BENGALURU: Brightly turbaned in blue, Stefano Fardelli, dancer-choreographer of international fame, spoke with intensity about the place that dance holds in his life.
“My relationship with dance is unlike any relationship that I can have with a human. I cannot divorce dance, we don’t have fights. Every minute in my life is consumed by dance. If I am not dancing, I am choreographing sequences or I am thinking of dancing. Dance is a part of me,” he said.
Having started his tryst with contemporary dance when an Italian teacher introduced him to it, Stefano says he fell in love almost immediately.
“Until then, I had been taking a few classes of ballet and jazz out of interest, and then I found my calling,” he smiles. Currently, from his exposure to different styles of contemporary dance, his technique has evolved to include floor-work, Cunningham, release and Feldenkrais techniques.
Stefano is the art director of the EurAsia dance network, which partners with 15 organisations from across the world and is supported by the Istituto Italiano di Culture. In town to choreograph the Diploma Graduation Performance for the Attakalari Centre for Movement and Arts, Stefano talks about his tryst with India.
“I have been to India many times and I’m fascinated with the movements you have here,” he explained.
The cultural exchange programme provides scholarships for Asian students interested in contemporary dance in some of the most well-known dance schools in Europe.
“My endeavour is to help contemporary dance reinvent itself with what training these students from different parts of the world bring with them,” he added.
Holyland, his most recent piece, is about his trip to Indonesia.
“I get to travel a lot, so I am exposed to a lot of cultures. When I was in India recently, From I to A by Eleven Movements was me trying to explore the intricacies of Indian dance with Raam Kumar,” he said. In reference to his frequent trips to Mexico, Senegal, Iran, Syria and Armenia, he added, “Every place I visit seeps into my dance, every culture has something that inspires.”
The dancer who collaborates with the Berlin Opera, BBC, The Place, the Royal Finland Opera among others, emphasised the importance of the audience to a performance.
“The audience not only supports us by buying tickets, they are also crucial to the ‘performativity’ of a dancer. Perhaps, without an audience, I would dance for myself, but I enjoy being able to share what I feel about society, religion and politics through dance,” he said.
Without an audience, he says, “Dance is often a dialogue with one’s own ego.”