Aterballetto and its “Italian-style” modern dances

NCPA November/10/2017
On November 25th-26th, the Aterballetto will perform Antitesi, L’Eco dell’acqua and Rain Dogs, to showcase its unique charms, which is not only avant-garde, but so graceful.

Still of Aterballetto

Founded in 1979, the Aterballetto is Italy’s number one art’s organisation that works on both dance composition and performance, and Italy’s first permanent dance organisation independent of opera houses. From 1997 to 2007, the famous choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti revolutionised the dance company’s artistic features, bringing it to the forefront in the world. Five years ago, the Aterballetto amazed audiences in Beijing with its choreographer’s works.

During its return visit, the Aterballetto will perform three grand works by three choreographers, which had been composed after 2013, and stand alone as original conceptions.

Still of Aterballetto

German choreographer Philippe Kratz will bring along a mysterious, fancy dance L’Eco dell’acqua, which was composed with inspiration from Goethe’s poem Song of the Spirit over the Waters: “the soul of man resembleth water: from heaven it cometh, to heaven it soareth, and then again to earth descendeth…” The dancers’ body movements resonate with the change of music intensity, and this sounds like the whispers of gurgling water, implying the everlasting debate over human destiny.

Still of Aterballetto

Swedish choreographer Johan Inger’s Rain Dogs, composed with inspiration from the famous American singer Tom Waits’ song of the same title, tells an interesting story about a dog, which is confident in its sense of smell, fails to pick up its scent to return home in the rain. Inger said, “I haven’t been literal in this work, but there is something extremely earthy yet also intellectual and acute in Tom Waits. I felt that his voice worked well with my movement and the world I imagined. I felt that his stories and rhythms were in keeping with my language and my idea. This is certainly not the first time I have processed themes such as solitude and relationships, but in this case music has permitted me to find ‘another way in’.”

Still of Aterballetto

The third masterpiece Antitesi (premiered in 2015) is a work commissioned by the Aterballetto. It is composed by master Andonis Foniadakis, who has been popular in choreography circles in recent years. In diverse dance forms, the work brings forth various mutually contradictory states: part and whole, fast and slow, yin and yang, abstract and concrete… The dance music is also branded clearly with the DNA of Italy, such as the Baroque chant and the avant-garde contemporary piece, which is composed by an Italian composer. The classical and modern elements are organically combined with each other in the music. Foniadakis said, “The Baroque music and contemporary music, though different on the surface, breathe similarly with the same rhythm. I’m not describing the music with the dance, or composed the dance using the music as the background, but composed the dance ‘in’ the music.” European Media described the dance as “a show with a strong, raw flavour hovering between the nostalgic beauty of the past and modern day reality; restless, uncertain and violent.”
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