Gelabert Azzopardi Companyia De Dansa

This article is from 2009.

Gelabert Azzopardi Companyia De Dansa

Double-bill from acclaimed Catalan choreographer

To say Cesc Gelabert is in a class of his own isn’t strictly true – but it’s fair to say there are very few pupils sharing the room with him. His unique and incredibly cerebral movement style has been enjoyed across the world, both as a soloist and with his company, Gelabert Azzopardi Companyia de Dansa.

Run by Gelabert and his partner (on stage and off), Lydia Azzopardi, the Barcelona-based troupe will soon light up the Edinburgh International Festival with an exquisite double-bill. Sense Fi and Conquassabit may look very different, but share two crucial elements – Gelabert’s captivating technique and a great deal of dancing.

‘If you look at a lot of modern dance groups, they do very interesting stage work,’ says Gelabert. ‘Which I appreciate and think is nice. But what many of them do is avoid dancing – because to do something modern with dance is very difficult.’ Difficult, but not impossible, as he ably proves. Gelabert’s way of working is influenced by many things, not least his early training in architecture. For him, the body is a collection of 206 bones, and he encourages his dancers to have an awareness of as many of them as possible.

He also wants the dancers to be themselves, and bring their individual personalities onto the stage with them. ‘One of the most important elements of dance is that you don’t do it with pieces of paper,’ he laughs, ‘you do it with human beings – and each one of them has their own dreams and visions.’

Edinburgh Festival Theatre,473 2000, 21–23 Aug, 8pm, £10–£28.

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