Virgilio Sieni, \"Atlante del gesto - Annuncio (research phases)\". Photo OKNOstudio.Courtesy Fondazione Prada
18 Sep – 3 Oct 2015

From 18 September to 3 October 2015, Fondazione Prada presents “Atlante del gesto”, a series of choreographic actions conceived by Virgilio Sieni for its new Milan venue. One of the most representative dancers and choreographers in the European scene, Virgilio Sieni is the director of the Dance Sector of the Biennale di Venezia and of Cango, the Florence-based body language and dance production center.
“Atlante del gesto” is the first performing arts project to be hosted by Fondazione Prada with the intention of expanding the range of knowledge and exploring other instruments of research beyond visual arts. The project unfolds both in the external and internal spaces of the architectural complex designed by Rem Koolhaas and is articulated in the presentation of choreographic cycles (every Friday and Saturday from 9 pm), research phases (everyday, from 11 am to 1 pm and from 5 to 8 pm) and screenings (everyday, from 2 to 4 pm). Visitors to Fondazione Prada will be able to attend both the choreographic cycles and the research phases, moving in the spaces occupied by performers to define their own personal drama, their own “take” on the actions comprised in the Atlante.

On the two levels of the Podium, which hosted classical art exhibition “Serial Classic”, curated by Salvatore Settis, until 24 August, “Atlante del gesto” creates a dialogue with the traces of the show and the set-up designed by OMA. The theme of the copy in Greek and Roman statuary, which was the main focus of exhibition ‘Serial Classic’, is interpreted by Virgilio Sieni as “a source for knowledge transmission and a tool for constructing the human through gesture”.
74 dancers, both professional and non professional – among whom are pairs of mothers and sons and people of all ages – accompanied by musicians Roberto Cecchetto and Michele Rabbia, also perform in the open air courtyard between the Podium and Cinema, in which choreographic solo shows will take place. A door in the glass paneled walls of the Podium and a sloping platform, designed by OMA, allows dancers and the public to move freely from one space to the other. “Atlante del gesto” also comprises “Videodanze 1960 > 1980”, a series of screenings related to the work of international choreographers from the 1970’s and 1980’s, presented in the Cinema from 18 September to 3 October (everyday, from 2 to 4 pm) and workshops for young dancers aged between 10 and 13 (from 20 to 24 September) and open to all (from 29 September to 2 October), which will both take place in the Biblioteca building.

The project consists of several actions – Origine (Origin), Rituale (Ritual), Annuncio (Announcement), Gravità (Gravity) and Nudità (Nudity) – which, as Virgilio Sieni explains, “generate new resonances between the plates in the Atlas, in which the study of the fragment and body details develop an archaeological investigation facing the present”.

At the center of Origine is the gesture that unites a mother to her son in a peculiar form of intimacy, suffering and beauty. Pairs of mothers and children aged between 10-80 will form a landscape of gestures evoking artistic tradition, and exploring the concepts of gender and identity. In Rituale, the bodies create a choreography developing in accordance with the passage and transmission of continuously varying gestures and dynamics. Annuncio presents a horizontal choreography where very slow migrations of angels combine imperfection and suspension through the gestures of non-professional performers and dancers. At the centre of Gravità lies the body moved by other bodies, instilling movement reciprocally. The dance embodies the balance between forces, developing a dictionary of exercises on gravity. In Nudità, common postures and gestures, like kneeling, sitting or standing up, altogether create an archive of the simplest movements, of the infinite choreographies etched in the shapes and the joints of naked bodies.

Information for the public:
Choreographic cycles: all Fridays and Saturdays from 18 September to 3 October, from 9 pm. Access is free. Booking is required by calling +39 0256662613 (everyday, from 10 am to 6 pm). Tickets can be collected at the ticketing desk on the evening of chosen performance, from 7 to 8:45 pm. It is possible to book up to 4 tickets at a time. Please note that there is no assigned seating. The audience will be able to move freely inside the venue for the entire duration of the performances.
Research phases: every day from 18 September to 3 October, from 11 am to 1pm, and from 5 to 8 pm. Open to all visitors holding a valid admission ticket to the Fondazione.
“Videodanze 1960 > 1980” screenings: every day from18 September to 3 October, from 2 to 4 pm.

PROJECT CREDITS