Choreographies of time
A six-step survey 



During this period, so deeply marked by the pandemic, we have had an unprecedented experience of time. Stuck in a dilated present, nostalgic for an almost mythical past and unable to imagine a future, we have found ourselves reflecting on how all these temporalities are complex and never taken for granted. In the first two decades of the 21st century, artists and scholars have been rethinking the history of dance and how to make it meaningful again for the present-day audience. Some of them are driven by the urgency of confronting works and repertoires that they inherited from their masters; others aim to retrace stories and traditions that have fallen into oblivion because they have been ignored by the official historiography or censored in different times and places. Other artists and scholars are driven by the desire to interrogate the body archives of the dancers they met along their artistic path and who preserve precious knowledge. 


On the whole, these artistic practices and theoretical reflections cultivate a new awareness for the preservation of choreographic heritage and a renewed curiosity for the direct or indirect transmission of dance techniques and choreographic works or for what has been handed down by the individual and collective memories of the artists.


Choreographies of time. A six-step survey starts with the idea that dance is not ephemeral but leaves traces, which are to be sought even where we would least expect them. Just as the choreographic works of the past continue to surface in our present, so those of today will follow largely unpredictable paths. The artists involved in this six-step journey, prompted by six keywords, enter from their own perspective into a dimension in which temporalities are mixed and confused: some tell autobiographical stories, some give space to the emotions experienced in a difficult moment, and others explore the presence of the history of dance in everyday gestures and the imaginary of the present. Each step corresponds to a video work of about 30 minutes made by six Italian artists and articulates their relationship with time by putting into dialogue materials from their individual archives and sequences filmed and edited for the occasion.


Despite being made up of distinct and potentially independent works, this multi-authored project was presented as a collection by the Italian Cultural Institute of Moscow at MMOMA (Moscow Museum of Modern Art) in December 2021 on the occasion of Contemporary Art Day.


1st STEP





the history


with: Jacopo Jenna, Roberto Fassone and Ramona Caia

Starting from René Girard's concept that the learning process occurs through imitation, Jacopo Jenna explores how dance and its history are transmitted through gestures and movements that we incorporate consciously or unconsciously. With dancer Ramona Caia and visual artist Roberto Fassone, Jenna links images and imagery that give shape to new temporalities and make room for new memories to emerge and new stories to be told. 


2nd STEP









editing: Matteo Maffesanti 

Alessandro Sciarroni builds a choreography of images by re-reading some of his recent creations, including FOLK-S (2012) and SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME (2019) that treasure folk and social dances. Sciarroni preserves their tradition through transformation and by passing them on to dancers from other companies and diverse backgrounds so that they can live in other bodies and other places continuing their journey through time.


3rd STEP

MARCH 2021







based on the diaries of 62 participants of the project

in collaboration with: Vittoria Caneva and Ilaria Marcolin 

illustration: Luca Pierini 

music: The Sound of Marcello 

camera and editing: Matteo Maffesanti 

In collaboration with the project Dancing Museums the Democracy of Beings

(supported by Creative Europe 2019-2021) 

Masako Matsushita revisits the creative, multidisciplinary, and participatory artistic process Diary of a Move (DOAM) that she conducted at Bassano del Grappa (Italy) during the first pandemic related lockdown in 2020. This project involved around sixty people who archived their everyday gestures in order to recount an extraordinary moment in their lives and the collective experience of a suspended time. The project has generated a larger social process lasting over a long period of time and has culminated in an exhibition at the Civic Museum of Bassano del Grappa where Matsushita danced the movements archived by the participants and transformed them into choreography.


4th STEP

APRIL 2021







with: Marco D’Agostin and Marta Ciappina

camera and editing: Matteo Maffesanti 

Marco D'Agostin recounts his relationship and his memory of the dancer Nigel Charnock, one of the founders of DV8 Physical Theatre, who died about ten years ago. Together with the dancer Marta Ciappina, he pays a tribute to Charnock for having been an inspiring teacher, albeit at a distance. After having dedicated a choreographic work to him under the title BEST REGARDS (2021), in this film, D’Agostin traces the presence of Charnock in personal and collective memories aiming to rematerialise his master here and now, even if only for a very short time.


5th STEP

MAY 2021







concept and direction: Silvia Gribaudi and Matteo Maffesanti  

with: Silvia Gribaudi, Andrea Rampazzo, Siro Guglielmi, Matteo Marchesi, Rosaria  Vendittelli and people from the local communities 

camera and editing: Matteo Maffessanti 

Silvia Gribaudi dismembers and recomposes her recent performance GRACES (2018) dedicated to Antonio Canova's The Three Graces to trace the legacy of this work and the concepts it conveys in today's bodies. With her trademark irony, Gribaudi together with the dancers Andrea Rampazzo, Siro Guglielmi, Matteo Marchesi, and the artist Rosaria Vendittelli rethink and expand the concepts of choreographic heritage, cultural memory and the canon.


6th STEP

JUNE 2021








concept and direction: Camilla Monga and Emanuele Maniscalco (drums and piano)

texts: Margherita Monga 

camera and editing: Matteo Maffesanti 

Camilla Monga reflects on her way of composing starting from the series of instructions contained in Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies (1975), and improvises in dialogue with musician Emanuele Maniscalco in the timelessness of Arte Sella open-air museum (Borgo di Valsugana, Italy). These musical and choreographic variations generated by improvisation and repetition create a change perceivable "only in the moment".