Art / Biennale / conference / creativity / culture / Venice

Awakenings! Awake your soul!

The 8th International Festival of Contemporary Dance, titled Awakenings and directed by Ismael Ivo, will run 8th to 24th June. Two weeks of productions, performances and installations – including 5 world premieres and 5 Italian premieres – as well as lectures, laboratories and master classes with some of the leading figures on the contemporary scene.

This weekend I was so happy to see the first contemporary dance performance of the Biennale – Biblioteca del corpo. The new choreographic work by Ismael Ivo with the 25 dancers of the Arsenale della Danza, young dancers between the ages of 19 and 30 from Italy, the United States, Greece and Brazil. Following its debut in Venice, the new creation by Ismael Ivo will tour through Italy, in collaboration with Arteven, and abroad, in collaboration with the SESC (Serviço Social do Comèrcio) of Sao Paolo in Brazil.

That was marvelous show that took my attention  from the first seconds to the last. My eyes – ears – heart absolutely melted in the happening.  How human body can express such tints of emotions? Love, fear, passion, jealousy, boredom, resentment, hatred, violence….

Sounds that makes you zombied in order to express all the chaos  and ordeal of the soul in the cruel and unmoral contemporary world. Lots of questions are faced. Answers – I hope – will be reached by each spectator of the show.  Move your body! Awake your soul!

The performance preparation process:

Ismael Ivo (idea, choreography ) – Studied acting and dance there, winning an award as best solo dancer in 1979, 1981, and 1982. In 1983 he accepted an invitation from Alvin Ailey to move to New York, where he became a member Alvin Ailey Dance Center. From 1985 to 1996 Ivo lived in Berlin. He collaborated closely with Johann Kresnik, the German Dance Theatre choreograph and Ushiu Amagatsu, the Japanese director and choreograph of the world famous Sankai Juku ensemble. In 1994 Ivo worked with George Tabori in Leibzig on Schoenberg’s opera Moses und Aaron. For more than 15 years he had been the artistic director of the International Tanzwochen Wien festival in Vienna. At the opening of the Cultural Capital of Europe Weimar in 1999 Mephisto, based on the text Faust from Goethe, also collaborated with the Brazilian director Marcio Aurelio. Among the several pieces that he has created as choreoghrapher: Tristan und Isolde, made with Márcia Haydée for the Theaterhaus in Stuttgart. The partnership with Márcia Haydée (brazilian étoile and director of the Stuttgarter Ballett, stunning performer for John Cranko, Kenneth MacMillan, Maurice Béjart, John Neumeier) has proceeded with Aura, hommage to Miles Davis and to Alvin Ailey premiered in 2000, and a choreography for the Ankara State Ballet, Medea (2001) and again with Callasin 2002. Directed by Yoshi Oida, Ismael Ivo was awarded the prestigious Time Out Award at the Barbican in London for “The Maids” as “the most outstanding performance of the year” in 2005. In 2010 has been awarded wit the Ordem do Merito Cultural in Brazil. At La Biennale di Venezia, where is director of the Dance Section since 2005, has presented a solo about the life of the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, Erendira from Gabriel García Marquez and Illuminata. For the Arsenale della Danza educational project has created The Waste Land (2009), Oxygen (2010) and Babilonia – il Terzo Paradiso (2011).

By: Anna Shvets


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