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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Sezione Danza EN (new)


9th International Festival of Contemporary Dance

The 9th International Festival of Contemporary Dance - realized in collaboration with the Fondazione Prada - will be held in Venice from June 19th to 29th, but will also have a “prologue” and an “epilogue”. Some of the events will take place in the form of works in progress at the Corderie dell’Arsenale, during the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, starting June 5: they will consist in previews of productions that will make their debut in their final version as part of the Festival. The Corderie will also be the venue for the first Appunti del Vangelo secondo Matteo (Notes on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew): a special project by Virgilio Sieni that will premiere in its definitive form at the Teatro alle Tese over the first three weekends of July, at the end of the Festival.
“We invited those artists who responded willingly to the idea of articulating their research within the idea of community, place, considering dance as the territory of gesture and transmission – writes Director Virgilio Sieni. This festival becomes the terminus of a cycle of experimentation by the artists (almost all of whom will be here with more than one production) on the dialogue between body and place, body and community. It is in this sense that the city has been envisioned, traced by new paths, proffered for the geographical and anthropological poetics of a Mondo Novo. This is a Festival that intends to create openings and transitions, journeys into the city and processes of experimentation, to reconstruct a biological history of the body, juxtaposing splendidly diverse bodies, considering the performance as the practice of the gaze exercised by the spectator when he comes into contact with gesture. The guest artists will be involved in a dialogue with the public in a programme of performances and creations scattered in various parts of the city, to generate a geography of pathways and openings.
A constant and growing act of trespassing, of bravely stepping over boundaries that are often arbitrary: this a political action of appropriation that informs man of his infinite potential yet requires him at the same time to face his own limits.
By directly involving the artists, we have been able to create a festival in Italy with many world premiere productions, all of them meticulously developed and associated with places, details of artworks, people and communities. The result is a new geography, a Festival that intertwines performance and practice, place and community, building an original new map of trails and resonances”.
Steve Paxton (USA), SaburoTeshigawara (Japan), Christian Rizzo (France), Laurent Chétouane (France/Germany), Jan Martens (Belgium/Holland), Roy Assaf (Israel), Radhouane El Meddeb, Matias Pilet & Alexandre Fournier (France), Jérôme Bel (France), Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion (Great Britain/Italy), Dewey Dell/Agata, Demetrio and Teodora Castellucci, Eugenio Resta (Italy), Keiin Yoshimura (Japan), Meg Stuart (USA/Belgium), Iris Erez (Israel), Cristina Rizzo (Italy), Alessandro Sciarroni (Italy), Michele Di Stefano (Italy), David Zambrano (Venezuela/Holland), Anton Lachky (Belgium), Enzo Cosimi (Italy), Ramona Caia (Italy), Giuseppe Comuniello (Italy), Luisa Cortesi (Italy), Marina Giovannini (Italy), Raffaella Giordano/Maria Munoz (Italy /Spain), Helen Cerina (Italy), Adriana Borriello (Italy), Simona Bertozzi (Italy), Stian Danielsen (Norway), Kinkaleri/Massimo Conti, Marco Mazzoni, Gina Monaco (Italy).
These are the artists who have been invited to the Festival, and involved by Director Virgilio Sieni in a variety of projects as guests, in Aperto, and for commissions – in Aura, Invenzioni, Prima Danza – which will lead to new works conceived in Venice for the Biennale.
In all, 42 productions will be presented, including 26 world premieres and 9 Italian premieres.
470 participants will take part in the creations in collaboration with the Biennale College – Dance: 20 very young dancers who participated in the Cookie Cottage during the International Kids’ Carnival; from April to June there will be 250 participants in the 9th International Festival of Contemporary Dance (100 dancers, 100 amateurs, 50 very young dancers between the ages of 10 and 14); from January to July, 200 amateurs and dancers will take part in the project of the Gospel according to Saint Matthew.
The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Dance has been awarded to Steve Paxton; the Silver Lion to Michele Di Stefano of the mk company.
Finally, an exhibition of video, photographic and documentary materials from the Historical Archives / ASAC of the Biennale di Venezia will accompany the 9th International Festival of Contemporary Dance. An ideal extension of the exhibition currently on display, a survey of dance at the Biennale from the 1930s to the early 1990s, the next exhibition will focus on artists who have involved Venice in independent events with a strong emphasis on the body: Merce Cunningham, Living Theater, and Meredith Monk.

