Balletto del Teatro alla Scala, Italy, 2016

Tour Dates: 1st - 17th September, 2016

The present day Ballet Company of Teatro alla Scala can boast a glorious past whose roots go back centuries to the 1778 inauguration...

Tour Dates
  • 1st - 17th September, 2016

Tianjin Grand Theatre
31 August-2 September, 2016, 19:30, Giselle
3-4 September, 2016, 19:30, Cello Suites (In den Winden im Nichts)

Shanghai Oriental Art Center
8-10 September, 2016, 19:15, Giselle
11 September, 2016, 14:00/19:15, Cello Suites (In den Winden im Nichts)

Guangzhou Opera House
14-16 September, 2016, 20:00, Giselle
17 September, 2016, 15:00/20:00, Cello Suites (In den Winden im Nichts)

The present day Ballet Company of Teatro alla Scala can boast a glorious past whose roots go back centuries to the 1778 inauguration of the world’s most celebrated musical theatre. Illustrious choreographers, such as Jean-Georges Noverre, Gasparo Angiolini, Salvatore Viganò, were to exert great influence on dance in Europe, even before the founding in 1813 of the Imperial Dance Academy of La Scala. From here Carlo Blasis, the illustrious dancer, teacher and theorist brought Ballet into the romantic period, contributing to the technical innovation of its style. In Russia, Enrico Cecchetti, propagated the teaching of the Italian academic technique and by way of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, which he had joined, elevated its status in this new era.

THE BALLET COMPANY OF TEATRO ALLA SCALA

The present day Ballet Company of Teatro alla Scala can boast a glorious past whose roots go back centuries to the 1778 inauguration of the world’s most celebrated musical theatre. Illustrious choreographers, such as Jean-Georges Noverre, Gasparo Angiolini, Salvatore Viganò, were to exert great influence on dance in Europe, even before the founding in 1813 of the Imperial Dance Academy of La Scala. From here Carlo Blasis, the illustrious dancer, teacher and theorist brought Ballet into the romantic period, contributing to the technical innovation of its style. In Russia, Enrico Cecchetti, propagated the teaching of the Italian academic technique and by way of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, which he had joined, elevated its status in this new era.

Dance at La Scala entered the twentieth century also with renowned choreographers linked to the Ballets Russes, like  Mikhail Fokin and Leonide Massine. From the free and expressionist dance of Middle-Europe of the thirties and forties, came, above all,  Aurel Milloss. Arturo Toscanini gave him the task of reuniting the lost threads of the Scala company after the Second World War.  For his repertoire, he not only chose great musicians, renowned set designers and painters, but also illustrious guests such as George Balanchine.

In the fifties and sixties, La Scala became a stage open to the best names of the then artistic panorama. Roland Petit made his début in 1963,  Maurice Béjart in the seventies, and many guest stars were added like Rudolf Nureyev, beginning in 1965 a very close collaboration with the Milanese theatre.

Recent years have seen the La Scala Ballet expand its visibility at home and abroad, with debut performances at the Paris Opera, Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, the Mariinsky (Kirov) Theatre, and in the USA, Germany, Turkey, Brazil, Spain, Mexico and China, to name just a few. Thanks to the unfailing expressive, technical and interpretative appeal of La Scala’s étoiles Svetlana Zakharova, Roberto Bolle, Massimo Murru, guest artists, principals, newly appointed soloists, and the many Corps de Ballet members frequently selected for major roles, Makhar Vaziev’s direction (from 2009 since end of 2015) resolutely embraces a set of precise artistic standards. The aim is to reinvigorate the twentieth century’s most refreshing and influential ballet repertoire as a “tradition of the new” in the ballet world, reviving the necessary classics, providing young choreographers with creative opportunities, and drawing celebrated musical directors to the ballet rostrum, both as an element of added appeal and also as an unmistakable sign of the musical excellence that befits La Scala, not only in its operatic performances but also in its dance productions. Under his direction, the Ballet Company's chain of command has grown in every respect. Today's principals include Nicoletta Manni and Claudio Coviello, and soloists include Massimo Garon and Marco Agostino, Virna Toppi, Vittoria Valerio,  Federico Fresi, and very young dancers trained at the Ballet School are emerging from the ranks of the Ballet Company: among them Alessandra Vassallo and Christian Fagetti, and many new dancers such as Lusymay Di Stefano,  Denise Gazzo, Timofej Andrijashenko, Jacopo Tissi, Nicola Del Freo and Martina Arduino, who have debuted in main roles, fulfilling the Company's brief to recognise and cast burgeoning talent.

Since March 2016, the Direction of the Ballet Company has been entrusted to Mauro Bigonzetti.

Born in Rome, he graduated from the Ballet School of the Teatro dell’Opera and joined at once the Ballet Company. After ten years that he joined Aterballetto. In 1990 he created his first ballet and after having left Aterballetto, he began an intense collaboration as a choreographer with the Balletto di Toscana, and also started to work for important companies abroad.  From 1997 to 2007, as artistic director of Aterballetto, he renovated the Company and rebuilt its repertoire. In order to focus more on his choreographic work for international Companies, developing his collaboration with the most important ballet companies around the world he left the direction of Aterballetto but keeping until 2012 the collaboration as Resident Choreographer.

He has realized several productions for Teatro alla Scala: the most recent work has been commissioned by Teatro alla Scala to create a new choreography for the opening title of the Ballet Season 2015-2016, Prokof’ev’s Cinderella, starring Roberto Bolle and guest artist Polina Semionova. By choosing the major Italian choreographer of our time and also an artist with a solid classic background, Teatro alla Scala intention is to preserve its tradition developing the artistic identity of the Ballet Company.

