Bigonzetti’s Vespro (Italian for vespers) and its cadre of ultramodern congregants draw you into a dark yet sophisticated world with geometric costumes and intricate choreography for 13 dancers.
Vespro is the Italian word for vespers, or evensong — music sung as twilight fades into night. M. Bruno Moretti has described his composition as little pieces of dreams. The musicians — a pianist, soprano saxophonist, and countertenor — perform onstage with the dancers. The countertenor’s libretto is based on quotations from the artist Michelangelo Buonarroti about beauty, suffering, life, and desire. The ballet features a male principal dancer, two couples, and eight corps de ballet dancers. At times, the male principal appears to be leading the dancers and musicians; at others, he interrupts them. Each of the couples dances an extraordinarily intricate pas de deux that makes full use of the dancers’ flexibility. When they are not dancing, the corps members remain onstage as silent witnesses to the sometimes dreamlike actions of the principal dancers. Mr. Bigonzetti, Italy’s leading choreographer and Artistic Director of Aterballetto, combines the classical vocabulary with modem, angular moves using the floor and complex, innovative partnering. The geometrically inspired costumes are by Julius Lumsden.