13, 14 Dec 2006. In Romeo and Juliet, choreography by Mauro Bigonzetti. When choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti became artistic director of Aterballetto, Italys most renowned independent ballet troupe, in 1997 the occasion was a triumphant homecoming. He left the company in 1993 as an outstanding dancer with a gift for choreography and he returned five years later as one of Italys leading choreographers. The changes he has made at Aterballetto since then have been welcome and long overdue. His 16 talented dancers are now a high-spirited ensemble, thanks to Bigonzettis capacity for making everyone feel a fundamental part of his creative process. Aterballetto revolutionised the Italian dancescape in the 1980s, when ballet was dominated by companies affiliated with opera houses. Directed by choreographer Amedeo Amodio, the independent company became the model for a permanent ballet troupe, technically bold and artistically diverse, with an impressive repertory of works by Alvin Ailey, Kenneth MacMillan, Glen Tetley, William Forsythe and Lucinda Childs. By the 1990s, however, Amodios increasingly eclectic choreography predominated, at the expense of audience interest and dancer involvement and Balletto di Toscana Bigonzetti among its ranks took the lead in encouraging choreographers and changing the direction of Italian dance.
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Teatro Lyrick, tel. 07581381. Also in Milan on 18-19 Dec 2006 at Teatro degli Arcimboldi, tel. 899500022, and in Bari on 30 Dec at Teatro Team, tel. 0805210877.