All the activities of the Dance sector for the year 2014 are made possible by the support of the Fondazione Prada.
Works in progress at the Corderie - The Corderie dell’Arsenale will be the place where Dance will work together with the other disciplines – Music, Theatre, Cinema and Architecture. This space was conceived by Director Rem Koolhaas as a “multidisciplinary work in progress, constantly evolving and permanently on display”, with 6 stages where a ceaseless cycle of events of every kind – from incursions lasting just a few minutes to twenty-minute performances to practices that may last for hours – both planned or spontaneous, will create a changing exhibition day after day. The situation will be an unusual one for choreographers and dancers, and for the visitors as well: dance must respond to and change in relation to the space, to the freedom of the spectator and his direct gaze, to the “open narration” of a work in progress, in which the public dimension intersects with the traditionally intimate dimension of creation.
With the idea of art as a work in progress, the Corderie will become a place where a different economy of vision can be presented.
In concurrence with the preview of the Architecture Exhibition – on June 5th and 6th – the Corderie will be the venue of choreographic actions created for the occasion, and the beginning of a cycle of practices and phases of creation that will come to their conclusion at the 9th International Festival of Contemporary Dance (19 > 29 June). Artists Michele Di Stefano, Roy Assaf, Luisa Cortesi, Marina Giovannini, Cristina Rizzo, Giuseppe Comuniello, Virgilio Sieni, Kinkaleri have been invited to this session.
Aperto – The Aperto section is dedicated to the productions invited to the Festival, all of them world premieres or Italian premieres.
Lines by Japanese choreographer, dancer, sculptor and director Saburo Teshigawara, will be on stage at the Teatro Malibran on the opening day of the Festival, on June 19th, with dancer Rihoko Sato and violinist Sayaka Shoji. [ trailer ]
Teshigawara’s new dance contrasts with the ancient Japanese choreutic tradition of the Kamigata-mai with Keiin Yoshimura. As a leading exponent of this strictly feminine art form developed in the shadow of court life, Keiin Yoshimura presents the diptych entitled Wa no kokoro, The Spirit of Harmony  (26 > 29 June, Teatrino Palazzo Grassi).
In his first appearance ever in Italy, Laurent Chétouane, originally from France but now living in Berlin, where he has become one of the most representative directors and choreographers of German dance, will present Sacré Sacre du Printemps (21 June, Teatro alle Tese). The author of productions in which the actors do not interpret a role but a score of movements, Chétouane inscribes Stravinsky’s score into the music of contemporary composer Leo Schmidthals which opens and closes the performance, and annuls the sacrifice by presenting a community without victims, in which the other is accepted, difference and all.
Like Chétouane, Radhouane El-Meddeb is an artist who migrated from theatre to dance, studying and practicing first in Tunis and then at the National Theatre in Toulouse. In his new production which will have its Italian premiere at the Biennale, Nos limites (25 June, Teatro alle Tese), El-Meddeb works with two circus artists trained at the Accademia Fratellini: Matias Pilet and Alexandre Fournier. Together they brought to term the project by trapeze artist Fabrice Champion, who wished to return to the stage to confront his disability after an accident on the job. Nos limites is a true story, the story of our vital instincts that never give up in the face of physical impairment. [ trailer ]
Another true story comes from the Festival d’Avignon, where it made its debut last summer: D’après une histoire vraie (27 June, Teatro Piccolo Arsenale, Italian premiere) by Christian Rizzo, an artist working in various fields such as rock music and fashion, art and opera direction (until last year he was resident artist at the Opéra de Lille). The folk dances that Rizzo saw in Istanbul were the source for this piece that reflects on the memory of gestures, both folk and contemporary. The French press described it as a new dance ritual, both modern and antique at the same time: on stage are 8 dancers accompanied in a crescendo of energy by the percussive rhythms of Didier Ambact and King Q4.
