Compagnia Zappalà Danza (Italy)
Founded in Catania in 1989 by Roberto Zappalà, artistic director and main choreographer, and regularly supported since 1996 by the Italian Ministry of Culture and by the Region of Sicily, the Compagnia Zappalà Danza is considered one of the most interesting contemporary dance companies working today in Italy.
The company has developed partnerships with important organizations such as Teatro Stabile of Catania, Teatro Vittorio Emanuele of Messina , Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania, Teatro A.Ponchielli of Cremona, Fondazione I TEATRI of Reggio Emilia. Suc partnerships supported the company in the realization of some of its productions, which toured all over Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East, South Korea and South Africa.
Compagnia Zappalà Danza distinguishes itself by the availability of a wide and articulated repertory, result of the synergistic and prolific work of Roberto Zappalà and dramaturg Nello Calabrò. For the last 10 years they traced a path in continuous expansion allowing the realization of productions of different typology, from creations for a few dancers to those with the entire company, most of them with live music.
“Glorifying the cult of image and aesthetics is my goal, even more than its meaning” (Charles Baudelaire)With this creation, Roberto Zappalà takes in depth care of the body’s aesthetics and language, and he does so by dedicating a whole night to Johann Sebastian Bach, who, according to the choreographer, represents the ideal of a pure and “honest” art with his beautiful and crystalline music.
Bringing to life in dance the admiration that Zappalà has always had for the great German musician was the main factor that allowed him to compose, among solos, duets, trios and ensembles, some of the choreographic pieces most dear to him throughout his thirty years of activity. Bach’s music, with its perfect and neutral resolution, has in fact had a strong appeal on the choreographer, representing at the same time the contrast and the ideal musical synthesis for his sensual and instinctive dance.
Many productions of the company’s repertoire (i.e. Silent as, Patria/Homeland, Naufragio con spettatore/Shipwreck with spectator, etc.) have in their soundtrack some pieces by Bach, hence the desire to recompose, develop and elaborate in another form these choreographies realized over time. The anniversary of the 30 years of activity of Compagnia Zappalà Danza marked, for the choreographer, the occasion to build from scratch and, in some cases, rechoreographing these pieces, dedicating this homage to his favourite composer.
At the centre of the creation is a choreographic universe that places the body, with its natural beauty and all its fragility, as a founding element and inevitable transit.
The natural beauty of the dancers’ body and of Bach’s music has, in the creation, a collection of sounds from nature and from the animal kingdom, like mini-ouvertures introducing Bach’s notes. A nature almost like the dawn of humanity, where the sounds of today, of its violence and tragedy are still absent. Listening to nature and its “silences” to go back to a world where it is still possible to understand the “heartbreaking and wonderful beauty of the universe” (1).
1 (Pasolini “What are clouds?”)
Many years have passed since Roberto Zappalà was confronted with a creation without a strong dramaturgy, usually linked to social matters. In Rifare Bach, (NdT “Remaking Bach”), there is no articulated dramaturgy, nor any intellectualism, only a close relationship between the more ethereal aesthetics of music and the more carnal aesthetics of dance for a journey dense of poetry.
The title ‘Rifare Bach’ (Remaking Bach) also wants to be a reference to the many musical reinterpretations that over time have been made of the works of the German composer. And some of these will be part of the choreographer’s research in the musical composition of the work.
CHOREOGRAPHY & DIRECTION: Roberto Zappalà
MUSIC: Johann Sebastian Bach
SET, LIGHTS & COSTUMES: Roberto Zappalà
TECHNICAL DIRECTIONS: Sammy Torrisi
PERFORMANCE DATE: 17th JUNE 2020
VENUE: ArtisTree Taikoo Place