Thursday, 29 January 2015

Carmina Burana

Director and choreographer: Mauro Astolfi

Spellbound Dance Company

Music: Carl Orff, A. Vivaldi, V. Caracciolo




Less on stage to describe the avidity of wishing more in the life

    Carmina Burana is exactly a manuscript written in 1230 by two different scribes in an early gothic minuscule and most of them are accompanied by music.  

Between 1935 and 1936, German composer Carl Orff composed music, also called Carmina Burana, for 24 of the poems. From all this inducements Mauro Astolfi decided to create a piece of course also using parts of the music created by Orff. 

Well organized, beautiful movements, great dancers and a piece full of meanings.

The first time that I heard about this piece I thought that was about a boring and overused subject: the moral of the religion and the struggle in the human between be respectful and pure and live a completely full life, without regrets because anything was not tried.

 The title had not so much appeal on me but led me discover something new. I looked up for the meaning and I discover that was about how to live all the pleasures of life, try everything that maybe it's not the best thing to do but seem to be the most interesting and enjoyable one.


   I saw this performance the night of the 27th of July in Marina di Massa in Tuscany.

What caught me the most was the atmosphere on stage;dark and medieval, little ornamentation in the
costumes and in the scenography to highlights
the bodies and the movements of the dancers.   

The colors and the objects that were used were all neutral and simple.
Every object in scene was used with intention and with a specific meaning. The big wardrobe seemed to take part in the choreography and it was used with a great skill. The dancers were moving in and out of the compartments, hidden in them, hanging out and jumping from one to another one.


   Of course I’ll suggest seeing this choreography but the audience need to keep in mind that the company wants to show the dark and corrupt side of the population on that time. The movements and the phrases danced are fun and playful. The piece is concentrate on showing the themes of: love, mockery and moral, drinking and games. A relevant aspect is the strong synchrony and coordination between the dancers. A lot of transitions and lifting seemed so enjoyable and easy; perfectly connected with the mood on which the piece is based. If you are interested in the Medieval period maybe you could find this piece suggestive or maybe only spend a couple of hours laughing and realizing in how many ways a wardrobe or a table could be used. (video from Spellbound dance Company, Carmina Burana)


   The explosive energy of the dancers is the most relevant aspect, they are pulling the spectators in the dance and I the atmosphere around this composition. I think that this work could let everyone understand a bit more about that era in an artistic way as a piece of dance is. I recommend everyone to see Carmina Burana and maybe think about our social situation right now and compare it with the one represented in the dance piece.


   The piece is surprising also because in this moment the dance compositions are going too far from being only bodies, emotions, movements and relations between these aspects.
Carmina Burana is the perfect example of dance that doesn’t need more than itself to be complete. I prefer when the stage is empty and my attention is grabbed by the choreography and not by the costumes.

If you like to enjoy a piece of real dance and not a generic performance this is what was made for you.


Mauro Astolfi and the Spellbound Dance Company did a pleasant and catching job but of course the material presented was a bit overused and almost the same during all the time, it’s good sometimes to recognize the style of the choreographer but sometimes is good also departing from the usual schemes or “get out of the comfortable box” or in this case it’s more appropriate to say from the wardrobe. 

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