Rigorous technique and dramatic tension have always intersected in the work of Enzo Cosimi, one of the leading figures in Italian dance, who has reserved the world premiere of Sopra di me il diluvio for the Festival (20 and 21 June, Teatro alle Tese). In the new production, which follows the successful outcome of Welcome to my world, Cosimi pursues his exploration of the relationship between man and nature in contemporary society. Cosimi returns to the Biennale Danza and replaces the superficially exotic pop world of his 2002 hit Hallo Kitty!, with “a gaunt, austere choreography, an empty perceptive field in which life is experienced as unreal” (E. Cosimi).
From the same generation as Cosimi and distinguished by a strongly lyrical approach, Raffaella Giordano, who has taken her work beyond the idea of dance theatre in which she was trained at Wuppertal, comes to the Festival working in partnership with dancer and choreographer Maria Muñoz, with whom she has created L’incontro (24 June, Teatro alle Tese), a new production that will be presented in its Italian premiere performance. [ trailer ] Both are authors and creators of a universe of gestures that explore the many forms of artistic expression, and founded their own companies in the 1980s: Sosta Palmizi for Raffaella Giordana, with colleagues from her experience with Carolyn Carlson at La Fenice, and Mal Pelo, a Catalan company, for Maria Muñoz.
The thirty-one year old Israeli Roy Assaf, an experienced dancer who collaborated in the choreography of Emmanuel Gat, and twenty-nine year old Belgian Jan Martens, who studied at Antwerp and recently moved to the ICK centre in Amsterdam, bring, each in their own way bring an intimate narrative to dance.
Assaf is the author and performer of a diptych: Six years later (24 June, at the Teatro alle Tese, Italian premiere performance), a duet with Hadar Yunger Harel, which traces the course of a relationship between two people suspended between past and present, and The Hill (25 June, Teatro alle Tese), a triptych for male dancers, with Shlomi Bitton and Igal Furman, which evokes times and places marked by violence (the hill in the title is Ammunition Hill, the site of furious combat during the Six-Day War) blending pain, joy and irony. [ trailer ]
Like Six Years Later by Assaf, Sweat Baby Sweat (26 June, Teatro alle Tese, Italian premiere performance) by Martens engages body against body to portray the love between a man and a woman, an extreme all-consuming love. What emerges is a powerfully physical dance, where realism ebbs into emotion in the obsessive slowness of the gestures. A mental and physical tour de forcefor the two dancers, Kimmy Ligtvoet and Steven Michel. [ trailer ]
Contrasting with the work of these artists is the experimentation of Jonathan Burrows, a dancer and choreographer with the Royal Ballet for 13 years before developing his own original approach with composer Matteo Fargion, with whom he created a series of duets that stunned both audiences and critics. Together they have created a musical vision of the body, along the lines explored by Cunningham-Cage, with the same yet renewed eccentricity and provocative intent. Participating for the first time in the Dance Biennale, Burrows and Fargion will present Body Not Fit To Purpose in its world premiere performance (19 > 22 June, Teatrino Palazzo Grassi). The musical starting point is Folly, one of the oldest and most widely interpreted of themes (from Vivaldi, Corelli, Händel to Rachmaninoff), but it all ends in dance – words, music, and props – so that “the audience may listen to the music of movement and see dance in the words and sounds that it listens to” (M.Fargion).
Exploring the field of performance art, but in a radically different spirit, is the brand new company Dewey Dell, composed of choreo-artist Teodora Castellucci, composer Demetrio Castelluci, lighting and set designer Eugenio Resta, and assistant choreographer Agata Castellucci. At the Biennale they will present Marzo (28 June, Teatro alle Tese), which comes to Italy following its debut at the Steirischer herbst 13 in Graz. Marzo, the source of many suggestions for the author – from mythology, warfare and astronomy – is the first work in which the company deals wth narration and relies on the collaboration of figures outside the group: cartoonist and visual artist Yuichi Yokoyama and dramaturge Kuro Tanino. [ trailer ]
Three months after its German debut, Italy will be the next stage for Hunter (28 June, Teatro alle Tese), the new production by Meg Stuart, the author of important improvisation projects that have involved many other artists, and of solo performances, choreography for ensembles, site-specific installations for art galleries and exhibitions such as Documenta X in Kassel. In her new solo, Hunter, Meg Stuart explores her own dancing body as an archive of experiences and personal and cultural memories from which she traces a series of self-portraits. Devoid of virtuosity, the practice of improvisation that underlies her experimentation leads to the open, deconstructable, free and dynamic structure of dance that also distinguishes her company’s work.
