STABAT PATER – A journey of fighting fathers


Lara Guidetti

Claudio Orlandini

Between confessions of anger and love, of bewilderment and strength, this father tells the story of his life next to his disabled son, at home, on the street, in the office, in the everyday world.



A performance by Elena Lolli and Manuel Ferreira
Direction: Claudio Orlandini


Choreography: Lara Guidetti
Music: Mauro Buttafava
Scenography and costumes: Stefano Zullo
Lights: Andrea Violato e Mike Reyes
Video: Michele Ciardulli
Performers: Manuel Ferreira e Gioele Cosentino

With the support of MiC Ministero della Cultura



It is a night like many others, the night of a father who has a son who does not speak, does not walk, does not play like all the other boys.

Between confessions of anger and love, of bewilderment and strength, this father tells the story of his life next to his disabled son, at home, on the street, in the office, in the everyday world. The show reveals the pain of a father who lives a difficult everyday life together with his son, a life made up of care and attention but also the search for a dimension where, somehow, they could meet. An actor in the role of the father and a dancer in that of the son, narrating without voice through the body, both defenceless, bound by an indissoluble relationship. Stabat Pater is a project born from the desire to tell stories of fathers who are looking for an answer to a pain that has marked their life and their role as parents. Fathers who felt robbed twice, first when they were deprived of the son they dreamed of and again when they felt that the role of passing on to their child everything they knew about the world, was stolen from them. A world that does not help them and that, despite the progress made, still fails to make the disabled an active and integrated part of society and our lives. The show was born from interviews and meetings with the “fighting fathers”, who daily measure themselves with the frailty of their children and who are committed to trying to spread a new perspective on disability through concrete projects. With the aim of giving voice to solitary battles that otherwise would remain in the shadows.


Fighting Fathers – Manuel Ferreira

Stabat Pater is a project that touches me deeply. Years ago, my best friend was expecting a baby. The day he was born, after hours and hours of waiting, my friend calls me and tells me in tears “He is slightly affected by down syndrome …” That word “slightly” has always struck me: it is difficult to accept that sentence that comes as a cold shower and it paralyses you. Today 23 years have passed, his son is not slightly effected by Down syndrome, he is fully Down and is a boy that I have seen growing up with a father who has found the strength to look at him for what he is.
Children are a gift, but when the “punch” arrives you feel alone. Almost always we think of the mother, rarely of the father, even though the pain exists for both.
With this show I would like to give them voice, to give a voice to those fathers who have been able to transform their pain into the strength to dream of a better world, a future where they will not be there but their children will be. That future must be built. All together.
Fighting yet fragile – Elena Lolli
How many women of my generation, born between the 60s and 70s, have spent their lives “looking for” their fathers. We have all been daughters and we all know it, we all have had that yearning need. Fortunately, fathers have changed a lot since then. Today they are present, loving and participatory. Already this great transformation would be enough to want to talk about paternity. Among all, we have chosen to tell about those “special” fathers with disabled children, close to them round the clock, the even more present ones. Immersed in a heavy and painful everyday life, they often remain in the shadows or in the shadows retain their pain and their fragility, that male fragility linked to the concept of disability often hidden and rejected by our culture. Yet it is precisely on that fragility that it is possible to re-establish a constructive force. Talking about fragility today is the strongest thing that can be done.


The body of the mystery – Lara Guidetti

The choreographic research investigates the very concept of “ability” linked to the body in relation to the universe of forms and dynamics that we perceive as “normal” because they are understandable, framed in given models and relative structures of relationship repeated enough as to be familiar and therefore solid. The skill we sought resides in the ability to rely completely on an irrational, unconscious, instinctual movement, not subject to logical reactions, forms and changes but completely emotional and related to the senses: mainly touch and hearing. The result is a score that challenges itself not to be one, therefore provoking the viewer to shift their point of view on the body of the dancer who dances “outside the rules”. The relationship between the performers is the generator of constant meaning for the movement that speaks with music and text as a third line of writing.


Claudio Orlandini How to start? How to create the night? The night that is feminine [in the italian language] as are the house, solitude, patience. The performance Stabat Pater requires, and recreates, a masculine atmosphere that starts from the space to generate a nocturnal relationship with few scenic elements: a neutral place, where you can get lost and forget your mother’s home for one night. Thus the relationship between an actor and a dancer is drawn in the void, a masculine place is invented and created, a room of paternal stories, games, confessions, grievances, dreams, screams, smiles and pains. It is a long, nocturnal, via crucis of internal and external, physical and emotional, spatial and psychological struggle that takes place in different bodies, in order to tell, with masculine patience, the fragilitỳ and the difficulty of a father who is able to speak and of a son who is disabled in world, but skilled in dance.


Mauro Buttafava – Composer

The music in Stabat Pater is born together with those actions that lead us through this long night between father and son. Situations that are repeated cyclically, but which find unexpected evolutions of conflicting actions and feelings in the unpredictability of the son and the stubbornness of the father. Thus a delicate electric guitar, accompanied by the presence of loops and flows of drum machines, evolves a suspended and dense atmosphere with an iridescent melodic line made up of sudden accents created together with the scene. Vague echoes of rock and electronics evoke the father’s daily life torn and repaired, while a wave of growing feelings finds space in a constantly improvised minimalism that frees the son’s sprawling and vital dance.