INCANTI is a festival dedicated to Puppet Theatre for adults, with particular emphasis on Shadow Theatre. The festival offers both traditional shows and productions which provide an international spectrum of innovative experimental work in which music, poetry and the visual arts intersect with fantasy and creative freedom. Incanti started in 1994 from an initiative of Controluce Teatro d’Ombre with the support of the Regione Piemonte and with the collaboration of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea; over the years, they were joined by MiBACT, Compagnia di San Paolo, Città di Torino, Fondazione CRT, Comune di Grugliasco,the Teatro Stabile Foundation of Turin and the Fondazione Teatro Ragazzi e Giovani onlus.
INCANTI's goal is the dissemination and promotion of Puppet Theatre in Piedmont and in Italy, primarily for an adult audience, but apart from the main programme there is a section devoted to schools (in collaboration with the Municipality of Grugliasco) and some educational projects, with the dual aim of teaching and production, have also been developed: the Shadow Theatre Workshop at the Castello di Rivoli, the Production Incanti Project (PIP), the Accademia Project, in collaboration with foreign Theatre Schools having Puppet Theater departments, and the Cantiere Project, aimed at emerging italian companies.
PIP Production INCANTI Project: a group of students and young puppet theatre professionals, selected following a public announcement and under the guidance of a major international director, receive hospitality from the Festival and the wherewithal to create a new show and present it at the Festival. The project aims to promote young people's access to the cultural resources of theatre. It is supported by the Region of Piedmont and the Municipality of Grugliasco as a special initiative, with the collaboration of the Istituto per i Beni Marionettistici e il Teatro Popolare and it has obtained great success since the beginning. It has been directed by Eva Kaufmann (2008), Neville Tranter (2009), Frank Soehnle (2010), Gyula Molnar (2011), Andrew&Kathy Kim (2012), Duda Paiva (2013), Max Vandervorst (2014), Nori Sawa (2015), Agnes Limbos (2016), Anna Ivanova-Brashinskaya (2017), Controluce Teatro d'Ombre (2018), Ines Pasic (2019)
Shadow Theatre Workshop: Incanti pays special attention to research and experimentation in the field of Shadow Theatre. In collaboration with the Education Department of the Castello di Rivoli, since 2000 it has organised workshops given by some of the most interesting artists in shadow theatre on the international scene, as Wajang Wiya (Indonesia), Cengiz Ozek (Turkey), La cónica lacónica (Spain), Richard Bradshaw (Australia), L'asina sull'isola (Italy), Tadeusz Wierbicki (Poland), Valeria Guglietti (Argentine), Norbert Goetz (Germany), Athos Danellis (Greece), Alba Zapater (Spain), Kim Eun Young (South Corea), Massimo Arbarello (Italy), Nori Sawa (Japan), Ingo Mewes (Germany), Magdalena Kiszko-Dojlidko (Poland), Cora De Maria (Italy), Stephanie Rinke (2018). The initiative was open in 2019 to Stop Motion with the workshop by Massimo Ottoni.
Accademia Project: the Accademy Project aims to create a relationship network with foreign Theatre Schools having Puppet Theatre departments, in order to draw the attention of young artists, companies and general public towards the exchange of knowledge and opportunities in the field of Puppetry. Guests of the project have been: Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch in Berlin, Institut International de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mézières, Staatliche Hochscule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Akademia Teatralna im. A. Zelwerowicza in Warsaw (Puppetry department in Bialystok), ESELx Escola Superior de Educação de Lisboa (Pós-graduação Marionetas e Formas Animadas) in Lisbon.
Cantiere Project: young Italian companies are selected by an open advertisement to be followed and adviced by veteran companies in a new production. Projects and final works are presented at INCANTI and other Italian Puppet festivals' partners: Festival IF/Teatro del Buratto in Myland, Teatro delle Briciole in Parma, Festival Arrivano dal mare / Teatro del Drago in Ravenna, Festival Anima If/ Is Mascareddas in Cagliari, Alpe Adria Puppet Festival/CTA in Gorizia and Festival Immagini dall'interno in Pinerolo.
The continued growth of audiences, not only from Turin and the region of Piedmont but also from other Italian cities and from abroad, justifies the initial gamble of INCANTI to open a window on International Figure Theatre aimed at adult audiences. Over its 2 decades of festivals, INCANTI has programmed narrative and dramatic work, presented a wide range of older traditions, and explored innovation and experiment crossing into other genres. It has explored topics ranging from war to religion, from myth to politics, in ways that touch the heartstrings of man and history from unusual and sometimes poignant angles.
In past editions Incanti welcomed artists and companies from China, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Japan, Corea, Australia and Europe, among others Prasanna Rao, Dondoro Theatre, I Wayan Wija, Kathakali Center di Kerala, Cengiz Ozek, Yeung Fai, Mummenschanz, Bred&Puppet, Richard Bradshaw, Stephen Mottram’s Animata, Stuffed Puppet Theatre, Figurentheater Tübingen, Norbert Goetz, Tadeus Wierzbicki, Amoros et Augustin, Mossoux-Bonté, Max Vandervorst, Jordi Bertran, La Cónica-Lacónica, Gyula Molnar, Compagnie Gare Central, Meinhardt Krauss Feigl, Duda Paiva, La Tortue Noire, Nori Sawa, Flop Lefebvre, Ines Pasic-Gaia Teatro e molti altri. Quanto alle compagnie italiane hanno partecipato a Incanti, tra gli altri le Marionette Colla, Teatro dei Sensibili di Guido Ceronetti, Controluce Teatro d'Ombre, Teatro Gioco Vita, Claudio Cinelli, Teatro Del Carretto, I Sacchi di Sabbia, Is Mascareddas, L'Asina sull’isola.
Since the 2005 edition the programme dedicated to children takes place at Grugliasco Parco Culturale Le Serre’s “Chalet Allemande”.
Incanti has collaborated regularly with Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Istituto per I Beni Marionettistici e Teatro Popolare, Scuola Internazionale di Comics, Animateria.. And in past editions also with Fondazione Nuovi Mecenati, SMAT, FigurenTheaterFestival of Wels (Austria), L'Altro volto del Teatro (Cagliari), Adria Puppet Festival (Gorizia), AIACE Turin, Asifa, Goethe Institut of Turin, Torino Spiritualità, Forum Austriaco di Cultura, Istituto Giapponese di Cultura of Rome, Institut Ramon Llull of Barcellona, Wallonie–Bruxelles International, MAO Museo d'Arte Orientale of Turin, Piccola Accademia del Teatro Ragazzi e della Animazione, Museo Diffuso della Resistenza of Turin, Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali of Turin. Festival dei Popoli of Firenze.