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 Post subject: Aterballetto
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2002 5:34 am 
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Stuart writes: Our topic on this Italian company is a geographical mix that we can't unwind now, so I have moved it here, reflecting its home location and the fact that there will be much comment in the coming month when they come to Sadler's Wells for the first time.

From the Los Angeles Times:

The Italian, American Divide

By LEWIS SEGAL

Quote:
On July 11, American Ballet Theatre brings to the Music Center its production of "Le Corsaire," a much revised 1868 Marius Petipa story ballet that the company performed in Costa Mesa three years ago.

Eight days later, at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, the contemporary Italian company Aterballetto introduces Southern California to "A Midsummer Night's Dream," ....
MORE...

<small>[ 01 April 2005, 03:59 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Aterballetto
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2002 4:28 am 
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From the Los Angeles Times:<P><B>A 'Dream,' Long Deferred, Gets Interrupted This Midsummer<BR>Dance* Mauro Bigonzetti worked toward the perfect moment for his first narrative ballet, only to have a pop music album undercut his plans.</B><P>By CHRIS PASLES, Times Staff Writer<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Training his dancers carefully, Aterballetto choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti waited three years before he felt they were ready for his first full-length narrative ballet, "A Midsummer Night's Dream." <BR> "Once I had taken the direction of the company," Bigonzetti recounted by e-mail recently from the company offices in Italy, "I thought it was better to focus on first creating a style, starting from pure dance energy. Then I found it was time to approach this 'Dream' I had in my mind."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="http://www.calendarlive.com/top/1,1419,L-LATimes-Theater-X!ArticleDetail-66460,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Aterballetto
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2002 10:40 am 
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Are any criticaldance people going to be there? I'm going Saturday evening.<P>-art


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 Post subject: Re: Aterballetto
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2002 11:04 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Hope you'll tell us all about it art.


