Death is feeling lonely. A ceremony for the actress María Cánepa

Three hundred steps in a few moments. Stone skin above my head.

The dead and the transparent flies what are they? And what do I matter?

Maybe death doesn't take everything away.

These verses by the Italian poet Antonio Verri sum up the performance.

The British actress Julia Varley evokes her meeting and friendship with the Chilean actress María Cánepa.

Death itself celebrates the creative fantasy and dedication of María, who was able to leave a trace after her departure.

Actress: Julia VarleyText and Director: Eugenio Barba
Assistant Director: Pierangelo Pompa
Sound montage: Jan Ferslev

Julia Varley:

The Embrace of Illusion. 

My face is never visible during the performance of Ave Maria.

Most of the time I am hidden under the skull mask of Mr Peanut, and for the remainder

I am veiled and covered by a big black hat. I represent Death.

The director has explained to me that my living skin should not be seen.

I never make eye contact with the spectators and in fact I often close my eyes in order to concentrate on the effort of finding my way without seeing.

It is a performance that exhausts me, yet it is animated by an essential need. What does an actress who is no more leave behind?

Does her imprint on history last for only the time of her performances?

How can I fight against oblivion and keep alive those people who mean something to me, like María Cánepa?

At a certain point in the performance I say:

"It could be that the dead actress so loved by her colleagues has found a new life.

I don't know. Who could know? Perhaps it is only an illusion!"

Every time I present the performance I have the illusion that I might find an answer to these questions.