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Biennale Danza 2024

Cristina Caprioli

Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

Award ceremony

Sunday 21 July, 12:00 noon
Ca’ Giustinian, Venice

Cristina Caprioli

La Biennale di Venezia will present the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to the dancer and choreographer Cristina Caprioli.

The dancer, choreographer, experimental theoretician, academic and curator Cristina Caprioli advances an idea of choreography as “a critical discourse in continuous motion”, in which the creative act is never severed from reflection and is, on the contrary, thinking that raises questions about making dance at the very moment in which dance is generated. A leading figure in Scandinavian dance, the international reach of Cristina Caprioli’s thought and work, writes Wayne McGregor in his motivation, “has quietly and substantially influenced multiple generations of choreographers during her three decades of provocative physical research”. He continues: “In the mid-1990s, Caprioli founded the independent organisation ccap, wherein she has produced a wide variety of performances, installations, films, objects, publications and other ‘choreographies’, alongside focussed long-term interdisciplinary research projects. Caprioli’s choreography is characterised by precision, complexity and emergent forms of physical virtuosity. All of her productions challenge the field’s normative formats and exchange economies and the philosophical underpinnings of her canon have balanced rigorous conceptual research with engaging and highly accessible embodied experiences. Caprioli’s commitment to the advancement, evolution and development of our art form has been an industry inspiration and her under the radar approach to all that she undertakes belies the exceptional quality and integrity of her 360° creative process”.

This year at the 18th Festival, Cristina Caprioli will present some of her latest work and a new creation: Deadlock and Flat Haze respectively at the Teatro alle Tese and the Sale d’Armi at the Arsenale, which will be on display for the entire duration of the Festival (18 July > 3 August); Silver at Forte Marghera, which may be seen on weekends;  The Bench, which Cristina Caprioli herself, exceptionally in the role of mentor, will create for and with the dancers and choreographers selected for Biennale College.

Biographical notes

Cristina Caprioli (Brescia - Italy, 1953) is an Italian dancer and choreographer based in Stockholm. All her works express a critical urgency of thought and action through the precision of line and the complexity of structure. After her art-oriented high-school studies in Brescia, from 1971 to 1974 she attended the Stockholm Ballet Academy. From 1975 to 1977, she moved to New York, where she continued her training at the Merce Cunningham Studio, at the School of American Ballet and with Viola Farber. and worked with Douglas Dunn. Between 1979 and 1981 she returned to New York, where she was inspired by the work of Jennifer Muller, Larry Rhodes, Maggie Black and Zena Romett. It was during this time that she also attended classes with Twyla Tharp. After a career as a dancer in Switzerland, Germany and New York, in 1983 she moved definitively to Stockholm. Here, in 1998, she founded the independent company ccap, with which she produces performances, choreographies, installations, films, objects, publications, and is responsible for long-term interdisciplinary research projects.
In 2001 she presented Body, interrupted at the Tate Modern in London; in 2008 Cicada at Jacobs Pillow (USA) with the soloists of the Stockholm Opera ballet. In 2013 she presented trees at PS1 MoMA in New York and in 2015 at Fabbrica Europa in Florence. In 2022, she presented Once Over Time, a retrospective of her work over the past 20 years, commissioned by Tanz im August (Berlin), and also presented in Stockholm and Umeå.
In 1997 she promoted the festival/symposium Talking Dancing, in 2000 the festival/workshop Movement is a Woman, in 2012 the research/symposium Weaving Politics (Stockholm). In 2014 she held the lecture Choreo-Drift in Berlin, and later in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tensta, New York and Philadelphia. Active as a theoretician and teacher as well, from 2008 to 2013 she was Professor of choreography at the Stockholm University of the Arts. In 2014, she also taught at Harvard University in Boston; in 2022 she was the Mercator visiting professor at the Freie Universität in Berlin, and in 2024 she will be teaching at Yale University (New Haven). Caprioli’s teaching and theoretical work has been presented at: Impulstanz in Vienna, SEAD in Salzburg, Schwere Reiter in Munich, Skolen for Modern Dance in Copenhagen, Fabbrica Europa and Parc in Florence, Ricerca X Torino.
Her awards and acknowledgments include: Cullberg Prize (2008), Gannevik Stipendium (2013), Royal Gold Medal Illis quorum meruere labores (2021), the highest Swedish acknowledgment “for her significant contribution as a dancer and choreographer and for her exceptional contribution in the field of Swedish and international dance”.

Biennale Danza
Biennale Danza