Spring beckons - interview De Gelderlander

14 March 2024 

by Sandra van Maanen – de Gelderlander

While Introdans embraces beautiful traditions in dance, the company looks ahead with just as much eagerness. Also literally. To spring, to the light, the freshness, the energy.

SPRING is the title of Introdans’ focus program around one choreographer: the Italian Mauro Bigonzetti (Rome, 1960). It shows his crowd favorites Cantata and three parts of Rossini Cards, but also includes the world premiere of his recent work: Bambù. The premiere of SPRING will take place in Nijmegen, the national tour continues until June 1. For artistic director Roel Voorintholt, SPRING is the logical consequence of FALL, the desire to get more in line with the seasons for the dance company. “We focus on one creator every season. This spring it is Mauro Bigonzetti. By focusing on the work of one choreographer, we are able to show the line in his development.” Mauro Bigonzetti is a well-known person, Introdans has worked with him before, in 2016 and 2018. “The finale of his Rossini Cards has already been shown with us before, this time we are showing two new parts in addition to the finale, the opening and a duet. And Mauro’s Cantata, part of our anniversary program, was such a success; that certainly left me wanting more.

World premiere

For SPRING his latest work Bambù will be added, a world premiere. It is a physical piece, tailor-made for the dancers of Introdans. Bigonzetti’s son Federico composed the music especially for Bambù.” Voorintholt admits that he likes to choose work based on feeling. He is a great fan of what the Italian choreographer creates. “Conceptual dance is less for me. I can’t handle it very well either, that abstract, all those layers. My heart lies more with work that makes me dance. Bigonzetti is a master at that! SPRING is extremely uplifting, it gives you energy, makes you want to dance and celebrate life. The audience experiences this because his pieces radiate pleasure and craftsmanship! And our dancers experience that the same way.”

Old man

The Italian choreographer who is now working with the dancers in Arnhem considers it honorable the central role he has been given in the SPRING program. “Rossini Cards and Cantata are both almost 25 years old, I made one 21 and the other 24 years ago. I am happy that in addition to those older pieces, I can also show new work, so that the public is involved in a development that spans 25 years. Because it is a long time, 25 years. Back then I was a completely different person, especially young. I am now an old man,” Bigonzetti jokes. Bambù is completely different from his previous pieces. So SPRING also shows that the choreographer has arrived at a different phase of life. The various choreographies show a kind of portrait, including the changes that have taken place in between. “Just like in other art forms in which you see the development of the creator, I also show that I am getting older. Museum visitors always recognize a Picasso, but his first works differ enormously from his later paintings. The signature is always present and in choreography it works exactly that way. Does the audience also see that line? That’s up to the viewers themselves. It makes me especially proud that SPRING shows a stretch of my work. I am curious about the reactions from the audience, but also about the reactions of the dancers.” Bambù refers to the plant, the extremely strong and beautiful bamboo for which he feels sympathy. “In many cultures, this plant is a symbol of resilience. You can see that resilience, but it is mainly located in the soil, underground where the roots work together and ensure that the plant becomes increasingly stronger. Together they share space, together they become stronger. That fact touches me because it is so current. This is a difficult time for many people, cultural differences are driving us apart. The only solution is that we learn to work together again, because that is where our resilience lies.”


He loves that his son wrote the music for this story. “Not only because it happens to be my son for whom I feel love and deep friendship, but especially because Federico is such a good composer. For Bambù he was inspired by different cultures, voices and music. From Asia, the Middle East and Europe. And through Japanese singing, poems.”

Live music

The icing on this spring cake for Roel Voorintholt is also the live music. “In Cantata, Bigonzetti brings various characters from an Italian village beautifully to life, inspired by the infectious, raw (live) singing of four Italian singers: Lorella Monti, Christina Vetrone, Enza Pagliara and Enza Alessandra Prestia. Live music has great added value. What you see, hear and feel suddenly comes to you very differently.”

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