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Figli d'Adamo

Centro Regionale Danza ATERBALLETTO

created in 2000

FIGLI D’ADAMO
(Children of Adam)

created by
MICHELE ABBONDANZA
ANTONELLA BERTONI

performed by
COMPAGNIA ATERBALLETTO

musical director
MAURO CASAPPA

lighting
STEFANO PIRANDELLO

costumes
LUCIA SOCCI

sets
MICHELE ABBONDANZA and ANTONELLA BERTONI

assistant choreographer
LUCIA GEPPI

produced by
Centro regionale della danza/ATERBALLETTO
in collaboration with
LA CORTE OSPITALE

 

Movements of bodies, voices and souls that we have decided to call Figli d'Adamo.

Forms and feelings for fourteen splendid classical dancers, the only classical references on this occasion being some of the music and clothes.

Two completely different dance methods and worlds contrasted, the intention being to show that artistic creation has no fences or barriers and actually uproots any such restrictions irreverently to create vast free spaces where the eye can roam without necessarily having to label whatever it sees.

The brief tale of a meeting between two different worlds that have slowly come to acknowledge one another.

Like artisans we tried to file and chisel, plaster and gild. Destroying and rebuilding where necessary. With the advantage of finding bodies perfectly primed and minds willing to question, even if it had taken years to reach that degree of perfection. We asked them to doubt it all, talking about and exploring together the possibility of even greater perfection via an impurity. Until the shine and wonder of the very first dance steps returned to the surface. And then we listened to stories that moved us, made us curious or passed us by without leaving a trace, but which all became material in movement and starting points for an end as yet unknown.

Then form helped feeling: that is why with these specialists of bodily action in space we wanted to go back to the basic forms of existence such as walking, standing, sitting or falling to the ground, grasping wrists or putting hands to waist. Always keeping in mind that each movement has its own glance, its lines at the corners of the mouth.

We were only satisfied once we had attempted, with their agreement, to place them in that new shell or, to quote Tarkovskij, "in that Olympic serenity each new form provides".

So perhaps it was inevitable that in the end men and women, life and the way it reproduces itself and can be both everyday and mythical, became our subjects. Between the banality of human things and the purity of myth we paused together to look at the swarming, desperate agitation of those who seek meaning. Uselessly. From Judas' kiss to the lips of two lovers glued together forever, from Adam and Eve, striptease artists of 2000, to the biblical pair who disobeyed divine law; from Courbet's Origin of the World to its return to flesh in the shape of woman on show; from the raising of the religious ritual wafer to the altar-table raised to the sky bearing a sacrificial lamb once again in female guise: the unconscious metaphor dance bewilderedly evokes catches us by surprise every time.

First intuition and staging, then the slow and serious "explanation", but as a burden and a loss of that sense of the sacred, the magical, the illusion that occurs upon walking down the steps leading from stage to stalls.

There is a strong sensation of having omitted a lot, too much of what really took place between the fourteen dancers and ourselves in this meeting so intensely desired by Mauro, " the meeting of two different worlds that have acknowledged one another" and which perhaps are no longer so very different at all.

Michele Abbondanza and Antonella Bertoni

For once the ballet dancers, immersed in the language of director and lead choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti, with digressions in Forsythe rather than Balanchine or in the creations of young European authors such as Christian Spuck, have entered a totally different game. It is the autobiographical game of dance theatre, under the guidance of a pair of young, attractive stars of the new Italian choreography scene, ex-Carsonians Michele Abbondanza and Antonella Bertoni. [...] On a bristly lawn of existential battles, in a living family portrait-style group photo, from lunch around the table to loves emerge the characters who are gradually revealed: the macho southerner, the exuberant youth who dreams of lapdancing in a women's nightclub, the girls with their twirling skirts, an erotical-ironical contemporary dying swan. [...] Depending on age, provenance, physique and temperament, Abbondanza and Bertoni have transformed all the nuances of living in each individual dancer of the Aterballetto, from the comical to the desperate to the arousing.

Elisa Guzzo Vaccarino, "Balletto Oggi", August

 

A terrific challenge, a courageous experience, with dancers who go beyond their usual skills to explore the area of theatre in a mixture of languages comprising physical essentiality, rhythmic movements full of energy, acting and singing.[...] The performers are all excellent, light and fresh and capable of combining great expressive control with a special playful togetherness to touch on latin lovers, the desire for love, different ways to seek, unite and reject one another. And the audience greeted the proposal with great joy.

Valeria Ottolenghi, "Gazzetta di Parma", 25 June 2000

 

At last, a rare event, the audience can laugh, reflect and have fun at a dance theatre performance, normally so funereal and mortifying. Of course the stories and choreography by Abbondanza and Bertoni are not banal.

Aurora Marsotto, "Il sole 24 ore", 17 September 2000

Teatro Herberia – Rubiera  (RE) (1° nazionale); Castello Pasquini – Castiglioncello (LI); Festival Adda  Danza - Castello Visconteo – Trezzo d’Adda (MI); Teatro della Cavallerizza – Reggio Emilia; Teatro Civico – La Spezia; Fabbrica Europa - Ex Stazione Leopolda – Firenze; P.zza Affari – Milano.