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COMPAGNIA ATERBALLETTO - FONDAZIONE NAZIONALE DELLA DANZA

CASANOVA

CHOREOGRAPHYEUGENIO SCIGLIANO
MUSIC K.F. ABEL, A. VIVALDI, C.P.E BACH, J. SHENK, T.HUME, M. DE SAINTE COLOMBE
COSTUME DESIGNKRISTOPHER MILLAR AND LOIS SWANDALE
LIGHTINGCARLO CERRI
PREMIERETEATRO ROSSINI, CIVITANOVA MARCHE (MACERATA), 11 JULY 2009
LENGTH OF PERFORMANCE75 MIN
ON STAGE14 DANCERS

“Casanova was a fraud, a spy, a swindler, a forger, but also a chivalrous man, a perfect gentleman, an extraordinary journalist, and first class writer” (I. Montanelli).


Casanova’s personality, an expression of the Enlightenment, has entered into our collective imagination but it may also reveal, to those who study his character, new aspects and a correlation with the present time. Casanova is the epitome of a society on the brink. He is a tragic, but evocative figure.

And, to those who express themselves through the language of dance, it is also a stimulating figure. Casanova can easily be translated into the art of movement since he did not only express himself in words (as in his famous biography), but thoroughly recounted himself through his body: his unbridled eroticism, his audacious escapes, his travels and duels.

Eugenio Scigliano accepted the challenge of portraying the character of the Venetian adventurer and of a declining society. He was invited by Aterballetto to create a full evening ballet, the first of his career, for the Company. By commissioning this work Aterballetto confirmed its commitment in making the most of the finest Italian choreographers and its desire to broaden its repertoire to include works of Mauro Bigonzetti and an increasingly wide range of Italian choreographers.

In this work, characterized by an elegant and dynamic but also eloquent style, the young choreographer evokes Casanova’s universe by means of a nervous, spectacular, expressive and demanding dance.
By re-proposing the indestructible fascination of the negative hero, the choreographer underlines, beyond appearances, the character’s inevitable fate of loneliness: the image of a fleeting winner conceals the condition of a desperate loser.

Casanova’s personality and the atmosphere of his time are re-proposed through visual stylistic details and minimal scenic elements. The choice of using an expressive and abstract language - avoiding trivial or didactic elements - that recalls emotions and the atmosphere and feelings of the protagonist creates a strong spur and makes the relationship between author and performer ideal.


It is a one act ballet, without intermission, of about 75 minutes for 14 dancers. Surrounded by a minimal, but clearly symbolic set design, dominated by a great mirror, and set to music of the XVIII century, carefully selected to evoke the rhythms of the period and to highlight the intricate exchange between high and low typical of that culture, Scigliano’s Casanova becomes the symbol of a lightness of living, at the edge of the precipice. The protagonist is depicted through cardinal episodes of his life, transformed by the choreographic interpretation. The game of seduction and elements of chivalrous life – like gambling, duels and aristocratic ceremonials – are prompts to invent theatrical and dramatic situations, but also a disenchanted and embittered reading of the essential solitude which can be easily experienced in our time.

In the beginning of the ballet a great mirror in the background introduces the audience to the most intimate world of the protagonist: Casanova appears alone with his own image, recalling memories of a life full of adventures but also full of bitterness.
The sequences of the ballet develop on these memories. Descriptive and abstract moments alternate, generating feelings and emotions in a contemporary choreographic language.

This tight succession of sequences leads to an epilogue which recalls the opening scene. This time however it is multiplied: many curtsying Casanovas are reflected by the large central mirror. It is the image of a world they tried to seduce without becoming part of it.

A production of Fondazione Nazionale della Danza /Aterballetto In collaboration with
AMAT MARCHE – Teatro Rossini, Civitanova Marche

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