Despite being 37 years old, Marcos Morau thinks about everything he has left behind and everything that he can never be again. Today he remembers the moment where everything was possible, that moment where fulfillment and failure are reached in all its splendor and everything is lived as if the world were going to collide tomorrow.
Marte is, in addition to the God of war, passion, sexuality, perfection, and beauty and gives title to the new work of the creator based in Barcelona for Spellbound Contemporary Ballet.
Marte represents that empty and hostile planet waiting to be colonized by a group of young people. in a kind of celebration in 21st century Europe, with all the strength of its youth and desire as its driving force. A place where nobody wants to be left behind and the future is seen as a confusing maze full of resignations, disappointments and new conflicts, and where the only war that is fought is the one that confronts them with a world that advances so fast that they cannot continue. Pleasure, desire and tension are the central elements of this piece.
A conflict between the individual and the collective, between the present and an uncertain future, between organic matter and technology, where a new conception of abstract form is revealed.
«The most impressive piece opened the programme and showed the company in peak form. Marte (Mars) has the dancers doing wonderous synchronised movements, dressed and lit in blue, where they appear almost as a single being… Catalonian Marcos Morau has been making ever bigger waves in contemporary dance over the last five years or so, and this new creation shows why. He often names his pieces after places, so choosing Mars is certainly setting it in the abstract – it’s not even a red Mars. But in the beauty of the movement, there is also meaning, intentional or otherwise. It was like seeing the birth of a new civilisation, creating form out of chaos. This work was created with the Spellbound dancers after lockdown, so maybe there were thoughts of a new beginning. … Now this piece was truly spellbinding. ».
The association Spellbound, founded in 1994, was created to be able to give space to projects that organise and produce live shows mostly specialising in the field of dance at an international level. Their projects, although giving priority to events and productions, has from the start been involved both in activities connected with the field of education (holding professional and specialist courses in choreography in their venue in Rome since the early 2000s and courses to educate the public, collaborating with, among others The Romaeuropa Foundation, East West Festival and the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome) and in artistic collaborations in organising programs for programming and planning festivals and seasonal events.
At the centre of the production activities is the company Spellbound Contemporary Ballet, artistic director Mauro Astolfi, general director Valentini Marini supported by The Ministry of Culture since 2000. The company is in the forefront of representing Italy at international level, some of its projects have been made possible due to the support of the Regione Lazio, by Siae Sillumina, NDP Subsidy in the United States for a tour during 2012–13 (the only European company to have been granted this) first in a long series and it also obtained contributions form several Embassies and Italian cultural institutions who help foster artistic projects in many countries such as Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, Sweden, England, France, Switzerland, Russia, Bielorusse, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Azerbaigian, Turkey, Cyprus, Singapore, Georgia, Canada, USA, Panama, Israel, Mexico, China, Japan.
The wide circulation of Spellbound’s projects over the years is shown by the full portfolio of Festivals they have attended in Monterrey, Madrid in Dance, Valencia Temporada Festival, Prisma International Dance Festival, Vitebsk International Festival of Modern Choreography, Fabbrica Europa, Oriente Occidente, Invito alla Danza, Milano Oltre, Transart, La Merce, Guangdong Dance Festival, Chutzpah Dance Festival, Tokyo Dance New Air, Biarritz Le tempes D’Aimer, City Contemporary Dance Festival, Arcachon Dance Festival, Bangkok Italian Festival, Ankara Music Festival, Tblisi Ballet Festival, Hong Kong City Contemporary Dance Festival.
Recognised as an outstanding company in the international choreographic field the association has also managed production projects outside of the field more traditionally tied to seasonal events and Festivals and has participated in large television productions held in squares directed by Vittoria Cappelli and Vittoria Ottolenghi for example ‘motions, a tribute to Battisti in world vision from Piazza dei Plebiscito in Naples, Nights of duels and magic from Ascoli Piceno as well as the Opera 200.com Carmina Burana a project for the city which won the Opera Award in 2013 and produced for the 200 year anniversary of the Teatro Sociale di Coma in collaboration with the Music Academy Giuseppe Verdi di Como, the city chorus of Como, Chorus of white voices of Teatro Sociale di Como, Orchestra 1813, Orchestra A. Vivaldi.
Spellbound’s activities, besides those of the choreographer Mauro Astolfi, resident author, also embrace a series of online projects with other artists and institutions on international scale, such as the international coproduction Pa|Ethos created by the Tibetan choreographer Sang Jijia in collaboration with Fabbrica Europa Scuole Civiche Paolo Grassi, Marche Teatro, Bejing Dance Festival, La Mode, an installation by Tomoko Mukayiama and Tojo Ito which opened the National Taichung Theater a Taiwan in October 2016, the recent coproduction in partnership with the Grand Theater of Luxembourg Vivaldiana and the European network of Dancing Partners.
Besides these the association will renew a number of special projects produced over the years by various authors which have a broad range embracing different public and creative ways of expression such as the show Open by Daniel Ezralow, the project Magic Shadows, the performance Re-Mark by the choreographer Sang Jijia in productive networking with Fondazione Fabbrica Europa, City Contemporary Dance Company Hong Kong, Versilia Danza, the productions of the last years from the visual artists Luca Brinchi and Daniele Spanò associated to the structure since 2015 and the most recent one ‘Collapse’ by Francesco Sgrò.
In 2018 the Association was responsbile for the curatorship of the contemporary dance section of the projects DancingBo in Bologna for the Christmas holidays from 27th December 2018 to the 1st of January 2019, in the two year period 2018–2019 was in charge of the the production of the Fuori Programma International Festival with Artistic Director Valentina Marini, which hosted more than 18 artistic companies coming from Belgium, Netherlands, Israel, Spain, France. Since 2019 the Association has created and produced the first edition of the Future Memory Festival financed by the municipality of Rome as part of the autumn activities in 2019 and realized in the spaces of the Vth town Municiaplity. Since 2020 in RTI together with the Association EDA it is the assignee of the management of the Teatro Biblioteca Quarticciolo, where Valentina Marini together with Giorgio Andriani and Antonino Pirillo play as the co-directors.
In 2020 the the production company celebrated its 25th anniversary, event which culminated with the production created by three renewed authors, Mauro Astolfi, Marcos Morau and Marco Goecke, a project of directorial openness and of european scope that transformed the company’s anniversary into an instrument where to put in place an ambitious work, which, in the season hit by Covid, reacts to the general standstiil with a productive impulse thanks to international collaborations which lay the ground for a new rebirth.