Italy’s lauded Spellbound ballet troupe makes Atlanta debut at KSU Dance Theater


KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct 9, 2018) — Inspiration can come from the strangest sources, and for Mauro Astolfi, it came from a dance rehearsal in an Italian park under a full moon.

Astolfi founded Spellbound Contemporary Ballet in Italy in 1994 and has forged a highly acclaimed company that puts a premium on classical movement set to modern esthetics. Spellbound makes its Atlanta debut at Kennesaw State University’s Dance Theater on October 12 and 13 with a performance of their original piece Full Moon.

The creation of Full Moon came after Astolfi read articles about how the moon can affect human behavior. “That was the starting point,” he said recently by phone from his studio in Rome.

For several nights, he took his dancers to a park in Rome to improvise under a full moon. “We did a lot of experimenting and monitored our perceptions and emotional states,” he said. “We discovered we had more adrenaline — we didn’t feel tiredness or pain. For me, dancing under the full moon was like dancing with a power pack attached to my body.”

Astolfi said he hopes the ballet recreates this feeling for audiences. “Try to imagine you are under the full moon, even if you are just watching the dance,” he said. “The full moon is a ‘reawakening’ of our intuition, the feeling you get ‘in your bones’ that what is happening is something important, when we understand what we need to let go of.”

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Gillian Anne Renault