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


Arsenale della Danza (Italy)

26 - 27 May, 8 p.m.
Teatro alle Tese - Arsenale
Oxygen (2010) [world premiere]
concept and choreography Ismael Ivo
music by Arvo Pärt and John Adams
performed live by the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto conducted by Maffeo Scarpis
stage sets and costume by Marcel Kaskeline
with Jessica Bova, Ivelice Brown, Antonino Casile, Ariella Maria Casu, Francesco Colaleo, Laura De Nicolao, Sandra Français, Valeria Galluccio, Jan Jamrich, Roberto Lazzari, Isabella Legato, Chiara Montalbani, Gioia Maria Morisco, Andrea Orlandi, Amandine Petit, Stella Picariello, Claudio Pisa, Stefano Roveda, Teresa Santos, Hema Sundari Vellaluru, Marta Lastowska, Pavel Zhukov
produced by La Biennale di Venezia - Settore Danza
The 20 dancers of the Arsenale della Danza – from Italy, India, Venezuela, Portugal, France, Poland, Slovakia – plus a further two from last year’s course will inaugurate the 7th International Festival of Contemporary Dance on May 26 and 27 at the Teatro alle Tese with Oxygen, the latest creation of Ismael Ivo.
They have all a solid experience of training behind them – from the Laban to the Royal Dance Academy in London and the Broadway Dance Academy – and have frequently complemented their dance studies with other disciplines, such as theatre, song, circus, martial arts and so on. But above all, whether Italian, Slovak, Russian or French, their studies and work experiences have taken these young dancers around the world.
Jessica Bova (Turin, aged 19), Marta Bozena Wallner (Polish resident in Austria, 29), Ivelice Brown (Caracas, 29), Antonino Casile (Reggio Calabria, 24), Ariella Casu (Sassari, 20), Francesco Colaleo (Naples, 21), Laura De Nicolao (Padua, 26), Sandra Français (Aix-en-Provence, 22), Ján Jamrich (Slovak, 25), Roberto Lazzari (Brazilian by birth, now a naturalised Italian, 18), Isabella Legato (Turin, 23), Chiara Montalbani (Bologna, 25), Gioia Maria Morisco (Urbino, 26), Andrea Orlandi (Bergamo, 23), Amandine Petit (French but born in Germany, 21 anni), Stella Picariello (Reggio Emilia, 21), Claudio Pisa (Naples, 22), Teresa Santos (Oporto, 24), Hema Sundari Vellaluru (Bangalore, 25), Pavel Zhukov (Moscow, 30) have been selected by Ismael Ivo for the Arsenale della Danza, the finishing course in contemporary dance set up by the Biennale di Venezia last year. They have been joined by Valeria Galluccio and Stefano Roveda, noteworthy dancers from the first year of the course. The production of Oxygen, which concludes the session of studies and at the same time inaugurates the Festival of Dance, thus provides an opportunity to measure their skills and test their creativity on a strictly professional stage.
After last year’s The Waste Land, a scream rising from an increasingly desolate earth, Ivo has this year drawn inspiration from the most natural and necessary activity of man: breathing. Accompanied by the minimalist music of Arvo Pärt, presented almost in contraposition to the pulsating rhythm of John Adams’ own musical contribution, all performed live by the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, Ivo describes his personal variations on the theme of art with Oxygen.
“Just take a deep breath and inhale a good quantity of air. Hold up for 3 seconds. Prepare yourself for an imaginary submersion. While exhaling the air release and surrender the body as you would lose balance. Short before falling make a step. It’s an opportunity for a new beginning. It’s a sort of awakening. Oxygen relates to the internal perception of our own bodies. It provokes an internal contact. We do perceive sensations and feelings due to internal contact. Oxygen piece is a variety of different permutations on the theme of air. Oxygen is the essential source of human need for survival. Breath is essentially to awaken feelings and develop emotions. The art of dance depends on this capacity of the human body to inhale and exhale producing movements, changing  time and dynamics. Dance move the mass of air and fill it instead with movements which mysteriously disappear. It is a seductive communication which corresponds with fascination and a moment of unity in the audience room. This magical momentum is a sort of breath and an infectious feeling moving from person to person and sending messages of love, fear, or shame from the eyes”.
(Ismael Ivo)