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michele di stefano


PARETE NORD ©Andrea Macchia 



GENERAL KEYWORDS (macro perspective): Body Matter, Choreography, Memory, Performance Experience, Performer, Revival, Transmission

GENERAL KEYWORDS (micro perspective): Abandonment, American Postmodern Dance, Chaos Theory, Change/Transformation, Choreographic Systems, Disequilibrium, European Poetry (1920-1950), German Literature, Observation/Perception, Presence, Punk, Shamanistic Practices, Sight


Accumulation With Talking; Bermudas; Costadavorio; Early Works; E-Ink; Hamlet; Il Giro Del Mondo in 80 Giorni; Impressions D’Afrique; L'après midi d’un Faune; On y tombe, on n’y tombe; Opal Loop; Parete Nord; Real Madrid; Robinson; Set & Reset; Shirtology; Son of Gone Fishin’


Aterballetto, Altroteatro (Compagnia), Bel Jérôme, Brown Trisha, Caravano Biagio, Cunningham Merce, Favale Fabrizio, Kinkaleri, Latour Lucia, Mosca Roberta, Nijinsky Vaslav, Sanzio Raffaello, Sini Alessandra (Sistemi Dinamici Altamente Instabili), Warshaw Randy, William Forsythe

PLACES: Lisbon, New York, Salerno


CITATION: ​Interview with Michele Di Stefano, Alessandra Sini, Rome, 18/04/2020. Project “Mnemedance”, Collection Mnemedance (#Mnemedance04) URL:<>, (accessed dd/mm/yyyy).


general info


Looking back at the key moments of his eclectic choreographic training, MICHELE DI STEFANO in his interview to ALESSANDRA SINI during the first lockdown in Italy, speaks about the insights into his practice, the encounters and the experimentations that prompted him to develop his choreographic practice since the ‘90s. The emergence of a process-based performance event is a recurring characteristic of Di Stefano’s choreographic work who claims that transmission is a real-time creative process determined by the encounter with the performer. In this process, body knowledge is created and shared as part of a choreographic (eco)system. When asked to reflect on memory and archive, the choreographer reveals his lack of interest in the organisation and systematisation of the traces of his artistic practice. He underlines that accessing his earlier choreographic creations depends on the possibility of the re-actualisation of the premises that generated it and on what he defines as “temperatures” created in time rather than on the repetition of the original choreographic gesture.

mk bermudas foto andrea macchiaDSC_3032.

BERMUDAS ©Andrea Macchia

interview questions




What is your first personal memory linked to dance that informed your choreographic poetics?


When did you start defining yourself as a choreographer?


During your practice of dance transmission, how do you relate to the memory of your training experience? 


What do you think you have forgotten or lost? Is there anything you would like to forget about your training experience?


What kind of tools do you use when you work on your choreographic projects?


What kind of personal memories do the words choreography and pedagogy bring to your mind?


What kind of knowledge do you hold in your body? Would you like to let go of something?


When you rework a choreography, what is the relationship between transmission and memory? What tools do you use to transmit your project?


Do you think you have built your own repertory and what do you mean by repertory?


Where do you place your work and what are the influences and affinities that you think are most recognizable?


How does your work integrate the history and memory of dance? 


Do you differentiate dance history from the memory of dance? 


What is your relationship with memory conservation: Have you organised an archive of your creative process? 


How would you draw the memory map of contemporary dance right now?


How does the presence of the spectator fit into your creative process?


How do you imagine the possible continuation of the memory of your work?

mk Robinson - foto Andrea Macchia 3.jpg

ROBINSON ©Andrea Macchia



MICHELE DI STEFANOFormerly a singer in a punk/new wave band during the late ‘80s, he has been carrying out since then a personal research into movement becoming the choreographer and founder of the contemporary dance company mk (2000). The group operates through different formats and collaborations and is considered one of the most lively research ensembles of the Italian scene, with performances and constant presence in many countries.


He is the guest curator for the “Outdoor” program of the Bolzano Danza Festival 2018 and the GIACIMENTA contemporary program for Matera European Capital of Culture 2019; the artistic director of AngeloMai Italia Tropici, an irregular platform for live arts in Rome; the co-curator for the dance program Grandi Pianure at Teatro di Roma National Theatre; the creator of a new program for performing arts (BUFFALO) at Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome since 2019.


In 2000 and 2018, he receives the Danza&Danza Award for contemporary dance and the UBU Prize for the performance Bermudas in 2019. He has been awarded the Silver Lion for innovation in dance at the IX BiennaleDanza 2014 in Venice. Starting 2020, he is one of the resident artists at Teatro India in Rome.


He received choreographic commissions by Aterballetto, Balletto di Toscana, the Dance and Theatre Biennale in Venice and the Korean National Contemporary Dance Company. He published with Margherita Morgantin  Agenti Autonomi e Sistemi Multiagente, a book of choreographic instructions and meteorological reports (Quodlibet, 2012).


He is the performer in Joseph_kids by Alessandro Sciarroni and Duet#5 by Fabrice Mazliah.

ALESSANDRA SINI is an experimental choreographer and dance scholar. She holds a Master’s degree from La Sapienza University of Rome with a thesis on twentieth-century dance in Italy and she is currently a PhD Candidate at Université Côte d'Azur exploring the work of experimental choreographers during the period 1995-2010 in Italy. For tracing this recent part of dance history, her historiographical approach combines analysis of choreographic practices with oral history. Together with her sister Antonella Sini, they are the founders of Sistemi Dinamici Altamente Instabili, a dance company focusing on a personal approach on movement and performative space.


She curates symposiums, conferences and performance festivals and she holds choreographic workshops for professionals and non-professional dancers. She currently teaches Dance Composition at Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome.


Her choreographic works among others include: Residuale - forma uno <spaziamento e giustapposizione> (2013), Discontinuo (2011), Cruor_sottrazione (2007), Esatto_continuum audiovisivo in movimento (2005), Bugula-autobiografia coreografica (2004), Tonine (2002), Gap-spettacolo multiplo (2000).

Her open access articles can be found at: “Loxias-Colloques”, “Ricerche di S/Confine. Oggetti e pratiche artistico/culturali”, “Recherche en danse”, “Danza e ricerca. Laboratorio di studi, scritture, visioni”. She is the co-Editor of the volume Pratiques de la pensée en danse. Les Ateliers de la danse (L’Harmattan, 2020).

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