Abbagnato: “I bring young Italian choreography to the opera stage”

On the bill from 31 January to 2 February the ‘Evening’ with creations by Bolognino and the Repele-Riva duo

“Since my arrival in 2015, I have strongly wanted new big names in contemporary choreography to enter the company’s repertoire. And so it was for example with Millepied, Forsythe, Preljocaj, Inger, Pastor, Wheeldon… With this new ‘Evening’ we expand the gaze on the contemporary by opening the doors of our Theater to young talents, especially Italian ones”. This is what Eleonora Abbagnato, director of the Rome Opera Company, declared when announcing the Young Choreographers’ Evening scheduled at the National Theater from 31 January to 2 February which sees the new creations of Adriano Bolognino (‘Yellow’) on stage, Simone Repele and Sasha Riva (‘I died for love’). The show is the result of the work carried out by the young authors with the étoiles Alessandra Amato and Rebecca Bianchi, the soloist Simone Agrò (Danza&Danza 2023 emerging performer award) and the Rome Opera Ballet Corps commissioned by the director Eleonora Abbagnato.

“An opportunity for them to work with a dance troupe but also for the opera dancers to test themselves with completely new languages ​​- she added – I myself danced the creations of the authors that I chose to combine. They seem similar but have completely different peculiarities. The language of Simone Repele and Sasha Riva is theatrical, Bolognino stands out for its precision and dynamics. I would like this to also become a regular event in the season, to make the Rome Opera a place of growth and promotion of the future of dance”.

Young choreographers’ evening opens with ‘Yellow’ by Adriano Bolognino. Neapolitan, he has important collaborations, including international ones, but this is his first experience with the dancers of the Capitoline Lirico. Fascinated by bodies, which he has always imagined as dancing, he has developed a language of pulsating gestures.

“As a child – says the young author – I moved colored pencils dressed in tutus made with tulle for confetti. They were the bodies of my first choreographies. I imagined a yellow, shining soul, which released all its strength to give life to inanimate things. Hence ‘Yellow’. Maybe it’s because of those memories as a child, maybe it’s because yellow is my mother’s favorite color. I was waiting for the opportunity to work for a dance troupe to give a chance to this piece that I have kept in drawer until today”. Conceived by Bolognino as a creation that closes the path taken and opens a new door to the future, ‘Yellow’ is a presentation of his artistic research, of who he is today as a choreographer and as a human being.

The evening is completed by ‘I died for love’ by Simone Repele (1993) and Sasha Riva (1991). The two dancers and choreographers, the first from Turin and the second originally from Virginia, joined forces artistically in Geneva in 2020. Their work is rooted in a strong and sensitive theatrical aspect, which is expressed through a neoclassical and contemporary vocabulary and with gestures powerful. For the Rome Opera they have already choreographed Bernstein’s Mass, the Italian premiere in Caracalla in 2022.

“We are happy to be able to return for a dance production, certainly a different experience given that everything starts from our idea. For this creation – explain the two choreographers – we were inspired by the figure of the abandoned girl best known in the American tradition and described in the folk song The Butcher Boy. It tells of a lover who, abandoned by her man, decides to take her own life and asks to place a dove on her chest to show the world that she died for love. From the phrase that closes the song it is the idea of ​​the title of our ballet was born”.