October 19, 2023
Laboratori Ansaldo del Teatro alla Scala

The Milan Foundation for La Scala in 2023 commissioned Marco Pelle for the annual gala evening at La Scala's Ansaldo Laboratories; the Maestro decided to translate his video project "Statuesque," commissioned by the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in NY and Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington, DC, Fabio Finotti, recorded inside the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC, starring La Scala's principal dancers, Marco Agostino and Martina Arduino, into a theatrical performance. All videos were produced by Awen Films of New York.

"Statuesque" was born in 2022 out of a desire to celebrate the intrinsic relationship between statuary and dance, with a special focus on the work of Canova, precisely in the year of the 200th anniversary of the great Venetian sculptor's death.

In the series, consisting of 10 videos, the two dancers perform choreography inspired by different marble groups, from Canova's Amore and Psyche, to Michelangelo's Pieta, Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa of Avila, and Sammartino's Veiled Christ.

Bringing the choreography to the stage are seven exceptional principal dancers and soloists: Martina Arduino with Marco Agostino, Agnese Di Clemente with Claudio Coviello, Antonella Albano with Gioacchino Starace, and Brandon Lawrence.

Set design by Angelo Sala and light concept signed by Marco Filibeck for both the performance and the gala dinner, with supervision by the Teatro alla Scala's Director of Scenic Design, Franco Malgrande.

The evening opened with a "pas de deux" from the ballet "The Nutcracker," choreographed by Maestro Frédéric Olivieri, Director of the Dance Department of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala, and will be performed by two young students, Laura Farina and Bruno Garibaldi.

Photo by Canalini Camilla

Video by Fontana Daniele