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The Culture of Emilia-Romagna


Aterballetto, Midsummer Night's Dream (2000), choreography by Mauro Bigonzetti original music by Elvis CostelloA region with a great feeling and tradition for opera, Emilia-Romagna tended historically to cast ballet in the role of Cinderella, a younger sister living under the same roof in the region’s great opera houses. As the twentieth century wore on a gradual debilitation of creative energy was felt in Italian ballet and, as a result, only the Municipal Theatre in Bologna, with its permanent corps de ballet, managed to survive into the early Seventies still putting out ideas for new productions. In what was inexorably becoming a desolate landscape by the end of the Seventies an idea took shape, thanks to the clear-sighted and practical vision of Ater (Associazione Teatrale Emilia Romagna) for the setting up with headquarters in Reggio-Emilia of Aterballetto, which became the Dance Centre company until 2001 and as of 2003 the National Dance Foundation a dynamic, top-quality dance theatre ensembleAterballetto, Comoedia (1998) choreographies by Mauro Bigonzetti capable of versatility of repertoire and able to win back younger audiences.

Reggio Emilia became almost overnight the region’s dance capital, fuelling performing arts projects and training programmes that have drawn ballet masters of the calibre of Liliana Cosi. From the Eighties on, the region witnessed the birth of scores of small professional and semiprofessional dance groups. This development was prompted by the spread of various kinds of ballet schools, and the result was the growth of ensembles devoted to different forms of contemporary dance. Of particular influence was the so called “dance theatre”, which gave impetus to a series of experimental performances and research projects which still provide a reservoir of talent and ideas for the future. Interest is also very much alive in our region for society, popular, country and period dance, with numerous study groups bringing together committed enthusiasts who perform at a professional level. A number of established and emerging private dance centers are also active in the region, particularly in Modena, Bologna and Ravenna, and these are chiefly directed towards various forms of contemporary ballet.

Onstage with the Dance Center

Aterballetto, Comoedia Canti (2000)The region of Emilia-Romagna has always shown enthusiasm for and commitment to great dance: the network of traditional theatres of our region encourage the promotion of dance, welcoming each year the most distinguished exponents of this idiom to a series of splendid nineteenth century Italian-style theatres unmatched in other parts of the country, drawing large, attentive and knowledgeable audiences to exciting new productions. The fact that the region’s municipal theatres regularly play host to ballet companies directed by choreographers of world renown, and that these artists choose our cities to premiere their work is living proof of this attention and knowledge. That’s why it just had to be this region to come up with the idea of the Regional Dance Centre, an Association founded jointly in 1991 by the Reggio Emilia city council, Emilia-Romagna Region and ATER and which in 2003 became the National Dance Foundation. Based in Reggio Emilia, the National Dance Foundation performs a variety of functions in a remit defined with a view to maintaining an all-round commitment to ballet: performance, promotion, marketing, training, study and research. Aterballetto, Kazmir's Colours (2000) choreography by Mauro Bigonzetti, music by Dimitri Schostakovich

The Regional dance center is a repository of the most significant developments in the field of dance at both regional and national levels, and it is this that makes it unique in Italy. The Advanced training course for young dancers, the organization of performances and dance festivals, the promotion and distribution of dance aimed at deepening awareness of, and stimulating interest in, the language of ballet – this all bears witness to the dance center’s commitment in this field. The Regional dance center

produces ballet under the “brand name” of Aterballetto, one of the leading dance companies producing and distributing ballet in Italy, and the first permanent dance ensemble to exist independently of an opera company. Founded in 1979, it has created a wide repertoire of choreographies since then with specially commissioned works by Amedeo Amodio, who was artistic director until 1996. Other internationally acclaimed choreographers such as Glen Tetley, Alvin Ailey, Lucinda Childs and Kenneth McMillan have also worked with the company. In addition, Aterballetto canAterballetto, Canzoni (1997) and Constructions (1998) choreography by Mauro Bigonzetti boast performance rights of some of the twentieth century’s most significant works for dance theatre by artists of the calibre of George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, Alvin Ailey, Josè Limon, Hans Van Manen, Jiri Kyliàn, Léonide Massine, William Forsythe, David Parsons and Maurice Béjart.

A series of productions with prestigious choreographers, but also composers, stage and costume designers, painters and actors has consolidated Aterballetto’s reputation for quality over the years. Predominantly formed from solo dancers of an exceptionally high technical standard who are able to alternate in lead roles within different genres, Aterballetto also enjoys recognition in the international arena, as is testified by the numerous tours which over the years have taken the company throughout the world.

Since 1997 Aterballetto’s artistic director has been Mauro Bigonzetti, who between 1982 and 1993 developed his own career as dancer and choreographer within the company itself – a career which led to fruitful cooperative ventures with the world’s most prestigious ballet ensembles. To mark the Jubilee in the year 2000, Aterballetto has been concentrating its efforts, under the guidance of Mauro Bigonzetti, on a production entitled “Comoedia”, a tryptich inspired by the cantos of Dante’s Divina Commedia.

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Pubblicato il 28/10/2011 — ultima modifica 21/07/2015
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Regione Emilia-Romagna (CF 800.625.903.79) - Viale Aldo Moro 52, 40127 Bologna - Centralino: 051.5271

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