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 Post subject: Re: Aterballetto
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2002 4:23 am 
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From the Los Angeles Times:<P><B>A Midsummer's Seduction<BR>Italian ballet troupe Aterballetto makes desire the driving force in the Shakespeare play.</B><P>By LEWIS SEGAL, Times Staff Writer<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Most new Shakespeare ballets prove so relentlessly intent on recycling solid-gold titles, familiar plots, preexisting scores and standard classroom step-combinations that they exist in a little world of their own--irrelevant to the way the plays are staged by major directors. <BR> In contrast, Aterballetto's millennial "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (a.k.a. "Il Sogno di Una Notte di Mezza Estate") dares to take Shakespeare seriously. The leaders of this groundbreaking Italian ballet company assume that Shakespeare's plays still dominate the dramatic repertory for some deeper reason than force of habit. So they enlist a constellation of contemporary artists to create a bracingly sardonic dance interpretation of one his most popular comedies.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="http://www.calendarlive.com/top/1,1419,L-LATimes-Theater-X!ArticleDetail-66773,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Aterballetto
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2002 7:00 pm 
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In Mario Bigonzetti’s version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” choreographer Bigonzetti creates paintings and sculptures out of the story, meanwhile communicating through this art that we are all essentially animals in our conquest for love. Italian dance company Aterballeto performed the piece’s only U.S. engagement July 19-20 at the Orange County Performing Arts Cener in Costa Mesa, California.<P>The curtain on Aterballeto’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” rises on what looks like an artist’s studio. Large sheets cover what appear to be three unfinished sculptures and a dancer wearing all-white painter’s clothing leaps across the stage frenetically. This frenetic movement sets the tone for Bigonzetti’s very unique version of “Midsummer.” This “Midsummer” is completely unlike the other two well-known dance versions of the bard’s play. First of all, the Balanchine and Ashton stagings are clearly classical pieces, using period, ballet-style costumes and pointe shoes. The Balanchine/Ashton versions are also much more literal manner, using period costumes and more literally retelling the story. The dancing is more modern than classical – and there are pointe shoes here and there, but even those aren’t used classically (Puck, for example, wears a boot on one foot and a pointe shoe on the other). And the story is much more abstract. It is, of course, still told, but there is much more suggestion and the movements reflect themes that Bigonzetti extricates from the Shakespearean text.<P>Bigonzetti’s choreography is intensely physical, sometimes hinging on manic and animalistic. Meanwhile, at appropriate moments, there are surprising bursts of lyricism interspersed throughout the piece.<P>The opening tableau, with sheets covering what appear to be three sets of sculptures, also establishes a theme for the piece. That is that the entire work is the work of an artist working on his or her palette. In the introduction, the sheets are eventually lifted off to reveal dancers standing in pose - three groups of dancers who represent the central couples of the story. The corps – dressed in black and white painter’s work clothing – dances around these “sculptures,” and as the story begins to move into the main plot, the corps “sculpts” them into specific positions that represent different elements of the plot. As the corps exits the stage, one by one, the sculptures are animated and send the story forward.<P>This action that they spring into is quite fascinating. Some of it propels the storyline forward while other choreography suggest keys to the inside of the character – keys that Bigonzetti saw and which one might not normally think of seeing. Take, for example, the character of Titania, Queen of the Fairies. She is normally portrayed as a regal, elegant beauty. In Aterballeto’s “Midsummer,” she is an animal creature with wild hair, claws, and a nasty scowl. Oberon and her fairies are portrayed similarly – as decidedly uncuddly wild animals.<P>The character of Puck is the central figure in the story. In the play, Puck is pretty much the orchestrator of the play’s plot complications; in Bigonzetti’s version, Puck is dressed in tights that appear to have been splashed with paint in the way that a painter’s clothing is covered with various different colors of paint from working on a painting. Puck is the artist in Bigonzetti’s metaphor that creates the work of art that we see on stage the same way that he creates craziness in the play. <P>Interestingly, a woman plays Puck in Bigonzetti’s “Midsummer.” It adds to the sensuality of the character that Bigonzetti has chosen to accentuate throughout the production. Instead of using an ointment and flower to cast a spell, Puck goes up to the characters to be affected and gives them a nice big lick.<P>The entire production, actually, is charged with sensuality. The two sets of human lovers in the story first appear to us fully clothed. Then, as they begin chasing each other through the forest, the clothing disappears – the men appear without shirts, the women in very short dresses. As the spell takes affect at the end of the story, they are stripped pretty much to their underwear. This lack of clothing in combination with the animalistic nature of the choreography leads us to see that Bigonzetti seems to be making a point here: at the core of this love play and of human nature are certain animalistic, primitive impulses that drive us all.<P>So what we got in Costa Mesa, California was a highly intriguing, different, and choreographically satisfying version of “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The sets were appropriately sparse and complemented Bigonzetti’s symbolism. <P>Veronique Dina Jean was simply amazing as Puck. She had this immense presence on stage and she was also daring enough to lick everyone - and in once case, drag Bottom around with her teeth. Also of note was Ina Broeckx as Titania, who still managed to be a beauty while crawling around like an animal, growling.<P>Elvis Costello’s original score for the piece – played from tape for the Orange County performances - was simply fantastic. It was multi-layered, at times lyrical, and always in keeping with the mood of the piece without being rendered mere accompaniment. Keep your eyes out for a CD.<p>[This message has been edited by art076 (edited July 25, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Aterballetto
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2002 4:37 am 
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Thank you very much Art076 for a very well thoughtout and well written review.<P>I have also visited your webpage - and find that most interesting, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Aterballetto
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2002 10:26 am 
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From the Orange County Register:<P><B>A 'Dream' come to full fruition <BR>Italian dance troupe Aterballeto brings an imaginative interpretation of Shakespeare's comedy to the Arts Center.</B> <P>July 22, 2002<P>By SARA WOLF<BR>Special to the Register <P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Brushing up on one's Shakespeare might've helped but wasn't a requirement for enjoying Mauro Bigonzetti's imaginative and surprisingly literal dance adaptation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which received its U.S. premiere at the Orange County Performing Arts Center on Friday night.<P>For example, it might be useful to recall the role of the workers (Bottom and his crew) who in Bigonzetti's translation not only devise a play for the royals but arrange this play by alternately unveiling draped actors or covering and carting them off the stage along with the set pieces.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="http://www.ocregister.com/sitearchives/2002/7/22/show/aterballetto00722cci4.shtml" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><P><BR>thank you, Milena.<BR> <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Aterballetto
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2002 11:29 pm 
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Many thanks to Patrizia for posting this review in "Modern Dance". Aterballetto are one of those companies that defy easy categorisation. However, as we started our coverage of the Company in "Ballet" I've copied the review here to make life easy for people.

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Aterballetto at the Museum of Musical Instruments in Rome
July 8, 2002
by Patrizia Vallone

Italy’s normally fine summer weather favors a plethora of open-air shows all over the country, of which a great number are dance performances. As far as Rome is concerned, thanks to the wealth of gardens in palazzi, villas and cultural centers, there is so much going on it’s just a question of having to chose.

Of course, we’re at the mercy of Jupiter the Rainmaker: if he’s in a bad mood, no show. That’s what happened on July 16: the most eagerly awaited performance of the “Invito alla Danza” festival — the San Carlo Theater’s Ballet Company, featuring soloists Viviana Durante and Giuseppe Picone — had to be cancelled due to two days of downpour.

On 8th of July, however, the weather was up to expectations, and the Aterballetto company was able to perform without a hitch and with great success in the gardens of the Museum of Musical Instruments (a little-known but extremely well-stocked museum, which I strongly recommend visiting if you’re in Rome for more than a couple of days).

Aterballetto, founded in 1979 and based in Reggio Emilia, offers a modern and contemporary repertoire that is very different and much more original than those of the large ballet companies run by the Italian opera theaters. It’s a small company, about twenty dancers in all, featuring no étoiles: everybody is a soloist.

