il dì che più non c’è

created in 1995


performed by


choreography assistant 

lighting design


dramaturgic consultation


produced by


Portrait of the artist as an acrobat: three sideshow dancers in a tale of tomfoolery and sensitivity, melancholy and fun. Their farces take place in the imaginary square of a cardboard town with a blue paper sky on a non-existent day.
The world is a makeshift theatre where the wandering artists show off their wonders, opening up a new strip of reality with a soundtrack provided by live musicians, because apart from anything else there is the challenge - isn’t that what performances by sideshow artists are all about? - of showing just how far they will go. Everything must be real, realer than real: real muscles and even more real emotional acrobatics.

And because everything is real, one dresses up. To exhibit oneself. I exhibit myself, therefore I am. Therefore I dream. I dream that I am. For the real sideshow artists - dwarves, freaks, human cannonballs, Spartacus, the incredible orchestras - to exhibit oneself and perform is to determine and claim existence. To exhibit oneself is to exist. Allowing others to stare reproduces the wonder within. And only superlatives will do: the biggest, the bravest, the ugliest, the most supple, the most monstrous, the most skilful, the most acrobatic.

But the biggest is nostalgic about something, the ugliest is in love, the most agile has an ache. From their extraordinary path they observe one another and barely see the audience. They do not do what we do: they live by surprising themselves, chasing after one another in the search for self and the world.
They seem to be on the point of flying away, attempting the leap lightly while remaining earthbound.
Where do they come from, where do they go? Refugees of a town whose square they cannot perform in? Nomads driven by an indomitable nostalgia? Are their pretences of nobility a claim to roots they do not possess? With no native land of their own, they make each square their home. They continue their story day by day, town by town, arriving almost secretively yet preceded by expectation. They roll out their carpet and begin again.

They come through on a wing and leave a trail of memories and desire. Springing from nowhere, they return in a dream and leave nothing unchanged in their wake. They are the kind who go to heaven. They have a destiny to achieve: in their horizonless journey this is what matters, and their gestures are rife with the kindness of those who know what it is to cast the dice of their lives onto a red carpet.

Michele Ruele

If you love dance, if you like theatre, if you want to see something precious, go and see Spartacus, i.e. the new, delightful show by Trentino dancer-choreographer Michele Abbondanza…The couple have perhaps reached maturity here…A wonderful show during which young and old laugh heartily, clapping with gusto after each “number” and for the grand finale.
Emilio Guariglia, « Alto Adige » , July 1995

For expressive quality, aesthetic intelligence, spectacular energy and creative energy, Michele Abbondanza is one of the most important representatives of dance theatre in Italy. Sweeping the audience along, (there are many bursts of applause mid-scene and the final round is unstoppable), Spartacus entertains with rhymes and acrobats…With Michele Abbondanza the formidable potential of dance theatre, this performance genre which despite everything still remains relatively unknown, is cause for reflection every time…Will Michele and Antonella manage to keep working in Italy? We hope so: meanwhile Spartacus, with its warm blend of skill, thought and entertainment seems to transmit energy even in memory alone.
Valeria Ottolenghi, « Gazzetta di Parma » , August 1995

The centaur, (or lion or elephant man), the strongman, the snake woman or clumsily sensual odalisque (Abbondanza’s hugely enjoyable role is accompanied by excellent performances from Bertoni and Pedrotti) allude to, and with the explicit vigour of physicality and rhythm put into practice, the dimension of transformation and the fantastic (perhaps) possible on the day that is no more by the “artists under the circus tent of the perplexed”.   
Pasquale Bellini, « La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno » , 25 October 1997

With Spartacus, Michele Abbondanza gave the audience sixty minutes of smiles, conjuring up the atmosphere of a wild circus with its inevitable sensations of sadness and melancholy. The dancers are all good, because it’s no easy task to combine lightness with the technical rigour needed to satisfy even the fussiest. The audience understood, appreciating the irony and stage control of this trio in a performance of considerable interpretative energy.
L.C. « L’Unione Sarda » , October 1995

