The Inspiration Behind Le Quattro Stagioni
The Spellbound Contemporary Ballet Company performed their United States premiere of Le Quattro Stagioni at Boston’s Citi Shubert Theatre as a part of the city’s Celebrity Series, inspiring reflection on the mystery and elusiveness of the seasons in Bostonians this weekend. The company’s Artistic Director and founder Mauro Astolfi choreographed the piece as a reimagination of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Le Quattro Stagioni explores the succession of the seasons in a non-traditional way - using movement to portray the cyclical rebirth of nature. Astolfi expressed, “I had read the extraordinary thing that his [Vivaldi’s] musical composition born physically moving by nature, staying for hours, sometimes for days among the most different climatic conditions, and see what this produced on itself.” Astolfi reflected deeply on how the seasons effected himself and his dancers - not only physically - but emotionally.
As the curtains open, a large wooden structure takes center stage interacting with the dancers as a beacon of symbolic change. The prop has been described as a place of shelter, a center of connection, a source of the primordial ritual of rebirth. The dancers move with technical excellence through the accompaniment of videos produced by Enzo Aronica and musical fragments by composer Luca Salvadori. The music marries the choreography through sounds of birds, a modal ancient melody, electronic sound bites, a glass harmonica and a bass flute.
Salvadori said in a statement, “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.” Salvadori’ reflected, “Perhaps the mysterious spiral of intersections is another way to represent the elusive evolution of the seasons.”
Astolfi’s aim is that while the dancers shift through the seasons they think introspectively, “I expect from all of my work, that dancers can use it to learn a deeper part of themselves.” He says, “The show will aid in being more aware of what you are and what you have to say.”
The Spellbound Contemporary Ballet works as a vehicle for Astolfi to personally communicate with his audience. Astolfi’s says, “The choreography allows me to say what I want, you can express yourself without hypocrisy, it allows you to go much deeper than any words, and these three things are already very important in my life” He says the motivation behind his personal choreographic language is, “the impetus and the desire to explore continuously through movement that the body could say."
Le Quattro Stagioni focuses on introspection. Astolfi says his hope for the audience is to, “immerse themselves in a world without explanation and without meaning ... where each of them can find their own meaning, their feelings and their emotions.” He stresses, “I dread any form of art that can inspire in all the same.”