has been defined by the press as the biggest clown in the world. Serena will also talk with the students of the Accademia and with the public to try to understand how the clown has managed to win over audiences from all over the world while keeping its scenic dimension intact.


In collaboration with Open Circus, a circus culture dissemination project sponsored by the MIBAC (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities).


Alessandro Serena

Professor of Circus- and Street-performance History at the Università deli Studi in Milan. Producer and director of circus-theater shows. Curator of TV specials such as those on the Monte Carlo Festival and Cirque du Soleil. Author of volumes such as Storia del Circo (Bruno Mondadori) and Consigli a un giovane clown (Mimesis), collaborator of the Dizionario dello Spettacolo del ‘900 (Baldini & Castoldi). He works with artistic fusions such as at the Venice Biennale and with Commedia dell’Arte groups such as Pantakin. He serves as the chief editor of circo.it, director of research at the Centro di Documentazione delle Arti Circensi in Verona, and is also the founder of Open Circus, a project supported by MIBAC with conferences, workshops, and exhibitions in Italy and abroad. He has collaborated with the most important clowns of our day (including David Larible). He comes from a circus family (he is the grandson of Moira Orfei) and thus grew up on bread and red noses.

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