Located near Turin, the Lavanderia a Vapore in Collegno has a unique past. The history of this steam laundry is entwined with the fate of the Royal Charterhouse, the monastery of 1641, and seat of the Carthusian monks for over 200 years.
Between 1851 and 1853, a number of pavilions were added, arranged in rows and transforming the convent into the Royal Mental Hospital of Collegno. Twenty years after, based on the designs of the engineer Luigi Fenoglio, the building housing the steam laundry used to wash clothes for the hospital was built.
After more than a century in operation, with the 1978 Basaglia Law, the facility was closed. In 1979, a wall separating the former psychiatric hospital from the city was demolished. From 2004 to 2008, the steam laundry took on a new appearance as per the design project of architect Antonio Besso Marcheis. Entrusted to the Fondazione Piemonte dal Vivo, today it is a regional centre for dance and the residence centre - the only one in Piedmont recognised by MiBAC (Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities) and member of the European Dancehouse Network.
It is here that artists and companies come to live and work. Two rehearsal rooms, an exhibition space, a 280-seat theatre and several offices occupy the 1,200 m2 of the site.
The 2018/2019 season kicks off on 16 November with the gatherings and shows of the series Maratona Bausch - Danzare la memoria, ripensare la storia (until Sunday 18), a tribute to the German choreographer and dancer Pina Bausch a decade after her passing.
Also on Friday 16 is Jessica and Me by Cristiana Morganti, a long-time dancer with the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, questioning herself in a rousing encounter between dance, theatre and comicality.
Then comes Rewind. Omaggio a Cafè Müller di Pina Bausch, with Daria Deflorian and Antonio Tagliarini. From 20 November to 3 December, the Endless Ending Process of Salvatore Insana – awarded with the special mention in the 2018 call for “Artist Residency” applications – brings to the stage a reflection on toil.
In the performance, Jessica and Me, Cristiana Morganti, dancer with the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, questions her career and her relationship with dance.
2018 concludes with a study on the movement of flocks of birds, with Daniele Albanese’s Birds Flocking Project (5-12 December), and with Torino 1968-1978. Quello che l’Acqua Nasconde, curated by Tangram Teatro, taking to the stage on Monday 10, with an exploration of Italy’s decade of turmoil, the ‘Anni di Piombo’ (Years of Lead), of the Basaglia Law.
The laundry room also holds events not managed by Piemonte dal Vivo, such as Le 4 Città Tour of Guido Catalano on Tuesday 18. The poet from Turin with a rock soul returns to his original and natural dimension with this mini solo tour that will stop in Rome (11/12), Bologna (12/12) and Milan (13/12).
Homepage and cover: The outside of the steam Laundry © b. giardino
Quote: © Claudia Kempf
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