Michele Abbondanza received his technical training in New York with Alwin Nikolais and Merce Cunningham. On his return to Italy in the early 1980s, he entered the most lively and stimulating environment of Italian dance at the time, the “Teatro e Danza La Fenice” Company, in Venice, directed by Carolyn Carlson (Underwood – 1982, Chalkwork – 1983). In 1984, when the relationship between the Franco-American dancer and the Venetian theatre came to an end, Michele Abbondanza, together with other dancers, formed the company “Sosta Palmizi”. This Company gained a reputation both in Italy and abroad with choreographic creations such as Il cortile (1985 - UBU Award) and Tufo (1986). In order to continue his artistic career independently, Michele Abbondanza left the company in 1987 and began teaching at the “Accademia Antoniana di Arte Drammatica” in Bologna. In 1988 he joined Carolyn Carlson’s Company once again, this time in Paris. There he met Antonella Bertoni, a dancer who had trained in Rome and Paris. They danced together in Dark (1988), Steppe (1990), Cornestone (1991), Commedia (1993) and in the documentary film Città d’acqua (1989, Prix Italia), produced by the Italian television Raidue. After that, they decided to form a duo, their first performance being La notte degli inganni created for the Drodesera Festival with live music by Steve Lacy. In collaboration with the Drodesera Festival, they also created:Terramara (1991), Pabbaja-abbandono della casa (1994), Spartacus-il dì che più non c’è (1995). In the 1990s the couple took part in various evenings with John Surman, Steve Lacy, Michel Portal, Barre Phillips, Sebi Tramontana and Michel Doneda. In 1992 on the occasion of the commemoration for the XIIth anniversary of the massacre at the Bologna railway station they signed the choreographies for Antigone nelle città, a project directed by Marco Baliani. In 1993 together with Alessandra Ferri, Michele Abbondanza co-starred in the film La luna incantata, produced by Raidue (first prize video section at Cannes Festival 1993). In August 1995 together with Antonella Bertoni, the dancer took part in Bernardo Bertolucci’s film Io ballo da sola (Stealing beauty) and in December of the same year the couple founded the Compagnia Abbondanza/Bertoni. In 1996, the duo was awarded first prize as the best Italian dancers by the magazine “Danza&Danza” and the “Cascina” award for choreography. They taught master classes in Reggio Emilia (Aterballetto-CRD) where they created the show Andavano e andando ballavano.
In the same year, with the directors Letizia Quintavalla and Bruno Stori, they began an artistic-productive partnership that lead, in 1997, to create Romanzo d’infanzia (A Childhood Tale - 1997/98 “Stregagatto” award), which is the Company’s first production of youth dance-theatre and, in 1999, Fiaba Buia. On the occasion of the meetings dedicated to Isadora Duncan and organized by the University of Bologna, Antonella Bertoni danced the solo Profondo Rosa (1997) on choreographies signed by Michele Abbondanza. In 1997 the couple presented Studio di un interno, a short piece inspired by the works of the painter Wainer Vaccari and the first step towards Mozart Hotel, a work for seven dancers making its debut in Summer 1997. Few months later at the Oriente Occidente festival the Company presented Mozart Strasse, a street version of the performance, with live music. In the same year, together with the director Nanni Garella, Michele Abbondanza and Antonella Bertoni led a dance-theatre workshop for disabled people at the Arena del Sole (Bologna). The experience culminated in 1998 with the staging of the show Woyzeck with the Italian actor Alessandro Haber and the choreography signed by the couple. In June of the same year they won the Premio Gardadanza as “best performers”. In the year 2000 made its debut Figli d’Adamo, a performance created for the CRD-Aterballetto Dance Company (Reggio Emilia-Italy); then they also took part in the project ETI – I Porti del Mediterraneo V Edition, creating the choreographic movements for the performance Sakrificë, directed by Marco Baliani; in the same year with the students of the Accademia Isola Danza – Biennale di Venezia they created the choreographies for Argonautika, lyrical opera for chorus, orchestra, ballet and solo voice, with libretto and music by Maestro Luigi Ceccarelli.
In 2000 the couple then started working at the project I have an Other-ache about love sacrifice, freely inspired by characters from Greek tragedy. Alcesti, the first part, made its debut in 2002 at the Reggio Parma Festival, followed two years later by Medea, that was first presented the at Opera Estate Festival in Bassano del Grappa (VI). The third part of the project, Polis, made its debut at the Oriente Occidente Festival (Rovereto – 2005).
On INDA (National Institute for Ancient Drama) request, the couple created the choreographic movements for the Edipo Re directed by Roberto Guicciardini and presented in May 2004 in the ancient Greek theatre of Siracusa (Italy).
In July 2005 they first presented Beati i miti, performance included in the project Beati quelli che… (Il Discorso della Montagna) directed by Serena Sinigaglia and created for the Festival Castel dei Mondi (Andria) and Mittelfest (Cividale).
In 2006, at CRT- Crt –Teatro dell’Arte di Milano made its debut Try, the first solo of the Company, performed by Antonella Bertoni. In December of the same year they create the show Home, home, home for the festival Artisti per Alcamo, final result of two learning sessions addressed to artists from Sicily. In the same year they accept the invitation of the Danish company Corona La Bilance to cooperate in the production of the performance Looking for my father by Lotte Faarup, inventing the choreography for the four protagonists.
In 2007, the company made it debut at Vie Contemporanea Festival of Modena with Capricci, a quintet with live music. In 2008, the company made it debut in Naples with Un giorno felice, a duo with music performed live by the pianist Simonetta Bungaro.
In 2009 two shows are produced: I tre sciocchi (The three fools), trio played by S. Bertoncelli E. Chiocchini and T. Monza debut in Cagliari in Autumn dance and La massa (The mass), the first stage of two-year project, The density of the human that after the premiere at the festival Drodesera Dro (TN) July 24, debuted at the Red Festival of Reggio Emilia on October 24. In 2010 debut on July 27, A libera figura , second stage of The human density ptoject.
Abbondanza and Bertoni study and practice Zen which deeply affects their creations, as well as their ongoing teaching activity.
In 2008 was founded Scuola d’Azione, a project dedicated to teaching and training, edited by the Compagnia Abbondanza/Bertoni at the Teatro alla Cartiera in Rovereto, addressed to adults and children.
Both in Italy and abroad, they lead workshops dealing with the study of dancing techniques and of choreographic and theatrical compositions, carrying it out through improvisations to achieve a totality of artistic gesture. Among the collaborations in this field are worth to be mentioned: Fondazione Accademia d’arti e mestieri dello spettacolo - Teatro alla Scala di Milano; Piccolo Teatro di Milano; Fondazione Nazionale della Danza – Aterballetto; Accademia Isola Danza-Biennale di Venezia; Civica Accademia d’Arte Drammatica Nico Pepe di Udine; Union des Artistes-Montréal; Compagnie Les Nuages en Pantalon-Québec; Stage Internazionale Bolzano Danza; ETI–Laboratorio di formazione teatrale Progetto Aree disagiate: San Giuseppe Jato (Palermo); ETI–I porti del Mediterraneo V° Edizione (Libano); Scuola d’Arte Drammatica Antoniano di Bologna; Scuola di teatro di Bologna (A. Galante Garrone); Scuola del Balletto di Toscana.
Since 1997 Michele Abbondanza teaches in Milan at the School Theatre “Piccolo Teatro” directed by Luca Ronconi.