Body-to-body. A comparison of operators and puppets in Sicilian 'Opera dei Pupi' and Japanese 'Bunraku', with Rosario Perricone (Museum Antonio Pasqualino Palermo) and Matteo Casari (University of Bologna).

Joint event of "Ereditare 2. Semiotics of transmission (Bologna's program)" and Spring cycle of seminar of the Chair on Beauty Mokichi Okada (CUE).

  • Date: 27 JUNE 2023  from 11:00 to 13:00

  • Event location: sala Rossa, Centro Umberto Eco, Via Marsala 26, Bologna. - In presence and online event


Puppet opera and bunraku, Japan's best-known and most representative genre of figure theatre, are irreducibly different. They are, in fact, based on different aesthetic, technical and fruition assumptions. Beyond the formal differences and the historical and geographical distance, however, their parallel reading allows us to grasp significant analogies in terms of theatrical aims. After providing the historical-aesthetic coordinates of the two scenic languages, the meeting will mainly focus on the peculiar co-presence of organic and inorganic, of human and artificial that is determined in the relationship between operators and puppets. In this body to body, in this dance sometimes shown to the public and sometimes kept concealed, lies one of the determining factors that make these theatres such high expressions of beauty and emotion.

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Meeting ID: 917 3880 9963
Access code: 525695


Matteo Casari is Associate Professor at the University of Bologna, where he teaches Theatres in Asia (Master's Degree in Music and Theatre) and Performing Cultures of Asia (DAMS). He mainly deals with Asian theatre traditions, in particular from Japan where he has conducted some field research. He is the author of various publications including monographs, editions and essays and has participated in numerous national and international conferences. He is scientific director of the journal "Anthropology and Theatre" and coordinates the interdisciplinary research group Performing robots (University of Bologna).

Rosario Perricone is a senior lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo, where he teaches Cultural Anthropology, Anthropology of Art, Museology and Management of Exhibition Systems and is the didactic coordinator of the second-level master's degree 'The Memory of the Hand. Protection and marketing of traditional products'. He also teaches Cultural Anthropology at the University of Palermo (first in the Degree Course in Demoethnoanthropological Heritage, from 2004 to 2010 and then at the Department of Culture and Society; the Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Sciences and the Department of Architecture). Since 2006 he has been the scientific coordinator of the Association for the Conservation of Popular Traditions (of which he was president from 2015 to 2022) a UNESCO-accredited NGO for intangible cultural heritage; a cultural institute recognised by the Ministry of Culture (L. 534/96) and Research Body recognised by the Ministry of University and Research (DM 44/2008); moreover, since 2008 he has been the director of the Antonio Pasqualino Puppet Museum, a true scientific laboratory for the participatory and innovative preservation of museographic and intangible cultural heritage, recognised nationally and internationally and awarded in 2017 with the prestigious ICOM Italy - Museum of the Year Award.
He is the director of Edizioni Museo Pasqualino, which he created. Editor-in-chief of the scientific journals: "Anthropologia Museale"; "Etnografie sonore", "Etnografie del contemporaneo", "Visual Ethnography" he is also a member of the editorial board of the scientific journals: "Archivio Antropologico Mediterraneo"; "Museum Anthropology", and of the scientific committee of the journal "Outsider Art".
He is a member of the scientific committee of the Italian Society for Museography and Demoethnoanthropological Heritage - SIMBDEA; of the Centre for Sicilian Philological and Linguistic Studies; of the project "PuppetPlays"-Horizon 2020, which focuses on the dramaturgy of figure theatre in Europe; he is a member of the Steering group of the European project "IMP - Intangible Cultural Heritage and Museum", led by the Werkplaats immaterieel erfgoed - Belgium (2017-2019). He is responsible for the "Plan for the Protection of the Sicilian Puppet Opera", drafted for the Ministry of Cultural Heritage- Unesco Service (Law 77/2006).
He has written three volumes, one of which was translated into French Oralité des images, and more than 60 scientific articles.
Rosario Perricone in the anthropological and cultural field has been awarded the European Heritage Awards/Europa Nostra Award for research (2022); the Cassano Prize for Cultural Anthropology (2017), the "La Campana di Burgio" Prize for local research (2015); the Pier Paolo Pasolino Prize for Culture (2013) the Costantino Nigra Prize for Visual Anthropology (2005).