Until recently, the company was directed by choreographer Amedeo Amodio; under his leadership, Aterballetto regularly danced Balanchine, Van Manen, Ailey, Tetley and Forsythe, as well as Amodio’s own creations.

In 1996 the company was put in the hands of Mauro Bigonzetti, a former Aterballetto dancer and now an internationally appreciated choreographer. He has created ballets for the English National Ballet, the Kirov Ballet and, more recently, the New York City Ballet.

On this particular evening, Aterballetto performed three Bigonzetti creations: “Jimi Jimi,” “3D” and “Homage to Bach.”

Jimi Hendrix’s music and voice (including excerpts from an interview) are the base for “Jimi Jimi”: the choreography recreates the glamorous atmosphere surrounding the rock stars of the Seventies.

“3D,” set to music by David Byrne, is a long pas de trois, where the dancers alternately join and leave each other in a continuous sequence of tension and relaxation, contracted steps and large open movements.

“Homage to Bach” is a longer ballet which involves all the dancers of the company in solos, pas de deux, small and large groups, or all together. The Bach music includes selections from his “Passions”, masses, piano pieces played by Glenn Gould and a version for accordion.

Bigonzetti’s style is an interesting mix of contemporary dance and classical ballet; his movements are broken, contracted, nervous; there is much use of points, but not in an academic way. The dancers must be very gifted to dance these complicated choreographies adequately. The Aterballetto dancers are all really excellent; they have good technique and very expressive bodies.

A very satisfying performance indeed, rewarded by a well-deserved applause.


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 Post subject: Re: Aterballetto
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2002 4:37 am 
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Thank you very much, Patrizia, for this very interesting review.

Here is a bit more about this company:

Aterballetto

I am intrigued by this sentence from the site:

Quote:
Aterballetto is the only permanent dance company in Italy. Founded in 1979,....
Is this true? I recently saw and reviewed Teatro alla Scala Ballet Giselle

Is that not a permanent company?


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 Post subject: Re: Aterballetto
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2002 10:29 pm 
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Location: London
thanks for your article Patrizia - good to hear from Italy.


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 Post subject: Re: Aterballetto
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:05 am 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Elvis Costello composes a ballet score:

Quote:
l Sogno (The Dream) is a dramatic contrast. Italy's Aterballeto dance company commissioned it for a recent production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Costello flirted with Shakespeare and classical music on 1993's The Juliet Letters, recorded with the Brodsky Quartet; since then he has become a much more academic composer and interpreter.
More from the Houston Chronicle

_________________
Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
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http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: Re: Aterballetto
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 11:49 pm 
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Quote:
The resilience of Italy's Aterballetto
by CHEAH UI-HOON for the Singapore Business Times

Perhaps, pipped against the overwhelming classical arts in Italy, Bigonzetti's work has a sense of the grand classics as well - proving that contemporary dance need not be lightweight. Some of the full-length works he's done include interpreting Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, and Dante's Divine Comedy...
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 2:13 am 
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Aterballetto's maverick choreographer is about more than style
By Donald Hutera for The Times


NOBODY knows Italian dance, admits Mauro Bigonzetti, but that hasn’t stopped the artistic director of Ater- balletto becoming Italy’s best-known choreographer. This week he brings his reputation and his troupe to Sadler’s Wells, the company’s first visit to London since 1982.

Its home base is the northern city of Reggio Emilia. Founded in the late 1970s as a small experimental group, Aterballetto evolved into an independent ballet company that successfully challenged the atrophied opera-house system.

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 2:15 am 
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Aterballetto
By Donald Hutera forThe Times


DESPITE its billing as Italy’s leading contemporary dance troupe, Aterballetto hasn’t been seen in the UK since 1988. In the interim it acquired a new artistic director, the former company dancer Mauro Bigonzetti. It is with two of his dances that Aterballeto returns to our shores, in a fairly strong evening that shows the company off as attractive and sleek.

Set to a throbbing Stravinsky score for voice, piano and percussion, the original Les Noces (1923) was Bronislava Nijinska’s milestone one-act depiction of a peasant wedding. Bigonzetti’s version is a far more abstract but still compelling affair.

click for more

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Quote:
Compagnia Aterballetto
by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

... Bigonzetti seems to have changed his style with the new millennium. Back in the mid-1990s his work was spangled with post-modern attitude, hard-edged, athletic and glossy. Today it looks looser, less driven and, in the case of the 2001 piece Cantata, a lot more human.

published: May 4, 2005
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Quote:
The wedding party that turns into a battle of the sexes
by ISMENE BROWN for the Daily Telegraph

The vocabulary is designer-caveman: bruising acrobatics with bare feet, angular knees and elbows, jutting chins, and a lot of what you might call asking for trouble. The women are gorgeous, willowy creatures dressed like supermodels in their black ballgowns, acting terrified, and yet they waggle their bare legs combatively in the men's faces. Is it a no or a yes?

published: May 7, 2005
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