Steve Paxton, winner of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 9th International Festival of Contemporary Dance, has contributed decisively to changing the nature of contemporary dance, and his teachings reverberate to varying degrees in many of the guest choreographers today. The experimentation of this American choreographer, conducted in a manner that is totally coherent with his style and his life, will be presented in Bound (20 June, Teatro Piccolo Arsenale): a sequence of episodes, performed by Slovenian dancer Jurij Konjar, each of which represents an isolated microcosm, in a process of almost numerical accumulation. The production returns to Italy 32 years after it was created for Spaziozero in Rome. [ trailer ]
Aura – Director Virgilio Sieni has invited 5 of the guest choreographers of the 9th International Contemporary Dance Festival to explore the dialogue with painting and art. Saburo Teshigawara, Laurent Chétouane, Jonathan Burrows with Matteo Fargion, Jérôme Bel, and Michele Di Stefano will create 5 original performances inspired by the detail of a work by one of the great artists of the past, preserved in Venice.
Saburo Teshigawara has chosen the title Eyes Off (21 and 22 June, Ca Giustinian) for his performance in honour of La Nuda by Giorgione, the fresco dated 1508 that was removed from the Fondaco dei Tedeschi and is now at the Galleria Franchetti at the Ca’ d’Oro.
Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion will present The Madonna Project (19 > 22 June, Ca’ Giustinian) inspired by the Madonna col Bambino in Gloria by Giovanni Bellini, painted in 1485 circa and currently at the Gallerie dell’Accademia.
Solo with R / Perspective(s)  (26 > 29 June, Teatrino Palazzo Grassi) is the title of the solo that will be performed by Roberta Mosca to the choreography of Laurent Chétouane, inspired by a detail of the Miracle of Saint Mark by Tintoretto, preserved at the Gallerie dell’Accademia. After its debut in Venice, the solo will be performed at the Théâtre de la Bastille in Paris from November 17th to 21st.
Mondo Novo by Jérome Belwith 25 performers (19> 22 June, Conservatorio), the author of a radical critique, with a certain dose of irony, of the statute of art, is inspired by the large eponymous fresco by Giandomenico Tiepolo now at Ca’ Rezzonico.
The winner of the Silver Lion of the 9th International Festival of Contemporary Dance, Michele Di Stefano, will present, together with Margherita Morgantin ca. (27 and 28 June, Ca’ Giustinian), a work inspired, like Bel’s, by a detail of Tiepolo’s Mondo Novo.
Prima Danza - How is dance created? Two choreographers, Marina Giovannini and Luisa Cortesi, have been invited to lead a creative process at the Dance Biennale. They have both developed this project in two interconnected sessions.
For each of them the first session will take place in the spaces of the Corderie – from June 5th to 25th – and will open each phase of a choreography to the audience and to the visitors of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, who will see it grow day after day as it takes its definitive form. Punto sulla forma is the title of the “open narration of a creation” by Marina Giovannini, who was trained as a classical ballerina and soloist for the Balletto di Toscana, before beginning her independent career.
The second session by Marina Giovannini, Meditation on Beauty 1, 2, 3 (24 June, Ca’ Giustinian) is a complete production, divided into 3 complementary fragments. The focus of the entire work is the world of women.
In the same context, Luisa Cortesi, who studied contemporary dance in Europe and in the United States, and since 1999 has alternated personal projects with collaborations with artists in various disciplines, such as visual artist Massimo Barzagli, will be at the Corderie for the entire month of June during the opening hours of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition with La trappola, a work in progress featuring an open structure, whereas she will present the production entitled L’appuntamento at the Laboratory of the Arts in Ca’ Giustinian on June 21st and 22nd, and again from June 25th to 28th. We are dealing with two architectural spaces and different concepts of time, remarks Cortesi: “La trappola is an action conceived over a diluted time and in a place architecturally suited for viewing and displaying the body to the public for eight hours a day over a twenty-day period. An open space for construction and representation. L’appuntamento concentrates and exhibits the actions and score built in La trappola within a limited performance time transferred into a different venue”.
