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Comicità23 | International Conference

From 23 to 25 March 2023, the international conference resulting from Anna Stoll Knecht's 'Ambition' project, entitled 'Music and clowning in Europe, 20th-21st c.', was held at the Accademia Dimitri in Verscio with great success.

The conference focused on the study of the mechanics and theories of comedy, humour and laughter.

The programme, which combined theory and practice through lectures and performances, featured lectures by several distinguished speakers, followed by performances by artists renowned for their unique approach to comedy. Participants included Gardi Hutter, Jos Houben, the Compagnia Baccalà and Matthias Martelli, who presented his reinterpretation of Dario Fo's 'Mistero Buffo'.

In collaboration with Teatro Dimitri, 'Septik', the latest show by the Fribourg-based company Les Diptik, was presented on 22 March as a prelude to the colloquium.

The colloquium addressed fundamental questions such as "What is the comic phenomenon?" and "What are the similarities and differences between verbal, sound and gestural comedy?" It explored the function of time and rhythm in the comic effect and analysed the links between the notion of comedy and the figure of the clown, with a focus on the period between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through presentations and individual conversations, the colloquium sought to converge complementary modes of reflection, exploring the various facets of comedy and humour in theatre, circus, film, music and philosophy. The multidisciplinary approach even included a foray into the field of neuroscience to deepen the research on this topic already undertaken in each of these disciplines separately.

By comparing the different manifestations of comedy and simultaneously involving theory and practice, the conference helped to shed light on the many facets of this profoundly human phenomenon. At a time when ideological clashes threaten to make us lose our sense of humour, the crucial importance of comedy was emphasised as never before.







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