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Theatre as a 'translation zone': multilingualism, identity and the performing body in the work of Teatro delle Albe

Marinetti, Cristina ORCID: 2018. Theatre as a 'translation zone': multilingualism, identity and the performing body in the work of Teatro delle Albe. Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication 24 (2) , pp. 128-146. 10.1080/13556509.2017.1393122

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This article argues that the theatre is a site of multiple forms of translation. Alongside textual travel from page to stage, from the past to the present and from language to language, theatrical performance also creates ‘translation zones’ (Apter, 2006: 5) where languages and cultures are negotiated, challenged and hybridized. By focussing on the practice of intercultural theatre, I investigate the way in which multiple languages on the stage interact with the performing body of the actor. Paying attention to how linguistic and cultural identities are constructed on the stage, I examine four productions by arguably the most significant intercultural company in the Italian theatrical landscape, Teatro delle Albe. My purpose is to argue that translation in the theatre occurs not only discursively, through subsequent rewritings of a foreign text, but also performatively, through the negotiation of multiple languages in performance and the creative juxtaposition of those languages with the actor’s body, ethnicity and role. Translation, in this sense, is understood – in the direction of much contemporary culturally-oriented translation studies – less as a communicative act aimed at transferring texts or conveying ideas than as a ‘fundamentally hybridizing instance’ (Sakai, 1997: 3), which is at once linguistic, cultural, aesthetic and political.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Publisher: St Jerome Publishing
ISSN: 1355-6509
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 October 2017
Date of Acceptance: 13 October 2017
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 20:18

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