Polyphonic storytelling: Pantani by Marco Martinelli

Franco Nasi

Abstract


This article analyzes Pantani by Marco Martinelli, an epic theatrical wake for one of the most famous sports heroes of Italy's recent past. As the wake unfolds, it retells the story of Pantani, reconstructing and reinterpreting the strange events that lead to the great cyclist's dismissal from the Giro d’Italia in 1999, and subsequently to his nervous breakdown and lonely death in a hotel, only 34 years old. Alongside the rituals of a traditional wake, the show also applies the procedures of a courtroom trial, offering detailed testimony and the examination of evidence, culminating in a critical reflection on Italian society during the years of Berlusconi and his consumerist philosophy.

Three different rhetorical genres (epideictic, judicial, deliberative) are blended together in this complex theatrical texture. Conjugating information (trial) with ritual (wake), Martinelli synthesizes classical choral Greek tragedy (mimetic form) and modern storytelling (diegetic form performed solo). Combining intensely dramatic scenes, powerful evocations of epic feats of sport, and joyful parody, and with the juxtaposition of different styles (journalistic, lyric, parodic, elegiac) Martinelli generates among the audience moments of estrangement, and shock, which makes particularly powerful not only the ritual wake and  the critical reconstruction of Pantani’s tragedy, but also the critique of the ideology that governed Italian public life in Berlusconi era.


Keywords


Drama; storytelling; corus; Marco Pantani; Marco Martinelli

Full Text:

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/1070

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-17038

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