created in 2006


performed by


lighting design

choreography assistant

dramaturgic consultation


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



When time undergoes extraordinary friction, diverging into the concentrated, higher forms of essential communication, space follows suit with extreme shapes of astonishing density.
From land and memory comes Terramara, immediately projecting its voice and action into the mirrors of the sky and current times. But the projection is movement and withdrawal, a respectful view of present-day living, the present as it takes place and is gone. And life, once more, makes its selections and abstractions to find two supreme performers capable of taking on a variety of “roles” and values or becoming narrative protagonists.
Above the terrace, the embankment between earth and sky, a man and a woman are custodians of the procreative rite, the creative cycle of nature that joins the before and after and by crossing space makes it whole. Following vertical lines between orbs, heavenly and earthly vaults meet in the definition of a primordial universe or more modest aspirations, in tune with nature and its manifestations. Trees and fruit, the “life-giving” objects: creatures of creatures, lives of other lives in a multiplication which is an act of love and labour. It is the love of lovers as well as filial, motherly and fatherly love, brotherhood: a love of life and its harmoniously variegated flow - each loves the other’s life - and by loving life is produced. And it is work, the transformation of bodies into other bodies via instruments and movements.
The movements are carried out according to choreographic designs, abstract stories which often fall back on evocations of a different depth and clarity: tools, verses, colours, tones. Ethnic voices and traditions or, by contrast, the most lucid and naturally limpid classicism alternate in a universal catalogue of the sounds of man. Beyond single cultures and the borders between countries and regions it is once again the echo of the land that expresses the fullness of memory’s experience and brings the poetry of time to this performance of movements, sets and sculptures.
The load is also a painful one when the witnessing of time is interpreted as memory lost, recoverable only via symbols and signs. Because time is also lost time, which returns to what remains and by turns confuses, transgresses and yet energises it in the legendary context of the eternal return.
Life is not interrupted, perhaps, but every peak is also a passage where something, some trace is also lost.
Every word, every truly new story has its origin in the when and where of such falls.    

Paolo Dalla Sega

The duo, which Abbondanza interprets with Antonella Bertoni, weaves the memories of love experienced into a symbolic plot. In a continual metamorphosis, in these poetical shards of meaning Terramara wins over the audience (large and enthusiastic for all three performances).

Rossella Battisti, « L’Unità » , June 1991 

It is pleasing when a performance leaves a clear picture, a definite sensation of colour and intent in the viewer's mind. Terramara conveys a unity of ideas, a joint choice of the direction of research. Abbondanza and Bertoni, both extremely convincing, move in a dance that unwinds along intense, ironical, simple paths and dialogues in an authentic way.

Francesca Pedroni, « Danza & Danza » , July 1991

The originality of Terramara lies predominantly in the poetry and spirituality of its choreography. The show is thus evocative, searching and luminous and reveals Michele Abbondanza to be one of the most refined protagonists of new dance.

Francesca Bernabini, « Corriere della Sera » , July 1991

The prize for the most moving show goes to Michele Abbondanza's Terramara, performed by Abbondanza and Antonella Bertoni on a stage flooded with a sea of orange and echoes of ethnic motifs. Like a delicate love poem, this duo is sweet and touchy, fresh, with great sets, great lighting and great tenderness.

Elisa Guzzo Vaccarino, « Il Giorno » , October 1991

Abbondanza is a solid dance professional. Terramara is a dual reflection on the passing of time, on prehistoric vestiges and on the complexity of the bond between two beings of opposite sexes who meet to create new life and recreate themselves.

Marinella Guatterini, « L'Unità » , April 1992

While still tied to the brilliant Finnish-Californian choreographer, the Trentino artist is searching for his own special voice. And he shows it in this almost ecumenical work, right from the musical backup ranging from classical echoes such as Bach to a dense ethnic interlacing of Hungarian, Indian, Rumanian and Sicilian tones. A blend as interesting as the idea behind Terramara.

Luigi Rossi, « Famiglia Cristiana » , May 1992

Terramara is an hour of intense emotions in the language of whispers rather than shouting, of deep glances and prolonged gestures well compiled in a stage format that is fully comprehensible. The latter aspect, a rarity in contemporary dance, should be underlined. A work for two dancers, it is not to be confused with one of the long pas a deux companies often propose. The protagonists of these intense sixty minutes which fly by are Michele Abbondanza himself, the driving force behind the choreography, and Antonella Bertoni, his wonderful companion in the adventure.

Aurora Massotto, « Il Sole 24 Ore » , May 1992

On the contrary, ours were for once decidedly the best. Together with Antonella Bertoni, Michele Abbondanza is king of the event. The pair avoid the impromptu quality of new dance, coming to our attention only now, for which we make amends. The atmosphere is that of The Tree of Wooden Clogs , whilst the message launched in simple terms is universal.

Elsa Airoldi, « Il Giornale » , June 1992

Michele Abbondanza and Antonella Bertoni were protagonists of the most sublime moment of Encontros acarte '92 in Lisbon. This choreography has the poetical aura of a work that tends to seek out only the essence of things. As dance expression Terramara legitimately joins the group of essential works of art for the human race.  

Antonio Melo, « l Publico » , September 1992 


1991. Teatro Auditorium - C.S.C. S. Chiara - Trento; Teatro Trianon - Roma; Drodesera Festival - Dro (TN); Festival Inteatro - Polverigi - Ancona; Teatro Ariosto - Reggio Emilia; Haus der Kultur – Bolzano.


1992. Teatro San Gimignano - Modena; I.T.C.- San Lazzaro (BO); Teatro Portaromana - Milano; Castello Malcesine - Varese; Solstizio d’Estate – Mezzocorona (TN); Teatro Sociale - Udine; Fontemaggiore - Perugia; Teatro Comunale - Casalmaggiore  (CR).


1993. Amici della Musica - Trapani; Cascina – Milzanello (BS).


1994. Casa della Comunità – Nago (TN).


1995. Teatro Civico - La Spezia.


1997. Palazzo Marino - Milano; Haus Der Kultur - Bolzano.




1992. Théâtre de L’Agora – Evry (Paris) France; Festival Tanec – Praha  (Czechoslovakia); Fundaçao Gulbenkian – Lisbona (Portugal); Ernst-Beyer-Haus – Lipsia (Germany).


1994. Théâtre de Cherbourg – Cherbourg (France).


1996. Palazzo del Cinema - Cannes (France).

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