It’s hard not to share in festivities of dynamic dancers…they are collectively and individually an almost irresistibly energetic lot.
In 1972 Patrizia Cerroni and nine Italian and American dancer-choreographers form a memorable event, with the foundation of the Company Teatrodanza of Rome: modern dance was born in Italy.
In 1974 Cerroni founds her own Dance Company Patrizia Cerroni & I Danzatori Scalzi: they officially debut in Sicily at the Erwin Piscator Theater of Catania.
In 1975 the Open Space Theatre of the National Academy of Dance in Rome opens its doors, for the first time to an external company formed by teachers of the Academy itself with the first production of Patrizia Cerroni, for a whole week of replicas, with a full house of young and enthusiastic people.
The American Modern Dance of Cunningham – she says – is intellectual and abstract, pure poetry, pure mathematics. My dance emotionally expresses a symbolic meaning in every gesture and movement. I dive deep into the mystery of nature and bring it to the surface.
Already in her very first choreographies (Apotropia, Aiko’ Biaye’, Marche!, Concatenazioni, Hmm…) irony, transgression, precision of the movement and other characteristics of her dance can be seen, while she introduces fluid, sinuous, poetic movements that belong to her deeply in the following performances (Selfmirror, U.H.F!!!, Improvisation with Miciko Hirayama), as if her art was preceding her meeting with the Oriental World, India. These choreographies completely reflect Cerroni’s restless mind that is conventionally defined “genius and lacking moderation”. Her art deeply expresses androgyny both in movement and in dynamics. During the performances the dancers only wear tights which makes the bodies asexual.
In 1976 Cerroni creates the choreographies for Orfeo and Euridice by C. W. Gluck, on commission of Italo Gomez, played in various theatres (Great Theatre of Brescia, Donizetti Theater in Bergamo) and at the Autunno Musicale in Como, at the Auditorium of San Francesco.
The same year, Cerroni introduces the world of rock in her choreographies, through David Zard who commissions her to create choreographies for the concerts of “Banco del Mutuo Soccorso” in the show Come In Un’Ultima Cena, presented at the Festival of Cannes and on tour at the Sport Stadiums in Rome, Reggio Emilia, Bologna, Turin, Bari and the Midem of Naples. Young Cerroni meets a talented entrepreneur.
In 1979 Cerroni creates the choreograph for Création du Monde by Darius Milhaud, produced by TSI-Television of Italian Switzerland, with live music by “Musica Insieme” Orchestra of Cremona. The scenography, created by Jimmy Ortelli, symbolically represents nature.
In 1979 Cerroni also travels to India for the first time: a trip with artistic, cultural and spiritual influences that make a profound impact on her life, adding the musicality of this country to the experience matured with American Modern Dance. In India – she says – I have discovered the strong affinity that my dance has with the music of this country: dance is music seen, music is dance heard.
Cerroni discovers herself as a woman and a person after years of exclusive devotion to her art. She finds contact with her own spirituality and creates her first “one woman show” Tendrils, based on a poem written for her by poet Alok Chaturveda, with live music created for the choreography by jazz musicians Giovanni Tommaso and Luis Agudo, voice Joan Logue. The choreography is intimate, hieratic.
In an Indian forest in Mahabalipuram, in a state of emotion, a theme of movement passes, like by divine inspiration, through my body, in a real prayer. This theme will become the basic theme of the performance C’Est Ici Que L’On Prend Le Bateau – It is here that you can take the boat. Cerroni returns to India in 1980 to perform it, through an official invitation from the Indian Government, making a long tour (17 shows in the 15 cities) with her Dance Company. The tour is organized by the ICCR – Indian Council for Cultural Relations, with original music by Mauro Bortolotti, performed live by the same author, in an analogous relationship between music and dance (as in Tendrils), but in this case developed with composed music.
Cerroni teaches courses of her dance technique at the New Delhi University and in Katak Kendra. She meets some of the greatest Indian musicians, Zakir Hussain, H. Chaurasia, Shirkuma Sharma, Jog and K. Vidjay. They invite her to participate at the most important art and cultural festivals such as the Classic International Music Festival of Calcutta and the East West Dance Encounter in Bombay at the Tata Theatre, in a long tour in South India.
“Meeting Zakir has revealed artistic affinities between us, even though there are alsonantithesis between the two cultures. It has given a strong impulse for my personal transformation.”
