by Nicolò Abbattista and Christian Consalvo

"The Ship of Theseus is an artifact in a museum. Over time, its planks of wood rot and are replaced with new planks. When no original plank remains, is it still the Ship of Theseus? Secondly, if those removed planks are restored and reassembled, free of the rot, is that the Ship of Theseus? Neither is the true ship. Both are the true ship."

WandaVision television miniseries

With this quote we are in front of a beautiful and innovative way to explain a rather complicated paradox.

The ship on which the hero Theseus had travelled was a precious artifact that began to be preserved by simply replacing the pieces that gradually deteriorated with particular attention to maintaining the original shape; this practice led to a point where every authentic part of the ship had been replaced, keeping its original appearance intact over time. Thinking about this circumstance, the metaphysical paradox of identity has been reached: the ship, while no longer retaining any original part, can still be considered as the “Theseus’ ship” or is it just a ship resembling the original?

Now, let’s say that we are the ship of Theseus and the time that passes is the craftsman who carves and preserves us. Each of us, at least once, has experienced the sensation that inside there was something different from what we demonstrate, bringing out the desire to search for our own identity. And it is precisely at that point of the self-exploration that we ask ourselves which is the most authentic version of ourselves: the original or the sought-after one?

The choreographic project focuses on the body: a body made up of anatomical, cognitive and spiritual parts. An exploration in which limits, changes, survival strategies and mutations are analyzed, revealing our need for an identity, authentic and unambiguous definition.

At the end, with the help of a video projection, the dancer faces himself but, this time, in a digital version. The reflection remains to the audience: real and virtual experiences are comparable and representative in the same way within the identity? Are live performances and videodance works comparable?




Paul Tinsley


Enrico Luly

August 25th, 2021 @ Klub Żak (Gdansk Dance Festival) – Gdansk, Poland

  • April 28th and 29th, 2023 @ The Studio – Edinburgh (UK)
  • July 31st, 2022 @ Castello Sforzesco (Milano è Viva – Estate al Castello) – Milan
  • June 26th, 2022 @ Paleotto11 (Per-forming) – Bologna
  • September 10th, 2021 @ Rocca di Novellara (AnteFestival 2021) – Novellara (RE)