International Events | 8 Jul 2024

Alessio SARDELLI and Fosco PERINTI to Present "Ping Pong & Poetry" in Rome

Alessio SARDELLI and Fosco PERINTI, who has been living in Paris for 40 years, will be among the 6,100 athletes from 111 countries on five continents competing at the ITTF World Masters Table Tennis Championships, presented by Stag Global - Rome 2024. Despite their competitive backgrounds, both have also developed significant careers in acting and will be key figures in the Fan Village's program of events.

On Tuesday, July 9th, Thursday, July 11th, and Friday, July 12th, they will present the project "Ping Pong & Poetry," where the table tennis matches will be guided by both the rules of the sport and the metrics of poetry and language. The ball will be struck on the tonic accents of the words, and any mistake will result in a lost point, similar to missing a shot in a regular match. This "poetic ping pong" concept was created by Emmanuel DEMARCY-MOTA, the artistic director of the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, who previously launched a similar project with actor-tennis players. The initiative is supported by the Teatro della Pergola of Florence and the Théâtre de la Ville, aiming to build a 21st-century theater that bridges various disciplines, generations, and countries.

Three texts will be performed at the Rome Fair in three languages: Dante Alighieri's famous sonnet "Tanto gentile e tanto onesta pare" from the XXVI chapter of Vita Nova in Italian, Jean de La Fontaine's fairy tale "Le corbeau et le renard" in French, and the iconic soliloquy "To be or not to be" from William Shakespeare's Hamlet in English.

Alessio SARDELLI, born in Florence, boasts a distinguished table tennis career, having played for the Italian national team in the 1970s, participated in the European Championships in Rotterdam, and won the doubles title at the Italian Championships. Reflecting on his sports career, SARDELLI shares,

"I am very attached to a memory of the 1974 Champions Cup match we played in Florence with Cus Firenze against the Swedish Mölndals BTK. I faced Kjell JOHANSSON, nicknamed 'The Hammer,' and my performance was very good. He complimented me on my fast game, which was very flattering."

Later, SARDELLI pursued a successful acting career, collaborating with notable figures such as Gigi PROIETTI, Giorgio ALBERTAZZI, and Gabriele LAVIA.

Fosco PERINTI, originally from Sinalunga (Siena), paused his studies at ISEF to attend the mime school of Marcel Marceau in Paris and has since remained in France, working as a theater and cinema actor and voice actor. PERINTI discovered table tennis seven years ago when he joined the Paris 13 Tennis de Table club with a friend and later served as its president. He continues to play and teaches the sport to Parkinson's patients and children.

"We are very proud of 'poetic ping pong,'" explains SARDELLI. "The public gets involved, and they approach poetry and culture through table tennis. I am happy to pursue my two passions for table tennis and theater, keeping the name of Florence and Italy high around Europe."

PERINTI adds, "I first heard about this project from DEMARCY-MOTA in 2021. Since January this year, we have been playing ping pong and performing poems at the Théâtre de la Ville, and the interest is growing."

In the competition, SARDELLI will play in Group 100 of the MS65 category, facing Patrick WORREL from England, Roger ROUSSON from France, and Manfred JOCHEM from Germany. He will also compete in the MD65 with Alberico GUALFETTI and in the XD65 with Francesca MARCONE.

"As a Master player, this is my first participation in an event of this importance. The passion for table tennis has rekindled, and playing in these World Master Championships feels like closing the circle," he says.

PERINTI, in Group 168 of MD60, will compete against Roberto Tadashi ISHIKAWA from Brazil, Cong XISHENG from Finland, and Giuseppe GARUFI from Italy. He will also participate in MD60 with Eric NICOLE.

"I came to Rome with two friends, and we are in festive and friendly mode. We have no competitive ambitions; we participate for the pleasure of playing. This event is a celebration of sport and friendship through sport," says PERINTI.