review "Boundless energy with SPRING" - Theaterparadijs ★★★★★

4 April 2024
By Peter Rombouts – seen March 29th, 2024 in Schouwburg Haarlem

These cloudy and rainy days aren’t really announcing Springtime. However, SPRING by Introdans makes all the gray clouds disappear. The boundless energy that the dancers show is so contagious that you can’t leave the theater without a smile.

The evening is entirely centered around the Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti. In three ballets we see pure dance that is honest and sincere. The human soul is shown with a lot of humor and connection. No complicated things, but just raw energy turning into devotion and emotion.

The first ballet Rossini Cards is an ode to the composer and consists of three parts. We see the whole ensemble having dinner at a long table on the back stage by performing a movement phrase that is repeatedly supplemented with new movement series. Interspersed with opera fragments by Rossini, the scene evokes humorous beauty. All dancers are dressed only in short flesh-colored pants. With candlelight-like glow lighting, the scene feels intimate. When the black cloth comes down at the end of the scene, two dancers roll forward under the cloth. We see a pas de deux that is danced intensely and erotically. It is wonderful these two dancers merge into each other while prudishness lurks everywhere these days. Balancing and crawling through and on top of each other, I get the same feeling as when I saw Rodin’s Kiss in Paris. Rare romance of these two beautiful dancers, also a loving couple in real life, Vérine Bouwman and Salvatore Castelli. After the pas de deux, the dancers appear in unison in black suits with Alpino caps and dance a festive finale full of fire and humor.

The second ballet Bambù is a world premiere and has a completely different atmosphere. Inspired by a Japanese poem in a composition by his son Federico Bigonzetti, we see a group of dancers moving almost meditatively. The bamboo is a strong plant. The roots seek each other out and intertwine and work together. I am struck by how evenly the movements are performed, with the arms and hands showing expressiveness. Sometimes a solo or pas de deux breaks out of the fusion. A typical Bigonzetti style is reflected in a diagonal line where all dancers perform a cannon of movements alternating with moving simultaneously. Just like the Bamboo that bends in the wind.

The third ballet Cantata is a real treat. Imagine yourself in the countryside of Italy. A quartet of women from Assurd sing the old traditional folk songs live, while the dancers show their raw energy in and around each other. A true celebration that I have rarely experienced so beautifully represented. Acrobatic acts are alternated with group dances. It is a game where the dancers outdo each other in playful dance competitions. Let spring begin.

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