(S)LEGATI, THE RECONSTRUCTION THAT IS DRIVING CLIMBERS AT MELLOBLOCCO WILD
The reconstruction promoted by Montura at the festive boulder climber rally astonishes everyone
Up on stage, the final act is closing on a story of friendship, challenge and tragedy. The audience is on its feet, applauding while the curtains are open, giving the troupe a touching standing ovation.
The usual successful night out at the theatre? Not exactly. A wall of rock set within an Alpine valley is the backdrop here while the colourful spectators are athletes and bouldering aficionados, expert boulder climbers and beginners who are mostly young and very young. We are at Melloblocco, the event that draws participants from all over Europe, held every spring in Val di Mello among the mountains of the province of Sondrio.
Lastly, the show that is meeting with the great enthusiasm of its public on a cool May evening is “(Un)bonded Forever” [(S)legati] (http://slegati.wordpress.com), the theatrical pièce by and with Mattia Fabris and Jacopo Bicocchi – produced with the sponsorship of Montura – which reconstructs the extreme conditions that can be experienced at a high altitude.
An adaptation of Joe Simpson’s “Touching the Void”, one of the bestselling books on mountaineering, the reconstruction describes what happened to the author and Simon Yates, two friends and climbers who shared a dream: being the first to conquer the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes from the western ridge. But once they reached the peak, as they relished the joy – the worst part behind them and smooth sailing from here on in – Death, the eternal author in search of characters, strikes. A terrible accident changes everything and now the new endeavour is to return to the valley alive. Everything seems turn out but then a second, lethal blow was struck by fate - one that only a miracle can resolve or an extreme act that forces the man to grapple with the anguishing doubt of his own condition: friendship, survival, and sacrifice. The rope uniting the two climbers, entrusting the life of one into the hands of the other, becomes a metaphor for human relationships: a relationship brought to extreme limits often forces one to “make a break”, to commit an act that appears to be horrible and yet, at times, the only one possible to save lives.
Authors and cast had already won the challenge of successfully bringing mountain climbing to the stage. Now Montura realizes a second goal: presenting the play in this setting for an audience that recognizes the affinity between its themes and their own passion, experiencing the rally like a break for sports and fun that also calls for technique. The bet has been won, judging by its reception, and the holding to principles embraced by the brand: adventure, discovery, the extreme and everyday mountain life with the values of its people – natives and adopted. There are so many of them that come into play moment after moment thanks to an environment that can also be lethally hostile.