A choreographic adventure

When the former – a dancer born in southern Italy – and the latter – a Dutch director of alternative theatre – pooled their talent in the 1990s, they turned their creative partnership into a choreographic adventure. Starting in 1995 from curiosity about the body and its inner motives, they created their first work, a solo entitled Bianco. This formed the first part of the Fra Cervello e Movimento (between brain and movement) trilogy. It was accompanied by an artistic manifesto about the body and seven principles of the body’s logic. This manifesto formed the basis for the new language they went on to create.

To describe their work and its originality combining rigour of research and imaginative power, a new term was coined : extremalism. From the early days of their company christened Emio Greco I PC, Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten have developed a universe and a writing forged out of tension and synchronicity, borrowing as much from classical vocabulary as from post-modern dance. The strange theatricality impregnating the pieces and the high quality of the repetitive or exuberant dance of Emio Greco and his dancers are strictly framed by the choreographic score to construct enigmatic fictions of the flesh in each piece. The body, this stranger with its wealth of sensitive worlds therefore appears reflected in it, as if it were the very author of these stories, absorbed, immersed in unexpected and mysterious spaces that the luminous set design, playing with colour or monochrome, helps reveal, in dialogue with the chosen music.

From 2002, at the invitation of the Edinburgh International Festival, the pair choreographed and staged two operas, including Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (Orpheus and Eurydice). In 2003, at the request of Flemish director Ivo Van Hove, they created Teorema based on the film by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Since 2004 they have been running a collaborative project with the Swiss composer Hanspeter Kyburz, centred on the interaction between dance, music and electronics in real time. This collaboration has produced two works : Double Points Plus and Double Points : OYTIZ, with the involvement of the Ensemble Intercontemporain and IRCAM.

These multidisciplinary excursions led to the award-winning dance show, HELL, in 2006, the first part of what would become a tetralogy inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy. The next part, [purgatorio], was presented in 2008 at the Holland Festival in Amsterdam and was based on collaborations with the composers Michael Gordon (United States) and Franck Krawczyk (France). In 2009, EG I PC experimented on a special collaboration with the violinist Janine Jansen and the clarinettist Martin Fröst, producing the show Double Points : Janine I Martin. The third and final part of the Dante trilogy, you PARA I DISO premiered in July 2010 in Monaco.

Among the company’s most recent creations are Beyond Seoul (2009-2010), Le Corps DU BALLET (2011 for the Ballets de Monte-Carlo), La Commedia (2011), Rocco (2011) and Passione in Due (2012, with Franck Krawczyk). Emio Greco I PC have also won numerous national and international awards, received widespread international recognition and toured all over the world. Their shows are regularly co-produced by major festivals and performance venues.

In 2009, Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten created the International Choreographic Arts Centre (ICK) in Amsterdam, a multidisciplinary international platform for up-and-coming and established artists. ICK’s objective is to contribute to the development and vitality of dance by stimulating research and offering space for research projects in order to open up dialogue with other artists.

In february 2014, Emio Greco and Pieter Scholten are appointed artistic directors of the Ballet National de Marseille

Emio Greco I Pieter C. Scholten