INCANTI is a festival dedicated to Puppet Theatre for adults, with particular emphasis on Shadow Theatre. The festival offers both traditional shows and productions which provide an international spectrum of innovative experimental work in which music, poetry and the visual arts intersect with fantasy and creative freedom. Incanti started in 1994 from an initiative of Controluce Teatro d’Ombre with the support of the Regione Piemonte and with the collaboration of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea; over the years, they were joined by Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione CRT, Città di Torino, Sistema Teatro Torino, Comune di Grugliasco and the Teatro Stabile Foundation of Turin.
INCANTI's goal is the dissemination and promotion of Puppet Theatre in Piedmont and in Italy, primarily for an adult audience, but apart from the main programme there is a section devoted to schools, in collaboration with the Municipality of Grugliasco, and some educational projects have also been developed: the Shadow Theatre Workshop at the Castello di Rivoli and the Production Incanti Project (PIP), with the dual aim of teaching and production, the Accademia Project, in collaboration with foreign Theatre Schools having Puppet Theater departments, and the Cantiere Project, aimed to italian emergent companies.
PIP Production INCANTI Project: a group of students and young puppet theatre professionals, selected by public call and under the guidance of a major international director, receive from the Festival means and hospitality to create a new show and present it at the Festival. The project aims to promote young people's access to the cultural resources of theatre. It is supported by the Region of Piedmont and the Municipality of Grugliasco as a special initiative, with the collaboration of the Istituto per i Beni Marionettistici e il Teatro Popolare and it has obtained great success from the beginning. It has been directed by Eva Kaufmann (2008), Neville Tranter (2009), Frank Soehnle (2010), Gyula Molnar (2011), Andrew&Kathy Kim (2012), Duda Paiva (2013), Max Vandervorst (2014), Nori Sawa (2015), Agnes Limbos (2016).
Shadow Theater Workshop: Incanti pays special attention to research and experimentation in the field of Shadow Theatre. In collaboration with the Education Department of the Castello di Rivoli, since 2000 it has organised workshops given by some of the most interesting artists in shadow theatre on the international scene, as Wajang Wiya (Indonesia), Cengiz Ozek (Turkey), La cónica lacónica (Spain), Richard Bradshaw (Australia), L'asina sull'isola (Italy), Tadeusz Wierbicki (Poland), Valeria Guglietti (Argentine), Norbert Goetz (Germany), Athos Danellis (Greece), Alba Zapater (Spain), Kim Eun Young (South Corea), Massimo Arbarello (Italy), Nori Sawa (Japan), Ingo Mewes (Germany), Magdalena Kiszko-Dojlidko (Poland).
Accademia Project: the Accademy Project aims to create a network of relationships, starting with Berlin, with foreign Theatre Schools having Puppet Theater departments in order to draw the attention of the young artists and Companies as well asthe public towards the exchange of knowledge and opportunities in the field of Puppetry.
Cantiere Project: young Italian companies, selected by a public call, present at INCANTI studies of about half an hour on a topic proposed by the festival. A winner is prized with help for production and performance contracts with other Italian Puppetry festivals.
The continued growth of audiences, not only from Turin and the region of Piedmont but also from other Italian cities and from abroad, justifies the initial gamble of INCANTI to open a window on International Figure Theatre aimed at adult audiences. Over its 2 decades of festivals, INCANTI has programmed narrative and dramatic work, presented a wide range of older traditions, and explored innovation and experiment crossing into other genres. It has explored topics ranging from war to religion, from myth to politics, in ways that touch the heartstrings of man and history from unusual and sometimes poignant angles.
In past editions Incanti welcomed artists and companies from China, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Japan, Corea, Australia and Europe, among others Yeung Fai, I Wayan Wija, Prasanna Rao, Kathakali Center of Kerala, Dondoro Theatre, Cengiz Ozek Karagoz, Richard Bradshaw, Stephen Mottram's Animata, Stuffed Puppet Theatre, Figuren Theater Tuebingen, Norbert Goetz, Tadeus Wierbicki, Amoros et Augustin, Mossoux-Bonté, Max Vandervorst, Jordi Bertram, La Cónica/lacónica, Gyula Molnar, Gare Central, Meinhardt Krauss Feigl, Duda Paiva, Nori Sawa, ...; among the Italian companies Marionette Colla, Teatro dei Sensibili of Guido Ceronetti, Controluce Teatro d'Ombre, Teatro Gioco Vita, Claudio Cinelli, Teatro Del Carretto, Is Mascareddas, L'Asina sull'isola, ...
Since the 2005 edition the programme dedicated to children takes place at Grugliasco Parco Culturale Le Serre’s “Chalet Allemande”.
Incanti has collaborated regularly with Museo Nazionale del Cinema and Istituto per I Beni Marionettistici e Teatro Popolare and in past editions also with FigurenTheaterFestival of Wels (Austria), Adria Puppet Festival (Gorizia), AIACE Turin, Asifa, Goethe Institut of Turin, Istituto di Cultura Austriaco of Milan, Istituto Giapponese di Cultura of Rome, Institut Ramon Llull of Barcellona, Wallonie–Bruxelles International, MAO Museo d'Arte Orientale of Turin, Museo Diffuso della Resistenza of Turin, Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali of Turin. Festival dei Popoli of Firenze.