Celebrity Series of Boston
Spellbound Contemporary Ballet
U.S. Premiere of Le Quattro Stagioni
October 16-17, 2015 — Citi Shubert Theatre, Boston
(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present the United States premiere of Spellbound Contemporary Ballet’s Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons), choreographed by Mauro Astolfi. The performances will take place on Friday, October 16 at 7:30pm, and Saturday, October 17 at 8pm at the Citi Shubert Theatre, 270 Tremont Street, Boston, MA. The Dance Series is sponsored by the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, the Royal Little Family Foundation & the John S. and Cynthia Reed Foundation.
Tickets start at $60, and are available online at www.celebrityseries.org, by calling Citi Charge at 866-348-9738, or at the Citi Shubert Theatre Box Office, 270 Tremont Street, Boston.
Spellbound Contemporary Ballet made their Boston debut in 2013. This is the company’s second Celebrity Series engagement.
Spellbound Contemporary Ballet was established in 1994 by choreographer Mauro Astolfi. Astolfi’s reimagined Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons) pushes past the conventional, iconographic symbols associated with the succession of the seasons to dive into a visceral reconnection with the cyclical renewal of nature. A wooden structure acts as centerpiece, shifting roles as a place of shelter, a center of connection, a source of the primordial ritual of rebirth. Dancers explore the kaleidoscope of the seasons to videos produced by Enzo Aronica with a background score of musical fragments by composer Luca Salvadori: bird song, a modal ancient melody, abstract electronic sound bites, the glass harmonica, a bass flute.
Astolfi says of the work, “’My’ four seasons lives outside and inside in a small space which rises, drags and suffocates at times, but by which heals, unites, protects. It seems like a small house, but it is a ship, a tree, a mysterious space from which to watch the seasons change, a place where to witness first-hand the cycle of nature which renews you, and autumn, it is not only the leaves which fall, spring, not only flowers which bloom, but a nature within us, a magic, primordial ritual… the event you imagine, then try to imitate, then you try to capture the spirit of the event. The events cause you to become an integral part, participating in the drama of a nature that dies, but to see in this the seed of future rebirth.”
Salvadori says of the music, “I decided to use snippets which from time to time ignite a small reflection of a significant detail: the sounds of nature, the voices of the birds, the rhythm of dance, a melody of archaic taste, abstract electronic sounds, an unusual instrument such as the glass harmonica or bass flute, for example. A kaleidoscope of situations to gather from time to time, under the label of a “season” to provide a key part, evocative rather than explanatory: suggestions instead of explanations. I tried to use the comparison with Vivaldi’s masterpiece in a positive way (the challenge would have been lost from the start, of course) trying to consider it as a dialectic resource: complementary in its differences, richness achieved by having multiple points of view to focus on an elusive object. As a consequence I approached different styles and materials, such as imagining the complexity of a landscape of sound that evolves looking for a reason to exist. These songs were designed with dance in mind, for Mauro Astolfi’s choreography, and therefore, were born with the desire to be complete somewhere, outside the dimensions of pure sound, and aware that, once in the magical circle of moving bodies, it would receive something in return. Perhaps the mysterious spiral of intersections is another way to represent the elusive evolution of the seasons.”
Founded in Rome, Spellbound Contemporary Ballet is Italy’s premiere contemporary dance company. The company’s unique vocabulary of expression is rooted in poetic, emotive, and dynamic bodies creating shifting geometries through space with equal amounts of athleticism and elegance. The company has performed at dance festivals in Italy, Spain, Croatia, South Korea, Serbia, Germany, Austria, Belarus, France, and Thailand, and has been supported by the Italian Ministry of Culture since 2000.
Astolfi is the Artistic Director and founder of Spellbound Contemporary Ballet. Before founding the company in 1994, he trained and danced for many years in the United States, Italy, and London. In 2006, Astolfi was offered a major commission by the International Festival of Maiori (Italy) to create Carmina Burana. To date, the work has toured over one hundred times, including performances at performing arts centers in Italy including Teatro Goldoni (Venice), Teatro Fraschini (Pavia), Teatro Verdi (Pisa), Teatro Marucelli (Orvieto), Teatro Tito Marrone (Trapani), Teatro Comunale (Carpi-Modena) and Teatro delle Palme (Naples) among others. The work has also been performed in Austria, Spain and Thailand. Additional commissions include the creation of “Don Giovanni” (2008) for the Venice Biennale, and “For Her” for the Picasso Foundation of Malaga. During the 2011-12 season, Astolfi was invited to create a new work for River North Dance Chicago.
Outside of his work and choreography for Spellbound Dance Company, Astolfi has choreographed original works for companies such as the Italian aerial dance Kitonb Theatre Company, Amsterdam Theaterschool, Szegedi Kotrars Ballet (Hungary), Leipziger Ballet (Germany) and Balleto di Roma (Italy). When not creating new works, Astolfi also teaches extensively in Italy as well as internationally at dance centers in Tokyo, Paris, New York, Zürich, Stockholm, Amsterdam, and Los Angeles. Since 2009, he has been Artistic Director at the modern contemporary department of the D.A.F Centre (Dance and Arts Faculty – international dance and performance arts project) in Rome.
Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons)
Direction and choreography: MAURO ASTOLFI 2010
Music: ANTONIO VIVALDI
Original music: LUCA SALVADORI
Lighting: MARCO POLICASTRO
Video processing: ENZO ARONICA
About Celebrity Series of Boston
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 77-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.
The Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers–from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more–to Boston’s major concert halls for 77 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere. For more information on Celebrity Series of Boston, call (617) 482-2595 or visit us online at www.celebrityseries.org.
The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Amy & Joshua Boger; Donna & Mike Egan; Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda; The Garbis & Armin Barsoumian Charitable Foundation; Stephanie L. Brown; David & Harriet Griesinger; Paul L. King; Jann Leeming & Arthur Little; The Royal Little Family Foundation; Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation; Stewart Myers; Eleanor & Frank Pao; The John S. and Cynthia Reed Foundation; Stiffler Family Foundation; Sanjay & Sangeeta Verma; Nancy Richmond Winsten; Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC; EMC Corporation; Foley & Lardner; Massachusetts Cultural Council; National Endowment for the Arts; The Peabody Foundation; PTC; Tufts Health Plan; The D.L. Saunders Real Estate & Hotel Investment Group, AMO; Vertex Pharmaceuticals.