Invenzioni – Three new creations will be conceived in Venice in the work of three choreographers with distinctively different approaches – Jérôme Bel, Roy Assaf, Alessandro Sciarroni.
Jérôme Bel, who will also be working in the Aura section at the Biennale, will present Senza titolo(19 > 22 June, Teatrino Palazzo Grassi) with 10 dancers. Jérôme Bel’s highly distinctive work, behind the irony and apparent banality of the situations that he presents, highlights the desire to disengage from the performers the nature of the human being, in its unexpected search for a state of the spirit. One of the leading figures of French dance in the world, Jérôme Bel was trained in one of the most prestigious centres of choreography, the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine in Angers; he danced with Preljocaj, Joelle Bouvier, Régis Obadia, Caterina Sagna, Philippe Découflé, for whom he also served as an assistant, before embarking on a personal career that emancipated him from traditional models, to concentrate on the fine line that separates the physical from the philosophical, performance from reality. He previously appeared at the Biennale in 2002 in his solo Shirtologie.
Roy Assaf comes from Israel, where dance is the art par excellence and which in recent years has brought so many young talents to the international scene; he is involved in the Dance Biennale in a twin capacity: as a guest in the Aperto section where he will present a diptych, and here as the author of a work conceived in Venice and for the Biennale, Dance Grammar, focused on the organization of human relations in a community, the creative phases of which will take place at the Corderie before the final presentation of the performance (27 > 29 June, Corderie dell’Arsenale).
The new creation by Alessandro Sciarroni is entitled You don’t know how lucky you are, and will be on stage at the Conservatorio B. Marcello from June 26th to 29th. A performer, choreographer and director, with a background in the field of visual arts and several years of theatre behind him, Alessandro Sciarroni puts himself to the test time after time by analysing the legacy of gestures of a profession, a starting point that leads him to the choreographic construction, an act of physical resistance on the stage. Making its debut in July 2013, was Untitled. I will be there when you die, a performative and choreographic practice inspired by juggling, part of which was presented at the Biennale, about the discipline, resistance, concentration and repetition that this art requires. Pursuing this research, in Venice Sciarroni will explore “the concept of leap understood as physical elevation, inevitable fall and a metaphor of the forces that possess existence”, involving gymnasts, dancers, choreographers and parkourists.
Forest, Ballads, Dances to discover – Kinkaleri
These are all performances that are the result of the encounter between choreographers, dancers and the involvement of the community: musicians, singers, elderly people, children, craftsmen, women, men, young people, blind people, other categories of performers, who bring with them a different alphabet of expression. Forest, Ballads, Dances to discover are experiences that depend on the spatial context – Campo Sant’Angelo and the Corderie – and share the temporary nature of the performance. There will be the “shorts” created by Ramona Caia and Sara Sguotti, dedicated to fairy tale characters who will inhabit an artificial forest in Campo Sant’Angelo. There will be the “shortissimi” of the Ballads: duets, trios, quartets in the space of the Corderie, involving all the choreographers. Finally, the “long-takes” of ‘Dances to discover’ with blind dancer Giuseppe Comuniello: a process of transmission between dancers and blind people that will present choreographic forms in progress recreating the space of representation for the visitors of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition. The Corderie will also be the venue, throughout the ten days of the Festival, from June 19th to 29th, for Found Dances & Everyone Gets Lighter / All! by Kinkaleri, a company that is part of the new European choreographic scene, and embraces various forms of production such as performance, installations and videos exhibited in contemporary art museums, theatres, festivals, disco clubs and television productions.
The company will continuously occupy the space of the Corderie where it will generate a series of variable actions – predetermined but also casual, short or very short, interacting with the visitors to the exhibition, and founded on the “alphabetization of movement” (each gesture corresponds to a letter of the alphabet). Found Dances & Everyone Gets Lighter extends the research into language that Kinkaleri has pursued in recent years within a modular work, inspired by William Burroughs, and entitled All!, giving structure to physical, verbal, visual and sound processes with total freedom of expression. “The invention of a code that makes it possible to transcribe an alphabetical symbol directly onto one’s own body, in a constant dynamic exchange between space and time, was the real founding act of the project; a choreographic practice in which a rigid grid for the translation of alphabet to gesture opens a space of individual freedom and develops all the functions of a body including a body in motion. Pure invention conceived so that a performer can acquire writing as an element of composition to perform here and now, adopting an arbitrary code that in its application as calligraphy can become something else, reaching beyond the world itself to redefine the idea of choreography… The audience will find itself randomly or with premeditation contemplating a body whose presence becomes dance, performance, voice, word, writing, rhythm. Dance is a virus!”
