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ROBERTO CASTELLO

(Torino 1960) Dancer, choreographer, teacher.

Castello is probably the most ideologically engaged and politically controversial choreographer among the founders of Italian contemporary dance.
In the earliest ‘80s, he dances with Carolyn Carlson’s Teatro Danza la Fenice where he creates his first choreography.
In 1984 he’s one of the founders of Italian modern dance company Sosta Palmizi.
In 1993 he founds his new ensemble, ALDES.
Among the other prizes, he wins Ubu Prize in 1986 and 2003 (“Il Cortile” / “Il migliore dei mondi possibili”).
Since 1996 he has been curator for several festivals and art venues and since 2005 he has been teaching digital choreography at Accademia delle Belle Arti di Brera in Milan.  
Since 2008, with ALDES is carrying on the project “SPAM! rete per le arti contemporanee”, organizing residencies, several programming events, a multidisciplinary Season, workshops, public meetings and didactic activities.
During his career, he collaborates, among the others, with Peter Greenaway, Eugène Durif, Rai3 / Fabio Fazio e Roberto Saviano, Studio Azzurro.

url: www.aldesweb.org - www.spamweb.it

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Critical dance
by Attilio Scarpellini

“In a world that has really been turned on its head, truth is a moment of falsehood” (Guy Debord)

Antonin Artaud said that Van Gogh was a formidable musician with all the tools of a painter. One could say something very similar about Roberto Castello’s choreography: it is reminiscent of a wide variety of different languages and expressive frontiers – from cinema to video art, from narration to variety shows –, but with all the tools of dance, where dance is seen as the total rather than absolute language, the lack of boundaries of which Roberto Castello has stubbornly experimented with since the 80s, when he was one of the founders of contemporary dance in Italy with the Sosta Palmizi company. Convinced that art can not only speak to anyone, but also speak about anything, starting with what is not artistic – such as money, one of the recurring obsessions of his work, from Siamo qui solo per i soldi (We are only in it for the money), which he presented at Torino Danza in 1994, to the recent ‘confusional choreo-cabaret’ about a Trattato di Economia (Treatise on economics), performed together with the actor Andrea Cosentino –, Mr Castello has used irony, parody and pastiche to create heterogeneous and anarchic encyclopedias, the actual main theme of which is deconstructing contemporary ideology. With his series of derisory epic works, such as the project Il migliore dei mondi possibili (The best of the possible worlds, winner of the Ubu prize in 2003), or with dry, compact apologues, such as In girum imus nocte – almost a danced parabelstuck –, the choreographer of ALDES does not photograph reality but rather the lies of a world turned upside down, which presents itself as true with the body becoming its key litmus test. A critical artist who uses performance against the society of performance, Roberto Castello is decidedly an exponent of pessimism of the mind. He pours the only optimism he has into the communicative vitality of his creation, that is, into his relationship with the ‘non-selected’ audience, who he has never stopped addressing. And also into the new organization and production model he has founded with ALDES: a company without a manager which acts as a community of authors, a residence that carries out, in the local territory, the difficult art of pushing back the advancing desert.

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