The leading dance magazine in Italy, Danza & Danza, has announced its annual awards and, like last year, they are somewhat modified to include streams and videos of dance that have become new ways of experiencing the art form during the pandemic.
Maria Luisa Buzzi, the editor of the magazine and president of the jury, said,
The prizes awarded in this edition once again reflect the difficulties experienced by theatres and production companies in 2021, particularly with regard to the major classical productions. In assessing the shows and events from 1 January to 1 December 2021, the jury decided not to award the ‘classic production’ prize, while awarding an ex-aequo in the ‘contemporary’ category to two works that were able to highlight, with originality and creativity, the malaise of our times.
More space was also given to special projects in non-traditional spaces, but above all to productions and projects that involved video and showed vivid creativity while never forgetting the first subject of the work: dance. This list of awards is more than ever a sign of the times, focusing on those who have been able to give us passion, intelligence and beauty, as well as a great devotion to art.
Room with a View by RONE & (LA)HORDE with the Ballet National de Marseille at the Biennale Danza in Venice
Triptych by Peeping Tom at the Torinodanza Festival, Aperto-Reggio Emilia and at the Oriente Occidente-Rovereto.
Davide Dato, principal dancer at the Vienna State Ballet for his interpretation of the version of The Rite of Spring for a single dancer by Uwe Scholtz in various festivals in Italy, including the Nervi Festival and Ravenna Festivals.
Breanna O’Mara for Transverse Orientation by Dimitris Papaioannou
Emio Greco and Pieter C Scholten, a twenty-five-year association, celebrated in 2021, which renews itself creatively with each project, taking strength from the end of a project to start investigating something new including We Want it All.
Bayadère. Il Regno delle Ombre by Michele Di Stefano for Nuovo Balletto di Toscana, in which one of the most authoritative experimenters on the contemporary scene confronts a masterpiece of classical choreography, showing both originality of vision and respect and profound understanding of the original work.
The prize goes to a project that stands out for its original design, multimedia content and international profile: MicroDanze by FND/Aterballetto. Twelve choreographers make twelve short creations for small spaces, creating a witty response to the limitations dictated by the pandemic and new methods of operating.
Italian Dancer Abroad
Awarded to three artists with strong personalities:
Denis Bruno – dancer with Emio Greco and Pieter C Scholten’s ICK-Dans Amsterdam
Davide Loricchio – First soloist at the Mikhailovsky Ballet, St Peterburg
Giulia Tonelli – Principal dancer with the Zurich Ballet
Mario Pasi Award 2021 for the ‘dissemination of dance culture’
The Dying Swans Project by Eric Gauthier with 16 choreographers and musicians for the 16 dancers at Gauthier Dance/Theaterhaus Stuttgart during lockdown.
Creation for Streaming
The Barre Project/Blake Works 2 by William Forsythe: choreographed for film, with the feel of a live performance, The Barre Project was created via Zoom, with all rehearsal, filming and assembly taking place bi-coastally.
Elegia delle cose perdute by the company Zerogrammi: the stunning countryside of Sardinia is the set of a poignant filmic tale where eight marginalised and lonely creatures, awkward and clownish, are united by the same feeling of melancholy, nostalgia and desire for redemption.
This year the award goes to a unique dancer and actor, Vladimir Derevianko, who in 2021 was the remarkable interpreter of Igor Stravinsky in Stravinsky’s Love staged in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.