Vita Nova – Biennale College Dance, dedicated to training processes that lead to a creation, this year involves young and very young dancers. The 9th International Festival of Contemporary Dance also opens to an international context, becoming a meeting point for national experiences focused on young people. Established choreographers – Adriana Borriello, Stian Danielsen, Cristina Rizzo, Simona Bertozzi, Helen Cerina and Virgilio Sieni – will lead periods of practice with selected performers between the ages of 10 and 14 to develop a new creation, commissioned by the Biennale. Each final event will be presented at the Teatro alle Tese and at Ca’ Giustinian; and after the Festival, in local theatres in the regions involved. Collaborations have been instituted with 6 Italian regions and agencies and institutions in the field of dance: Veneto/CSC – Centro per la scena contemporanea of Bassano del Grappa, Tuscany/Regione Toscana and Accademia sull’arte del Gesto, Marche/AMAT and Civitanova Danza, Umbria/Teatro Stabile dell’Umbria and Associazione culturale Nexus, Lazio/Fondazione Romaeuropa, Puglia/Teatro Pubblico Pugliese.
The guest choreographers were assigned the theme of folk games: an encouragement to stay light for child-performers to whom the choreographic game is transmitted by means of traditional games, and a challenge to further their own choreographic journey.
Vita Nova will be inaugurated on the first day of the Festival, on June 19th (repeat performances 25 > 28, Ca’ Giustinian), with Bolerò, choreography by Cristina Rizzo, trained at the school of Martha Graham and in the studios of Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown, and one of the founders of Kinkaleri; today she works independently, creating works of her own and for other institutions, including Aterballetto. On the notes of one of the most recognizable scores of twentieth-century music, Ravel’s Boléro, Cristina Rizzo will follow her current line of research to lead the selected young dancers to experiment with new dynamic dimensions.
Making its debut on June 20th at the Teatro alle Tese will be Tacita Muta…, by Adriana Borriello, a dancer and choreographer with an incisive style trained at Béjart’s Mudra and co-founder of one of the most original companies of the 1980s, Rosas, under the guidance of Anne Teresa De Keersmaekeer, who later became the author of her own choreographic works distinguished by their powerful expressive content. The mythological inspiration of Tacita Muta…, a Roman nymph and later goddess who personified silence, becomes the opportunity for Adriana Borriello to “let dance have its say and imagine a sort of rite of passage with the young dancers in this adventure, a playful transmission of knowledge, tastes and moods”.
On June 21st, the Tese will be the venue for Post grammatica by Helen Cerina, a twenty-nine year old whose work spans from choreography to performance, the winner of the 2010 ‘Nuove sensibilità’ award for Dulcis in pomerio, and a teacher in nursery and elementary schools as part of the NotteNera Junior programme. “I believe that play is really only play when it goes beyond its own grammar, to release energy and the ancient emotion of survival” writes Helen Cerina to explain the title of the work, which looks at play to highlight the paradox of “simulation that is more concrete and intense than reality”.
La stanza del fauno and Indigene (part one) are two works that will be directed by Virgilio Sieni on the stage respectively on June 24th and 28th at the Teatro alle Tese: both of them explore gesture in the form of play, a game of combinations based on the duet and the quartet. Indigene is also one of the projects conducted in collaboration with the Music Sector. Composer Giovanni Manzini was commissioned to write the music, and the production will be developed in an initial phase of elaboration during the Dance Festival and in a second phase during the Music Festival in October.
Guardare ad altezza d’erba, which will make its debut on June 25th (Teatro alle Tese), is a creation by Simona Bertozzi, trained in gymnastics and in classical dance, and the author of choreographic works and performances presented in national and international festivals. Conceiving play as the possibility of rewriting the rules and renewing the actions that develop it, Guardare ad altezza d’erba is an invitation to exchange, for example, the verticality of posture with horizontality, a way for young people to discover invention and to exercise their imagination.
