compagnie  |  ScarlattineTeatro  |  Nina e il mare
For children 0 to 5 years old
Duration: 45 minutes + exploration time
First performed in 2021

Let’s embark on a journey by sea, full of sounds and enchanted melodies. Nina, like the legendary Sinbad, sets sail with her wooden raft and a pile or shining metal chains of all sizes. This is a delicate, wordless fable, full of music, imagination, wonder and discoveries.

Nina hauls up her anchor, hoists transparent sails to her mast and travels over the sea for a whole day. She gazes at the horizon, spies far-off ships, hooks large fish, weathers a booming storm, listens to the fabulous marine melodies, dips her feet in the ocean and listens to the sound of the water.

You can hear birds flying over the raft, waves breaking on the rocks and on the keel, the wind ringing little bells as it shakes the metal rigging. Other sounds can also be heard: the clinking of the little boat on the golden sea, the noise of the waves, the creaking of the topping lift, the sound of the anchors being hauled up, the delicate rolling of the raft as it is pushed along by a gentle breeze, the gurgling of the waves as they pass through stones, the muted sound of the fish below, the buzzing of a cheeky fly, the pounding of the sea.

In this dream-like atmosphere Nina sails and swims in the sea as she discovers a world of sound.

This maritime soundscape is created with chains, bowls and simple musical instruments: a flute, a xylophone, an accordion, a psaltery, a rain stick, maracas, and shells. The fascinating sounds of these instruments accompany the children in their amazing journey of discovery.

Younger children will be captivated by the magical atmosphere summoned by the various objects, while older children will sail the sea as they sail with Nina in their imagination.

Nina and the sea takes its inspiration from a physical and auditory experiment based on the potential of chains for creating a range of interesting sounds. The show, which features two performers on stage, features very few words, and relies on dance and live music as it reminds us that you can embark on a journey simply by letting a chain slide through your fingers.

This poetic performance involves the children in a journey of acoustic discovery through the evocative power of the metallic sounds of chains, buckets and bowls. The performance attempts to forge a deep relationship with each child, who is gradually involved in an on-going conversation.

The dream-like atmosphere will captivate its young spectators, making them, a little at a time, participants in the performance. At the end of the show, the children are free to experiment with the objects they have seen and heard on stage.

Our use of chains as a fundamental element of this show was inspired by British educational psychologist Elinor Goldschmied, who uses them as metal objects in her treasure baskets. They were chosen because they appeal to all of the five senses and stimulate children’s imagination.

Nina and the sea isn’t a narrative play in the traditional sense, but develops its unique theatrical language through the novel use of objects and the suggestive power of sounds. Anna Fascendini, director

A ScarlattineTeatro and Campsirago Residenza production | with Giulietta de Bernardi, Francesca Cecala | director Anna Fascendini


“Chains of all shapes and sizes are the instruments used to create the sounds of every animal or grotesque presence which might appear on the raft. This is done with the warm and colourful daily gestures of family life. The two women tackle all possible elements and emotions. Sometimes these threaten to overwhelm them. Other times these same events make them laugh as they learn a joyous life lesson. The raft finally reaches a harbour. What will happen one they set foot on land? What will they have learned on the high seas? Will the chains which play all the sounds of the sea be able to play the tender sounds of land?”

“The two excellent actresses, with their flexible and lanky appearance, steer, sunbathe, fish all sorts of fish and use mime and circus-like movements to create the wind and the sea. Each movement of their vibrating bodies, which have a surprising organic physicality, is accompanied by a sound. Words have no part in this performance. The microcosm presented to us features metal chains, a xylophone, cymbals, a jaw harp and a flute, all moved or played by the performers to create a playful and cosy world of wonder. When they finally set foot on land, they offer the “musical metal lines” to the young spectators, who, attracted by the novelty, are so involved in the game that they jump on stage and keep playing with the chains on their own. This show is overflowing with joy and freedom.”