Fondazione Nazionale della Danza / Aterballetto is the only production centre with public founding members.
Our main objective is clear: to express a cultural policy and not only an artistic mission. To meet the investments of the Ministry of Culture, the Region of Emilia-Romagna and the Municipality of Reggio Emilia with a strategic vision on a territorial, national and international level.
To give life to a new institution, capable of performing functions of promotion and development of dance in our country and of projecting the image of Italian dance and its artists on an international level.
The cultural policy that we pursue at every level is one of integration and collaboration. We are available, but above all we endeavour to develop project platforms on which to put partners, whether they are connected to dance, theatre, art, music or the production of social thought.
The starting point is the belief that an artistic project must always spring from a vision of the social and cultural world, which can be read against the light.
Here are some of the main themes and issues that guide our programming.
These, then, are the assumptions from which the next artistic project will start, developing the search for an increasingly strong identity, which will treasure what has been built in the three-year period 2018-2020, deepening almost all the main themes and introducing new ones.
The centre of gravity of every choice will remain the quality: that of the dancers, that of the choreographers, and that of our project partners.
INVESTMENTS, COMMITMENT AND IMAGINATION
Fondazione Nazionale della Danza / Aterballetto is the only fully public dance production centre.
Our underlying objective for the three-year period 2018-2020 is clear: to pursue a cultural policy and not only an artistic mission. The aim is to act on the investments made by MiBACT (Italian ministry of culture), the Regional Government of Emilia-Romagna and the Municipality of Reggio Emilia with a strategic vision encompassing the local, national and international level.
The idea is to create a new institution, able to fulfil the task of promoting and developing dance in Italy and of projecting the image of Italian dance and its artistic talent internationally.
The cultural policy we pursue at every level is based on integration and collaboration. We are always open to ideas, but our efforts are mainly focused on developing platforms for projects in which we can bring fellow travellers on board, whether they are organizations connected with dance, theatre, art, music or social thought.
Our conceptual approach always takes the project as its starting point and aims to set up experiments in multidisciplinary collaboration. To this end, we define shared initiatives with the world of theatre and art, we deepen our relationship with the music world, and we open ourselves up to “silent” categories (like children or vulnerable individuals), with their unique and higher sensibility, integrating them into our creative dimension and our productions.
It is clearly important to show how this approach has been put into effect, and now that nine months have passed since I took up my position it is possible for me illustrate how the project is taking shape.
I will begin with our now well-established collaborative projects.
For Fotografia Europea, we have started a project combining dance and photography, jointly designed with Fondazione Palazzo Magnani, which is already set to achieve some highly ambitious goals. In/Finito (dance choreographies performed against the background of photographs taken by Toni Thorimbert depicting the same dancers during previous site specific performances in the city) is not a local whim but an example of how much easier it is to project ourselves to the outside world when working together. The performance has also been staged in Capri, and is scheduled to be held in Bologna in October, then in Milan, then at the Ravenna Festival, and perhaps in Paris and elsewhere. Each time around, it is recreated in a different space and with a different photographer so as to gain intrinsic vitality.
With Reggio Children and the local council’s Department of Education and Knowledge we have started a project investigating the imaginary worlds of children and teenagers. This will culminate in a dance performance for young people and their parents scheduled for the end of 2019, co-produced with Accademia Perduta | Romagna Teatri (a theatre production centre that commissions us with the dance programme of some of its theatres).
Also in Reggio Emilia, we have a structural partnership with Fondazione I Teatri, involving both the programming and several shared commitments in terms of resources. We have an equally strong collaboration on a number of joint training and performance activities with the music academy Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali Achille Peri. Several important new initiatives at various levels are also emerging from the three-way partnership between I Teatri, Istituto Peri and Fondazione Nazionale della Danza, leading to, for example, an opera production involving all three institutions of Le Villi by Giacomo Puccini scheduled for the autumn.
ITALY AND BEYOND THE BORDERS
Let me now turn to the major new goal I have set for Fondazione Nazionale della Danza / Aterballetto, namely to place it, through projects and collaborative initiatives, at the centre of the Italian live entertainment system, with a strong presence in Europe, also bolstered on a structural level by numerous co-productions which, for Aterballetto, are a departure from the recent past. And here I can only provide a somewhat bare list of the various collaborations. The co-producers – which are also diverse in terms of their artistic languages – of our upcoming shows are: the Teatro Stabile del Veneto and Centro Teatrale Bresciano (for Tempesta). The Teatro Stabile di Torino – Teatro Nazionale, Torinodanza, MITO Festival – SettembreMusica, MilanOltre Festival, Fondazione I Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan and Les Halles de Schaerbeek (for the Bach Project). The Centro di Produzione Teatro Bellini in Naples and Ravenna Festival (for Tango Glaciale Reloaded, with the partnership of Ravenna Festival for the entire three-year period). The Centro di Produzione per l’Infanzia Accademia Perduta | Romagna Teatri, Fondazione I Teatri in Reggio Emilia, Fondazione Palazzo Magnani in Reggio Emilia, Progetto RIC.CI, Teatro Ristori in Verona, Teatro Regio in Parma, Oriente Occidente Festival in Rovereto, Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli in Milan, Les Halles de Schaerbeek in Brussels for two years, Espace Malraux in Chambéry, Bayer Kultur in Leverkusen for three years, La Maison de L’Elu in Marrakech, and other partnerships currently at the planning stage. These co-producers are also genuine project partners who will also bring in significant revenues in the two-year period now beginning.
Then we have another major innovation. With Tempesta, Aterballetto will be the first company to stage a dance performance during the drama season, with six reruns in Padua, five in Venice and Brescia, and three in Genoa. This is an innovative development on a nationwide scale.
Lastly, also very briefly, I should mention our current focus on large Italian and European cities, where our presence is now becoming more visible.
In Milan (and this is certainly unique, not only as far as dance is concerned), in just one year and with five different productions, we will be at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan – Teatro d’Europa, at the two ‘TRIC’ theatres (Teatro Elfo Puccini and Teatro Franco Parenti) and at Fondazione Feltrinelli, with which we are currently exploring the possibility of an important collaboration. In Rome, over the next twelve months, we will be at the National Theatre of Rome, at Romaeuropa and at Palazzo Venezia with the Polo Museale del Lazio. We also have a project with Brussels running until 2020, involving two co-productions and the presentation of three shows. Naturally, we are also working on other projects as well.
In terms of the broader goal of promoting Italian dance, we are already designing and taking concrete steps towards the staging of the NID PLATFORM, the national dance platform due to be held in Reggio Emilia in October 2019, piloted by ATER in partnership with Fondazione Nazionale della Danza and Fondazione I Teatri.
These results are the outcome not only of our pursuit of specific goals, but especially of the strong support from and shared project design with the Regional Government of Emilia-Romagna, the Municipality of Reggio Emilia and MiBACT, as well as the talent of the entire artistic team of Fondazione, the international-level professional skills of its staff and the ongoing attention and engagement of its Board of Trustees. Finally, I would like to thank our supporters, and give a special mention to Iren, whose presence alongside us is now a permanent feature.
The more difficult a historical period may seem, the more important it is to make investments and show commitment and imagination.
Gigi Cristoforetti – 7 June, 2018
Managing and programming director