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Pabbaja

abandonment of the house

created in 1994

choreographed and performed by
ANTONELLA BERTONI and MICHELE ABBONDANZA

lighting design
TERZO UOMO

organisation
BARBARA BONINSEGNA

produced by
IL GAVIALE s.c.a.r.l.

for
TORINO DANZA
DRODESERA FESTIVAL


SHOW CURRENTLY NOT IN PROGRAMMING

 

Alone with a few household objects, ex-furniture or ex-clothes.
The mando was and still is there inside. You remove everything and life goes by as you become more and more naked. Dancing like this means describing agony, it means losing the form and life of men and women and recomposing into figures of pity.
A woman, a man, woman and man together.
The structure is simple and absolute, like a perfect game or exercise. But this is not an academy, we are not in some badly furnished, badly equipped classroom. What is practised here is suffering, dying, resisting, to the rhythm of a whistle or a shoe dropped on the floor.
The thudding sounds enclose everything in a space that contains everything, and in this way the traces of a possible dance free themselves into the air like explosions out of a sick claustrophobia.
And then the body moves, yes, but only one part at a time, only half, only well anchored to the ground with fixed points that are by turns houses, graves, islands, processions or prisons.
War divides the world into black and white, this side and that: colours are no use, they might confuse the snipers or make them think. Better not risk it.
But it is possible to resist and dance under an endless rain of bullets, once again to stress a time of poses. Frame stop on the feeling of life slipping away, savouring the last breaths and choosing to die like human beings.
To make oneself a grave is perhaps the last dignity conceded while freedom rings out at last for others.
Too late for those here inside: the dance is over.

Paolo Dalla Sega

The drama of the concentrational universe and the intensity of pure dance that refuses to obey solely aesthetic canons come together in Pabbaja. Michele Abbondanza and Antonella Bertoni show us how creative urgency can sometimes rise above the limitations of genre and give shape to real desires, feelings and suffering.

Paolo Crespi, “Il Gazzettino”, July 1994

 

Michele and Antonella, the creative authors, choreographers and performers of Pabbaja use a table as a stage prop, an incisive element put to great effect with emotional involvement to tell the painful story of stolen affections and lives overwhelmed by violence…The show is very powerful, sometimes sending shivers up the spine, and uses extremely intense expressive forms capable of conveying emotions that take the breath away.

Emilio Guariglia, “Alto Adige”, July 1994

 

The dramatic stage presence and incisive gestures of both dancers point to the desolation of the soul. The vocabulary is limited, anti-rhetorical, made up of long shivers, starts, iterances and doppelgänger images. And the narrative result is all the more disquieting because of the male-female presence of two figures so similar in their long hair, clothing and style of movement, yet so different in form and muscular power. The nude scene where some old tables serve for the couple to play out their desperation is beautiful.

Elisa Guzzo Vaccarino, “Il Giorno”, August 1994


     
Pabbaja is beautiful, movingly effective in its power of expressive synthesis using body, movement and gestures at once stylised and more real…Magnificent expressive force of bodies onstage, she and he so similar, the concentration, the painful silence of memory and loss, the force of gesture, the attention paid to things…Pabbaja confronts onstage by evoking without saying, with highly expressive theatrical intensity and infinitely moving images…The applause at the end seemed endless, warm, intense, full of conviction and true emotion.

Valeria Ottolenghi, “La Gazzetta di Parma”, March 1995

 

But the most moving sequence was the extract from Pabbaja by Michele Abbondanza and Antonella Bertoni, an intensely evocative dance about the barbarities of war, the feeling of life slipping by…A skilful choreographic construction and uninterrupted, powerful narrative that spreads touching breaths of truth. To sum up: in building a creative identity it is perhaps in this direction that a particular Italian quality could be identified in the variegated universe of dance.

Giuseppe Distefano, “Città Nuova”, June 1995

 

Pabbaja leads back to the immobile stage, where time is a waterclock measuring the suffering of man on man. Michele and Antonella, who for the entire third act have not once looked in the direction of the audience and whose own gazes have never met choose now, at the end, to embrace and die like the two young people in a Serbian city who were recently buried together.

Aurora Marsotto, “Il Sole 24 Ore”, April 1996

ITALY

1994. Teatro Piccolo Regio – Torino (1° nazionale); Chiostro S. Agostino - Bergamo; Drodesera Festival – Dro (TN); Teatro Civico - La Spezia; Teatro San Gemignano - Modena; S. Zeno Shakers on the Rocks – Brescia; Teatro Il Vascello - Roma.

1995. Piccolo Parallelo – Romanengo (CR); Teatro Il Cinghio – Parma; Auditorium C.S.C. S. Chiara – Trento; Teatro dell’Angelo – Roma; Teatro Astra – Vicenza.

1996. Casa della Comunità – Nago (TN); Teatro della Cavallerizza – Reggio Emilia; Collecchio (RE); Ravenna; Carambolage – Bolzano.

 

ABROAD

1994. Tanz Festival Sprache – Vienna (Austria).