Artistic Director: Mauro Bigonzetti

Born in Rome, he graduated from the Ballet School of the Teatro dell'Opera and joined at once the Ballet Company of the theatre. After working ten years with the Company, in the 1982-1983 season he joined Aterballetto. Highlights of that period included collaborating with great choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Glen Tetley, William Forsythe, Jennifer Muller, and dancing several ballets by George Balanchine and Léonide Massine. In 1990 he created with a group of colleagues his first ballet, Sei in movimento, with music by Johann Sebastian Bach.

In 1993 he left Aterballetto and began an intense collaboration as a choreographer with the Balletto di Toscana, working also for important companies abroad.

As artistic director of Aterballetto from 1997 to 2007, he renovated the Company and rebuilt its repertoire; then he left to focus more on his work as a choreographer for international Companies, but he stayed on as Resident Choreographer until 2012.

Besides his work for Aterballetto, he created choreographies for the English National Ballet, the Stuttgarter Ballett, the New York City Ballet, the Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse, the Gauthier Dance Theaterhaus Stuttgart, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Ballet Companies of the Teatro alla Scala, the Opera di Roma, the Arena di Verona and the Teatro di San Carlo of Naples, the Staatsballett Berlin, the Dresden Semperoper, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Ballet Argentino, the Ballett Basel, the Ballett der Staatsoper Hannover, the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo, the BalletNext and the Ardani Artists in New York, the Bol'šoj Theatre, the Culbenkian Ballet, Les Ballets Jazz Montreal, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater in Houston, the Ballett Augsburg, the National Ballet of China, the Ballet National de Marseille, the Ballet de Santiago de Chile, the Ballett Dortmund, the Ballett Zürich, the Ballet des Staatstheater Nürnberg, the Swedish Royal Ballet, the Ankara State Opera and Ballet, the Ballet of the National Theatre in Belgrade, the Estonian National Ballet, the Companhia Nacional de Bailado in Lisbon, the Teatro Cólon in Buenos Aires, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Ballett der Wiener Staatsoper and the Prague State Opera.

His first creation for the Ballet Company of the Teatro alla Scala was Foreaction in 1993, with music by Giuseppe Calì; two years later he created the choreography for Le Streghe di Venezia, with libretto, sets and costumes by Beni Montresor and music by Philip Glass, starring Carla Fracci. In 2002, he created Omaggio a Nino Rota, a pas de deux afterwards developed into a full-length ballet. In 2008 he was invited to restage Mediterranea, one of his successes for the Balletto di Toscana, which La Scala Ballet Company took on tour. He has been commissioned by La Scala to create a new choreography for the opening title of the Ballet Season 2015-2016, Prokof'ev's Cinderella, starring Roberto Bolle and guest artist Polina Semionova.

In March 2016 he took the direction of Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company.

Program: Giselle

A tale of love, betrayal and redemption set amid joyous peasant celebrations and the pallid host of Wilis, as fascinating as they are ruthless: Giselle, the romantic ballet par excellence, continues to attract audiences with its contrast between a sunny world and a dark and terrible kingdom inhabited by spirits. La Scala’s Corps de Ballet will once again bring the unforgettable choreography of Coralli-Perrot to the stage in the revival by Yvette Chauviré, whose attention to and refinement of roles such as Giselle have exalted the classical tradition in all its purity and won her worldwide fame. Her version, which made its La Scala debut in 1950, starred herself in the role of the unfortunate country girl who dreamed of love and loved to dance.

Program: Cello Suites (In den Winden im Nichts)

A poetic dialogue where music and dance are in perfect harmony, and where the artists’ bodies, almost shaped by the wind, vibrate like cello strings. Pure dance without narration, abstract but profoundly human. Spoerli reveals his “neoclassical and musical” style inspired by Baroque music, and by the Bach Suites. Earth, water and fire were the elements he drew on for the first three; for In den WindenimNichts (2003) it is air that permeates his choreography for Suites Nos. 2, 3 and 6. Wisps of smoke curl upwards from the solitary item of scenery, and a big ring embraces the 18 movements that make up the three parts of the ballet and acts as their unifier. Coloured by the red, green and blue of the costumes, the different musical and choreographic atmospheres unfold in a succession of solos, pas de deux, and pas de trois, and in ensemble moments for the ballet company, embracing every nuance of the emotions.

“Every time I listen to Bach, I feel my heart leap. To me, his music is an inexhaustible source of inspiration, and it has been so since I was in my twenties, even before I choreographed a version of the Goldberg Variations in Düsseldorf, Germany, at the beginning of the Nineties, which was acclaimed by many critics as one of the most important choreographic creations of the time. With the same enthusiasm I subsequently tackled Bach’s Six suites for unaccompanied cello in two phases, creating two ballets: …und mied den Wind (Suites 5, 4 and 1), and In den WindenimNichts (Suites 2, 3 and 6). In the first, I the idea of three of the Platonic elements: earth, water and fire. The subject of the second, which is now to enter the repertoire of the Teatro alla Scala, is the fourth element: air… the wind. In the three Suites that make up In den WindenimNichts, it is Bach himself who includes very real dance forms, such as the sarabande, the minuet, the gavotte, all of which provided me with further motivation to create abstract pieces inspired by them. In the Suites, I felt free to create, starting with the academic danse d’école, a sort of freestyle, and I was convinced of the need to promote research into classical ballet, which has always guided my commitment in this field.”

- Heinz Spoerli, January 2015

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