In 1982 Cerroni creates Divertissement Lyrique, a performance interpreted only by female dancers, where the male “role” is represented on the scene by the musicians, with music created by Mauro Bortolotti, performed live by the same composer and by the group “Musica Oggi”. For the first time, this performance abandons the tights and the dancers are “dressed” in costumes created ad hoc by the Italian/American stylist Dino Orlando from New York, with whom a collaboration and friendship is born. Cerroni and Orlando develop a deep research on the relationship between movement and costumes. Also the light design, soft and fluctuating, symbolizes the change of the female role. This production, enriched and integrated by further pieces, is also performed in the United States, in 1985, by the name Concert, with jazz music performed live by Giovanni Tommaso, Ettore Fioravanti and Fulvio Maras.
Cerroni’s abstract performances now become “figurative”. She begins to involve her interpreters in a relationship of deeper creative cooperation, in which movement is inspired by the reality of daily life.
In 1986, together with four couples of other dancers, Cerroni gives life to a new production, Ladies & Gentleman. The choreographic language presents the relationship of harmony and tension, between male and female strength, through dynamics of movement between the lyricism of the dance and the irony of daily life. Marco Stagi creates surreal scenery which Dino Orlando completes with costumes inspired by daily life.
In 1991 Cerroni commissions the production of a show entitled Baby Doll, inspired by the novel by Tennessee Williams to one of her dancer-choreographers, Mario Piazza.
In 1992 Cerroni creates the performance Thousand and one lights. The male-female dichotomy becomes the leit motiv of her art. In the same year she also creates Making Dance, a performance inspired by the music of Zakir Hussein “Making Music”. The same repertoire develops in When the Sun and the Moon Rise, with electronic music by Mauro Bortolotti. Costumes are provided by “Cosabella of Miami”.
In 1993 Folli d’Amori makes its debut at the Olympic Theater in Rome.
In 1995, “abstract” to “figurative”, Cerroni’s dance becomes “narrative”, with the show Hyde & Eva, inspired by the story of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. The performance starts at the Temple of Jupiter Anxur, in Co-production with the XV Festival of the Italian Theater. The abuse of the female psyche since childhood, present in the western culture, is represented by the presence of a child on scene. Initially the scene was proposed to Mario Schifano, who falls ill and therefore it is performed with the extraordinary collaboration of Fabio Mauri, that since the first meeting with Cerroni creates the sketch of it. Costumes are provided by the Fashion House “Piano Piano Dolce Carlotta.”
In 1997, in Milan, Cerroni choreographs and interprets the videoclip Piccola canzone dei contrari, by Angelo Branduardi.
With the show Wings In The Body, created in 1999, inspired to the music “Space”, by Zakir Hussain, Cerroni returns to creating with music as the starting point. At the Olympic Theater in Rome the Argentinian artist, Silvio Benedetto, acts with body paintings on the dancers.
In 2001 in Rome the theme of the female is brought about in the surreal, sensual and poetic abstraction through the show But Do You Really Want To Understand Something Of Us Women?!!!
In 2003 it becomes the narration of a dramatic figure of Tosca, in the show Tosca – Power Against Love, with original jazz/pop/rock music by Ioska Mezal and Francis Tosoni. The performance starts in the suggestive frame of Castel Sant’Angelo, granted by the Superintendent of the Museum Pole in Rome, Professor Claudio Strinati, with 2 months of replicas, costumes by the prestigious Italian stylist, Sem Vaccaro. In this new production, Cerroni relives the woman’s role in a modern key, in the contemporary realism of the conflict between love and power.
In the occasion of Scelsi Festival, on commission by Scelsi Foundation, Cerroni creates a solo performance Shiva’s Dance, on Giacinto Scelsi’s music “Ko-Tha” performed live by the percussionist Anthony Caggiano, with the premiere on December 9th, 2005 at the Goethe Institute Auditorium of Rome.
In 2008 Cerroni creates Cleopatra – Power Of Love, with original music written by Angelo Valori and performed live by the M. Edit Ensemble, in the program of the Opera House of Rome, to the National Theater.
In 2009 Cerroni creates the performance Dance to Jazz, performed at the Dance & Music Summer Festival of Rome.
Since 2013 Cerroni spends long periods in the USA, where she teaches courses and choreographs at the SYDA Foundation in New York State.
In 2015 she creates a recital as the only protagonist on poems by Angelos Trojani, Route 117 Poems in the form of life (Editor Rubbettino), which debuts in Rome at the FUIS (Italian Unitary Federation Writers).
Since 2016 Cerroni is writing an autobiography on her life and career from which to draw a new performance, One Woman Show, and a movie.