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toPRAY is a show in which urban dances are mixed with contemporary gestures, producing a dance out of the box, out of time. The choreography draws on multicultural calligraphy, resulting in a universal language: like the story of the human soul.


Choreography Afshin Varjavandi
Dancers Luca Calderini, Mattia Maiotti, Jenny Mattaioli, Elia Pangaro
Lighting design Fabio Galeotti
Sound design Angelo Benedetti
Production Déjà Donné 

“He who knows the power of dance dwells in God.” Rumi

There is also a constant that we call T, for which that moment is intimate and individual, referring to the individual, not multipliable and not handed down. It is only one’s own eyes that exercise that vision. The constant T is a transcendent number. toPRAY does not speak of the constant T, but tells of the point of view from which one observes. toPRAY is a corridor: sometimes to reach the human soul the path is long and narrow. Other times contemporary man does not find the time to choose complex roads, to cross them the time he takes corresponds to the constant T. We cross the symbols that in history we have attributed to what we cannot see, to give life a different value, to recognize beyond the FORM a different level.

What does it mean to ‘pray’? We look for an answer in each ACTION. Perhaps acting itself is an act of worship: contemporary man acts on the body, drawing a cult from it. We always look for an answer, asking ourselves if in the end we are a soul that possesses a body. If what we have most sacred is the imagination through which we will be able to identify the soul in the course of life.

toPRAY is a show in which urban dances are mixed with contemporary gestures, producing a dance out of the box, out of time. The choreographic writing draws from multicultural calligraphy, resulting in a universal language: like the story of the soul of man. toPRAY is a human path built and lived with ups and downs, similar to the path of growth of a man. We dancers were asked more questions, to which we answered with gestures and movements; they were questions that contained complex, personal concepts. But in addition to the intense emotional value of personal moments, in the beginning, there is a particular intimacy between us dancers on stage and the choreographer, in moments of extreme choreographic rigor, which is characterized by the show throughout its duration.

The contemporary dance company Déjà Donné was founded in 1997 in Prague; in 2000 the head office moved to Umbria where an intense activity of creation and circulation of shows began, both in Italy and abroad. During the year 2015 a transformation takes place that starts a new path of the company, imagined by the artistic direction of Virginia Spallarossa and Gilles Toutevoix.

Their work intends to guide Déjà Donné towards new potentialities, contributing to a deep renewal of sign and languages through the creation of their own shows.

The main activities of Déjà Donné include: creation and production of contemporary dance performances and shows; regional, national and international distribution of the works produced; training activities for professionals and non-professionals; creation of projects aimed at promoting contemporary dance and training the public through the involvement of other artistic subjects, in Italy and abroad.

The company’s works have been presented in 26 countries, in North and South America, in Asia and in Europe.
Déjà Donné’s activity is supported by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and the Umbria Region.


The group was founded in 2006 following the creation of “HEIM”, which will be the only overall winner of the International Dance Week in Spoleto, attracting the interest of many professionals. The choreography Heim will be hosted in the largest Italian festivals, including Amores (Bologna), Cross Roads (Florence), Giffoni Film Festival (Giffoni), Notte Bianca (Rome), Fringe Festival (Spoleto).
Hence the idea of creating a stable group of young artists, promoters of new forms of contemporary street art, urban dances and trends.

Production will follow: Departure (2007), Underskin (2008 – winner of the International Dance Week in Spoleto), Protest! (2009-2010 – winner of S.I.D. Spoleto, LatinArte, UISP prize, Positano Leonide Massine prize), Oceania (2012 – in production with La- MaMa Umbria, presented at LaMaMa Moves Festival at Ellen Stewart Theater in New York).

In 2015 the toPRAY production debuts at the 58th edition of the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto. Director Giuseppe Tornatore chooses the INC company for a dance scene from his film “La Corrispondenza”, which will be released in cinemas in January 2016.

Characterized by a surprising young age and a strong artistic fellowship, they are the supporters of an alliance, where talents and skills are shared, mixed and recomposed towards collective goals. Afshin Varjavandi’s productions dance and together with him they invent creations, styling and concepts for performances, installations and videos.
From 2017 a collaboration with Déjà Donné was started as an associated production project.