Spartacus, a small circus with a kletzmer orchestra. There is all there should be in this ‘30’s-cum-post-modern rendition: ponies, contortionists, clowns and acrobats, and everything is performed with perfect rhythm, talent, smiles and beauty. Why do we bother chasing after Cortés or Parson here in Italy?
Elisa Guzzo Vaccarino, « Il Giorno » , August 1996

We came across a real show: Spartacus. Right from the start it’s clear where we’ve ended up and the fun only gets better as the show wears on. Sprinkled with continual inventions, it is a polite, utterly entertaining satire of the circus…Michele Abbondanza, an extraordinary figure, is the most athletic of our dance-theatre dancers…one can’t help but admire the perfect volleyball-player physique, the harmony, rhythm and slouching male grace of this excellent, really likeable modern dancer…No need to search further afield for exquisite artists - we’ve got them right here at home, on hand, the revelations of a great theatre of fantastical, pyrotechnical illusions.
Alberto Testa, « La Repubblica » , August 1996

Three artists in the broadest sense of the word: together with partners Antonella Bertoni and Maria Tullia Pedrotti, Abbondanza is a wonderful, fragile strolling player offering his unlikely numbers in square after square, content with a smile or applause.
Aurora Marsotto, « Il Sole 24 Ore » , 1 November 1998

The three dancers give exceptional performances and make us love every character parading about in front of our eyes, in a whirl of colours and stunts we wish would never end.
Silvia Massimino, « Sipario » , January-February 1999

The choreography of the trio explores the contortion of bodies transported in a lyrical saraband, all to the rhythm of Hungarian gypsy melodies played by musicians dressed up for a party…The traditional components of a circus go through the mill of an imagination that closely resembles the silent movies of the twenties.
Edwige Audibert, « Liberation » , 3 August, 2000


1995. Teatro Comunale – Ferrara (1° nazionale); Drodesera Festival – Dro (TN); Danza in strada - Piazza Garzetti – Trento; Teatro delle Saline – Cagliari; Palacongressi – Riva del Garda (TN).


1996. Teatro Sperimentale - Trento; Arena del Sole – Bologna; Teatro delle Vigne - Lodi; Teatro Filarmonica – Rovereto (TN); Langhirano (PR); Castello Pasquini – Castiglioncello (LI); Teatro Civico – La Spezia; Teatro Solvay – Rosignano (LI); Teatro Comunale – Casalmaggiore (CR).


1997. Teatro Comunale – Brentonico (TN); Teatro Verdi – Pisa; Teatro Sociale – Soresina (CR); Carnevale di Milano - Piazza San Fedele - Milano; Casinò Municipale – Arco (TN); Teatro Rifredi – Firenze; Piazza Duomo – Trento; Festival Adda Danza - Castello Visconteo – Trezzo d’Adda (MI); Teatro Kismet – Bari; Teatro G. Modena - Genova.


1998. Teatro al Parco – Parma; Teatro Masini – Faenza; Teatro Morlacchi - Perugia; Piazza Carducci – Sirmione sul Garda (BS); Cortile Scuole Medie - Tirano (SO); Festival Assemblea Teatro – Alba (CN); Castello di Barolo - Barolo (CN); Teatro Litta – Milano.  


1999. Teatro Curci – Barletta (BA); Teatro Sperimentale – Pesaro; Teatro Duse – Bologna; Teatro Impero – Marsala; Teatro Miela – Trieste.


2000. Teatro Valle – Roma; Piazza III Novembre – Arco (TN).



1996. Potsdammer Tanz Tage – Potsdam (Germany).


1997. Palais des Festival - Théâtre Debussy – Cannes (France).


1998. Comédie de Valence Centre Dramatique – Valence (France); Palais des Beaux Arts - Charleroi Danse (Belgium); Banana Bleu - Incontro Internazionale – Piazza - Albertville (France); Casinò Municipal – Biarritz (France); Istituto di Cultura Italiano – Caracas (Venezuela); Istituto di Cultura Italiano - Maracaibo – (Venezuela); Centro Culturale Belem – Lisbona (Portugal).


1999. Teatro Stella d’Italia – Montevideo (Uruguay); Latina 99 - Braeburn Theatre – Nairobi (Kenya); Hilton Ballroom – Addis Abeba (Ethiopia).


2000. Festival Quartier d’Etè – Parigi (France).

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