physical performance with adatable installation

Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali

by an idea of Dott. Renzo Ovidi
choreographer Loris Petrillo
dramaturgy Massimiliano Burini
with Nicola Simone Cisternino
music Diepenbrock, Handel, Ibsen, Wagner, Bach
light design Loris Petrillo
duration 60′ ca.


ha momenti di genialità creativa lo studio di Petrillo sul proprio Vincent fatto di carne e sudore, voce e pelle, musica e danza.

Lula Abicca

crumbs of wheat
that the wind violates when I pass
the road is set
I walk towards the new tomorrow
together with my fellow blacks crows
I leave the light for the darkness
in which I become nothing

Inspired by an idea of Dr. Renzo Ovidi, a surgeon and also a dear friend, according to whom Van Gogh, notoriously regarded as the painter who went insane and committed suicide, was not really as crazy as history has presented him to us, but was a man suffering from affective deficiency syndrome, probably originating with his family, Loris Petrillo creates his new work using choreography not as a descriptive means, but rather endows it with an instinctive expressive function capable of arousing emotions.
Just as Van Gogh does not narrate facts or describe places through his painting, but is concerned with the meaning of what it represents, Loris Petrillo circumvents the biographical story of the figure to create his own choreographic works dedicated to Van Gogh.

Drawing from Dr. Ovidi’s specifically clinical reading on the one hand, and the poetic and theatrical vision of director-playwright Massimiliano Burini on the other, Petrillo elaborates a personal impression of the case, which he explores through the physicality of the only performer on stage, in a sequence of choreographic and theatrical scenes.
In a random temporal order, but fit together according to the creative instinct of their maker, the scenes evokes a feeling or a medical condition of the Painter: a depressive syndrome generated by his strong need for love, the search for communication with his brother Theo, the vocation of being a pastor; the anguish and anxiety such as to transform himself into a crow; the enthusiasm of the bright and bucolic period in Arles; the moral failure that led him on a winding road of downfalls, collapse, and moral lapses; self-injury because of an inability to sublimate his suffering; the total personal crisis that will lead to his extreme choice to die.

Van Gogh is a show with versatile direction to perfectly fit the stage container, and it fits very well, thanks to the installational setting of alternating and itinerant scenic contexts. The set is neutral, like a pristine canvas which is gradually filled with elements, images, actions, and an eye that evoke the whole nature of the artist according to the personal interpretation by the choreographer Loris Petrillo.

The colors of suffering


Although history presented him as a crazy painter, today Vincent Van Gogh would be considered a borderline personality, that is, placed in an area that borders on the edge between neurosis and psychosis.

Although history presented him as a crazy painter, today Vincent Van Gogh would be considered a borderline personality, that is, placed in an area that borders on the edge between neurosis and psychosis.
A careful analysis of his works of art can show how a borderline personality, who is depressed and frustrated in their affective sphere, can be driven to commit suicide.
But to arrive at a clinical evaluation, it is necessary to know the story of Vincent Van Gogh and compare it with his main works of that time.
His principle need was for affection. Affection was something that he never received from his family, except from his brother Theo. This generated a depressive syndrome in him that easily led to imbalances and showing his true borderline nature. In this case, painting was not a compensatory therapeutic element but the externalization of his suffering, and therefore, acted as a mirror creating increasingly serious impairment in his already fragile borderline structure.

Van Gogh is able to express his suffering, not by using words but through colors. His works are a continual manifestation of his feelings and his pathological state: enthusiasm, melancholy, and failure.
The letters written to his brother clearly declare these erratic moods which today would be cured through psychoanalytic treatment and in analyzing that this affective deficiency syndrome had family origins, it would haved not only saved the life of Vincent Van Gogh, who throughout his short life had done nothing but silently ask for help, but perhaps that of his beloved brother Theo as well.
In conclusion, on the basis of this interpretation, it can be said that his works are an unwritten diary where, without saying or writing a word, he expressed his entire nature..

Doct.Renzo Ovidi






Vincent Van Gogh never sold a single painting in his whole life. For his entire existence, he tried to be helpful to humanity: which was never possible. His soul, so full of energy, was totally devoted to art, of the figurative kind, the kind on canvas, with colours.
It was not his mind that was troubled, sick or deviant. It was his soul that was sick. He wanted to be loved, to be listened to, he wanted to be of help, because he felt a force inside that drew him to others.
Everything was feeling, synesthesia. Thus, art took on a cathartic role. Self-taught, he felt the urge to convey this energy in a gesture that could show his inner world, this irrepressible energy.
Thus, his shapes begin to move and lose their net contours, because the body became action through his gesture, and color exploded with increasingly swirling brushstrokes. Synesthesia of movement and colour, music that is perceived through the paintings: harmony, rhythm, tempo and movement.

The performance concerns the relationship of the emotional energy of the artist in relation to colours.The adventure of Van Gogh focuses on the relationship of his deep emotional state by eviscerating his feelings through body movement. The dramaturgy of colour marked the life of Van Gogh, defining his phases and works of art. It is colour that will evoke the life of Vincent, and movement will outline his emotional changes and evolution.

M. Burini


  • 27 November 2013
    Priemière - Teatro Vascello – Rome
  • 28 November 2013
    Prima Assoluta - Teatro Vascello – Rome
  • 30 November 2013
    Rocca Colonna – Castelnuovo di Porto
  • 1 December 2013
    Cantiere Oberdan – Spoleto
  • 13 December 2013
    Teatro L’Affratellamento – Florence (extract)
  • 29 March 2014
    Museo Riso – Palermo
  • 30 March 2014
    Museo Riso - Palermo
  • 30 April 2014
    Teatro Mercadante – Altamura (BA)
  • 14 June 2015
    Centro d’Arte e Cultura – Ladispoli (Rome)

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