The Vita Nova cycle will end on June 26th at the Tese with Let’s play by twenty-eight year-old Norwegian Stian Danielsen, trained at the National Academy of the Arts and soon to make his debut with his latest production at the National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Oslo, following his experience as a performer at the Ballet Laboratory and as a choreographer with many creations, some of which have been performed in Italy (Grip, I Reckon, Cargo, Preg). For the commission by La Biennale, Danielsen will select a game from which to develop a vocabulary of movements and will build the choreography based on suggestions and stimuli in contact with the young dancers.
Agorà – The Agorà section will present a cycle of short original creations, conceived for the campi, the city squares in Venice. Michele Di Stefano, Cristina Rizzo, Iris Erez, Anton Lachky and David Zambrano are the choreographers who will lead the dancers selected for the Biennale College – Dance to explore the relationship between body, movement and the nature of place. [ trailer ]
The inauguration of this section of the Festival will take place on June 19th in Campo Pisani (with repeat performances on June 20th and 21st) with A demain by Slovakian choreographer Anton Lachky, who danced with the Akram Khan company starting in 2004 before founding his own company in Brussels in 2012.
Michele Di Stefano will be in Campo San Maurizio on June 20th and 21st, following a lengthy phase of open rehearsals in the Corderie, with Sahara Para Todos, inspired by the theme of “traveling” and the ability to find one’s orientation in the outside world.
In the same way, Cristina Rizzo will stage a preview, before the debut in Campo Novo on June 20th (with repeat performances on the 20 and 21), of her Bolero Variazioni, to the music of the famous piece by Maurice Ravel built on a single melody, divided into two phrases, and repeated nine times. “But what is really a Bolero?, wonders the choreographer. It is like a desert island, far from the continents. A wide-open expressive field, a gesture of registration with the world. Therefore for the Biennale College, the project extends into a more open format, Bolero Variazioni, in which the musical dimension is amplified as the detonator of expression”.
Public Intimacy, to be presented in Campo San Maurizio from June 26th to 29th, alludes in its very title to a situation involving an original space, that seeks a dialogue between what is evident, collective, open and what is personal, inner, private. The piece is by Israeli choreographer Iris Erez, who after a lengthy collaboration as a dancer with Yasmeen Godder (2000 – 2007), began an independent career that led her to collaborate with artists in various media – film directors, visual artists, video artists, musicians and opera singers.
From Amsterdam, but originally from Venezuela, with an extensive career in Europe and the United States, David Zambrano is the author of Passing-Through, to be presented in Campo Pisani from June 26th to 29th. The performance will be built on the basis of Zambrano’s philosophy which holds that creation does not require a leader: movement  arises spontaneously from the harmonious interaction between the bodies of dancers who, with adequate training, seem propelled by a single conscience in which each of them is his own leader.
The Gospel according to Saint Matthew
Twenty-seven scenes from the Gospel according to Saint Matthew will engage 180/200 performers from various regions of Italy; several phases of creation and rehearsals will take place publicly in the spaces of the Corderie dell’Arsenale. The entire cycle will be presented in its finished form at the Teatro alle Tese: on the 4th, 5th and 6th of July the first nine scenes; the next nine on the 11th, 12th and 13th of July; the last nine scenes on the 17th and 18th of July.
Sieni writes: “A journey into the folds of the faces and the truth of gesture. The project will be divided into 27 scenes performed by dancers, elderly people, children, common people, blind people, craftsmen, mothers, fathers and sons, performers from various regions of Italy and other continents. Every action arises from a process of awareness and transmission: awareness of one’s own gesture in resonance with the other, opening each scene to the dimension of feeling and looking. In engaging in what will be genuine choreographic actions, the aspects of measure, rhythm, the quality of the figure and the gesture will dialogue with the iconography of the gospel’s narrative. The uncertainty and fragility of some will be echoed in the manual expertise and posture of others: in this sense the cycle of scenes will come to terms with the generations, bodies and attitudes, experiences and qualities. One might say that each scene will simultaneously inhabit the place of iconography and that of personal memory. We will rely on the individual qualities of the performers and the diversity of gestures to create an archipelago of presences. Gestures and faces, adjacencies and glances, will generate a tableau that will reveal the meaning of community, of living by endowing the figure and the body with the gesture of dance”.