Since the evening of their debut creation in 1989, Michele Abbondanza and Antonella Bertoni have followed a path leading to their unmistakable identity as masters of Italian Dance theatre.
With their Compagnia Abbondanza/Bertoni they have explored the most diverse of poetics whilst staying ever faithful to their highly individual and recognisable choreographic and human vocabulary.
Since 2005 they have been resident at Teatro alla Cartiera in Rovereto, yet their souls have never ceased to wander. Michele and Antonella's dance moves through the urgency to give shape to a vision which (influenced by different experiences including that with Alwin Nikolais at the Dominique Dupuy studios, their work with Carolyn Carlson and their use of Zen) contrasts images , bodies and sounds, all vibrating around a concept, around an idea.
Their diverse projects derive from these inner motions. For example, projects both for and together with children, starting out from their Romanzo d'Infanzia,which premiered in1997 and has now seen over 600 performances in four different languages, and continuing onto the founding of their Piccola Compagnia Abbondanza/Bertoni which has performed three productions to date. Their work has seen their participation in and choreography for television, cinema and Opera houses, the teaching of adults and children both in their Scuola d'Azione courses and the many Masterclasses in Italy that Michele and Antonella have held over the years and also the careful nurturing and support of the individual, artistic growth of new performers who have been part of the company, such as Tommaso Monza and Valentina Dal Mas.
Not to mention their creations in the form of trilogies, a form which the company is always in tune with. Their five year project Ho male all’altro (2000-2005) which explores the scarifices made for love, freely inspired by Greek Tragedy and staging rarefied characters who rise to become archetypes.
Their project Biologico regarding human fragility and involving people who are “special” either for their age or human condition: The “borderline” in Le fumatrici di pecore (2010), with Antonella Bertoni and the differently-abled actress / dancer Patrizia Birolo, the “child” in Il Ballo del Qua (2012), a production for adults, performed entirely by children aged between 7 and 10, the “elder” in Scena Madre (2012) which sees Antonella on stage with her mother Paola.
In their very recent Poiesis (2017-2019) it is the music which dictates their direction; that of Franz Schubert in the female trio of La morte e la fanciulla, of Charles Mingus in the virile Erectus and of Arnold Schönberg in the last chapter of Pelléas e Mélisande.
Their most intimate projects also create an ideal trilogy, works which reveal and delve, not without that self-irony, heart and soul belonging to this “iron couple of Italian Dance”: The two solo pieces Try by Antonella (2006) and I Dream by Michele Abbondanza (2015) and their “duet of solos” in Esecuzioni (2011) which sees them on stage together, alone, exactly twenty years after their debut duo Terramara.
Michele and Antonella's dance is not easy or comfortable, it neither seeks unwavering acceptance nor approval from its audience; it is a dance which presents questions without giving the answers, which stirs and faulters without offering support, indelibly undermining certainty and preconceptions, transporting us on a voyage towards an inevitably uncertain outcome.