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What drove us to this adventure was to search for the forms of a language and style proper to a new digital publishing industry. We will try to orient ourselves in the vast sea of Dionysus myth and cult: its meaning, its possible interpretation, its life among us.
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We chose Dionysus out of passion, because a marble statue buried by time and ashes exerted a 'fatal attraction', so that the richness of the findings of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, partner in this project, could awaken the curiosity of the youngest.
We chose it because it is a risk and to try to understand why Dionysus continues to influence artists even today by giving shape and representation to our imagination.
We brought together scholars, artists, technologies, to create a tale made of stories and images. We are going to seek out what the Greek god meant for the cult of ancient peoples, how he was interpreted in the centuries that followed, distorted to be bent to biased contexts and then welcomed back again in another form, by all those who were influenced by his return.
At the same time, Awoken by Dionysus, wants to be an opportunity to represent how the nature of any work of art can always be the gateway to discover the civilisation that generated it.

I know well that it is a great risk to venture to speak of that Greek god who was a sacred name and an inexhaustible symbol for our most chosen spirits.
Walter Frederich Otto

The seed fertilising the present

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Human societies are characterised by their nature as social and cultural phenomena in constant flux. At all times, the transformations that mark their history are subject to the judgement of the generations that live and act the present.
The guarantee of the future is based on the recognition of the value of the past as a seed that fertilises the present, and on the conviction that there are unstoppable transformations that are necessary to make that seed germinate and carry human beings beyond the present. Questioning this balance poses a serious threat to the survival of human societies as such.

We are a stage in an evolutionary journey and not an end point.

Nicola Rubertelli: art director

The Working Approach

The protagonist will be an archaeologist as storyteller, and then actors and actresses, directors, musicians, dancers and street artists, artisans capable of shaping the world with their own hands, giving it the thousand faces of Dionysus, god of metamorphosis, or the mutability of people and human affairs.

The National Archaeological Museum in Naples

In order to achieve its aims, Awoken by Dionysus moves through the marvellous halls of the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, deputed by its very nature to be a privileged place for the cult of Dionysus.
Among the numerous testimonies of the ancient world that it preserves, there are countless that can be traced back to Dionysian religiosity, recounting the use of drinking wine according to a true social ritual, constitutive of the founding values of communities.

Neapolitan songs

We also looked for myth among the lyrics of folk songs, where the imprint of oral tradition is handed down through figures and archetypes recognised by the entire community.
In the ancient world, myths were concrete experiences, facts that could be believed as really happening and capable of influencing human behaviour. The song is a micro-story that occurred in a time outside time, an effective exorcism against the bitter adversities of real life
To go back to the time of myth does not mean to lose oneself, but to arrive at the moment when the past is no longer the past and therefore it is not possible to recount what has been, but only what is beginning to be. This too is singing, in the footsteps of what the Neapolitan tradition has left us.
We asked a composer to arrange the music for an instrumental quartet, used fragments of the Flavian amphitheatre as a set, convinced the light to sculpt two singer-actors of experience and tradition, animated frescoes as an excursion into the world of the fantasy.

Dionysus a god who returns.

He reawakens, he emerges more or less explicitly in the most diverse arts: first and foremost literature, but also figurative art and cinema, passing through music and, of course, theatre.

Some of the greatest artists of the last century straddle literature and film: Thomas Mann, Luchino Visconti and Pier Paolo Pasolini, Nikos Kazantzakis, Michael Cacoyannis, to name but a few. The search continues towards new ports to rediscover the seed that fertilised our civilisation and that traces a solid and safe path towards the construction of our future.
The authors are grateful to the managers and workers of the institutions, organisations and companies who showed enthusiasm and cooperation so that the work could be completed.
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The eBook is available on the Apple portal or at Software e Innovazione

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