Spellbound Contemporary Ballet celebrates 20 years!
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2016/2017 Tour Dates
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“It is difficult to describe the physical splendor of the Spellbound Dance Company. The troupe has an alien beauty to its movement that has become the touchstone of reputable contemporary dance. The performers are magnificent in appearance, and their technique is remarkable.”
– Susan Fulks, Palm Beach Daily News
“They are a band of superb technicians who move with a quiet, but fierce intensity. And better still, they do it as a single unit — connected as if their performance is a divine mission, a sacred pilgrimage …”
-Wendy Liberatore, The Daily Gazette
“Dancers of such chameleon-like suppleness, they were not only spellbinding, but breathtaking.”
-Merilyn Jackson, The Philadelphia Inquirer
“60 minutes of breath taking art of dance …”
-Sabine Rother, Letzte Aktualisierung (Germany)
“Astolfi’s exhilarating choreography is a model of invention”
-Janet Soares, Ballet Review
Astolfi’s reimagined Le Quattro Stagioni (Four Seasons) pushes past the conventional, iconographic symbols associated with the succession of the seasons to dive into a visceral reconnection with the cyclical renewal of nature. A wooden structure acts as centrepiece, shifting roles as a place of shelter, a center of connection, a source of the primordial ritual of rebirth. Dancers explore the kaleidoscope of the seasons to a background score of musical fragments: bird song, a modal ancient melody, abstract electronic sound bites, the glass harmonica, a bass flute.
An Evening with Spellbound Contemporary Ballet is a mix repertory evening showcasing some of the best works Mauro Astolfi choreographed for the company over the last 10 years. The works include, “Lost for Words,” Studio 3 a mixture of graceful fluidity and stunning virtuosity. The dance is an abstract reflection on the role of language in humans, echoing the dissonance embedded in a culture of communication often dominated by empty words as well as She is on the ground. She’s on the ground arose from an amused reflection of the hard work that men carry out to conquer the female world. Reality teaches us that in most cases, women could almost choose to do absolutely nothing, even perhaps just lying on the floor and awaiting the masculine performance to be made; ridiculous machinations of males convinced of their own weapons of irresistible seduction.
In this evening of mix repertoire, Italy’s Spellbound Contemporary Ballet treats the audience with its dynamic liquidity and quick-silver action.
“Able to restore the holy meaning of beauty.” Tutto Danza
Pa|Ethos is made up of two words, Pathos and Ethos, borrowed from Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric. The choreographer Sang Jijia uses these two words to signify two approaches to the subject discussed. Ethos underlines precision, Pathos evokes passion and feeling. The work is based on Italian classic visual art and is divided into two parts. The first looks at social life and at how interpersonal relations are rigidly ruled by external expectations. The choreography reflects this in well measured and carefully executed movements. In the second part, emotions are translated into the physicality of the dancers; taking stage action to its most extreme. The dancer’s body achieve complete transparency through which the soul is revealed in its entirety. The poetic art of Sang Jijia, who comes from Tibet, rests on the profundity of Eastern thought and is enriched by that important experiences of European research in dance and contemporary theatre. Pa|Ethos is a precise and original meeting between rigor and expressiveness.
Spellbound Contemporary Ballet was established in 1994 by choreographer Mauro Astolfi on his return to Italy after studying and working experiences in Europe and the US. Since 1996, Astolfi has run the project with Valentina Marini, who helped the company evolve internationally and set up worldwide collaborations. With Astolfi’s rich artistic direction, and Marini’s constantly evolving and dynamic vision, the company has produced a wide variety of works in different fields: from galas to cultural television programs, on stage performances, to worldwide festivals. The company is one of the most renown and active Italian artistic ambassadors.
Praised for the excellence of its performers, the fluidity of Astolfi’s style and technique and the beauty evoked in his choreography, Spellbound has toured extensively all around the world (Europe, North and South America, Asia) and it celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014.
Since 2000, Spellbound Contemporary Ballet has been supported by the Ministry of Heritage and Cultural Affairs.
Mauro Astolfi, is the Artistic Director and Founder of Spellbound Contemporary Ballet formally known as Spellbound Dance Company. Astolfi’s choreographic vision is to continually develop works that equally embodies pure gestural expressiveness structured by classical technique and training. Poetry and precision are at the core of the success of Spellbound Contemporary Ballet
Before founding the company in 1994, Astolfi trained and danced for many years in the United States, Italy, and London. The company’s success continued to grow after 2000 through numerous collaborations with Vittoria Ottolenghi and Vittoria Cappelli who produced public dance marathons at theatres and festivals like the Manzoni Theatre (Pistoia Italy) and the Todi’s Festival. The result was that Astolfi’s choreography was able to be seen by a greater public.
In 2006, Astolfi was commissioned by the International Festival of Maiori (Italy) to create Carmina Burana. To date, this has toured extensively to prestigious performing arts centers in Italy including Teatro Goldoni (Venice), Teatro Olimpico (Rome), Teatro Campoly (Verona), and Teatro delle Palme (Naples) among many others in addition to theaters in Austria, Spain and Thailand. Additional commissions that heightened the company’s profile include the creation of “Don Giovanni” (2008) for the Venice Biennale, and “For Her” for the Picasso Foundation of Malaga.
Outside of his work and choreography for Spellbound Contemporary Ballet, Asolfi has choreographed original works for companies like aerial company, Kitonb Theatre Company (Italy), Amsterdam Theaterschool (The Netherlands), Szegedi Kotrars Ballet (Hungary), Leipziger Ballet (Germany) and Balleto di Roma (Italy). He also teaches extensively in Italy and beyond. He teaches regular professional classes at the Dance Arts Faculty (Rome) as well as dancing centers abroad in Zurich, London Amsterdam, Tokyo, and New York among other major international cities.