Rhapsody in Blue, a dynamic and versatile choreography by Iratxe Ansa

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.


After eleven years of collaboration in choreography, Iratxe Ansa and Igor Bacovich (Metamorphosis Dance) have unveiled their latest creation titled ´Rhapsody in Blue´. The show is a co-production between Fondazione Nazionale della Danza and Fondazione Teatro Regio di Parma, with collaboration from the Etxepare Basque Institute. Ansa and Bacovich have worked with one of the best contemporary dance companies in Europe: Aterballetto. The piece will premiere on 17 February at the Teatro Regio di Parma (Parma, Italy).

Crafting the choreography: conception and development

To bring this work to fruition, Ansa and Bacovich have been creating various choreographic elements with the dancers (including duos, trios, quartets...). The pair is particularly known for employing these methods in their creative process.

 “It´s a collaborative piece, each of us bringing our own colours, identity, and language—that´s what sets us apart”.

Rhapsody in Blue: a lively and vibrant choreography

Iratxe Ansa and Igor Bacovich chose the musical composition ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ as the centrepiece of their latest choreography. The duo aimed to explore George Gershwin’s fusion of jazz and classical music, with February 2024 marking the ideal occasion as it commemorates the 100th anniversary.

‘Rhapsody in Blue´ is distinguished by its ritornello, featuring a dynamic musical structure with multiple recurring themes. These themes evolve and shift every few minutes, adding to the piece´s allure. It is a powerful, joyful, sparkling composition, pierced by constant variations of form. The music conjures imagery of walking through various situations and scenes.

“It’s a joyful, light, dynamic choreography … pure dance.” Iratxe Ansa.

The choreography moves to the beat of the music, portraying different stories and ideas every few minutes. The piece features the sixteen dancers from the Aterballeto dance company. Ansa took advantage of the versatility of the company´s eclectic dancers to play with this effervescent, joyful music.  

Staging: beyond the blue

The scenography is characterised by a single geometric element, a disc suspended in the centre of the stage space, which through a meticulous play of light and shadow, can change colour, evoking an abstract but suggestive atmosphere. Illuminated by this element, the dancers´ bodies become silhouettes, abstractions. The set and costumers designed for Rhapsody in Blue are inspired by American minimalism and abstractionism of the second half of the 20th century and by European environmental art, particularly the work of Ólafur Elíasso.

Iratxe Ansa and Igor Bacovich: a language of their own

Basque choreographer, director and dancer Iratxe Ansa has performed for more than twenty years as part of some of the best contemporary dance companies in the world, including Ballett Theater Basel, Gulbenkian Ballet, and Compañía Nacional de Danza, becoming a benchmark in contemporary dance. She was awarded the Spanish National Dance Award in the performance category in 2020.

Ansa began working with Igor Bacovich in 2013, founding their own company in 2019: Metamorphosis Dance. The two of them shared an interest and passion for the work in the studio with other dancers. This motivated them to create and develop tools to make the work of the dancer more efficient. This research ultimately became their methodology. Simultaneously, they have created choreographies on request as well as a large series of their own work, which have been shown in theatres, gala events, and festivals across the globe.

Choreography: Iratxe Ansa and Igor Bacovich

Music: George Gershwin, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’; Bessie Jones, ‘Beggin´ the Blues’

Dancers: Aterballeto

Sets and costume design: Fabio Cherstich

Lighting design: Eric Soyer

Production: Fundación Nacional de Danza / Aterballetto

Co-production: Fondazione Teatro Regio di Parma

Contribution: Etxepare Basque Institute

Etxepare Basque Institute and the artist

The choreographers, Iratxe Ansa and Igor Bacovich (Metamorphosis Dance), designed ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ during their artistic residency at the Fondazione Nazionale della Danza with support from the Etxepare Basque Institute. The Institute has entered into a contract with Aterballetto, formalizing this collaboration between the choreographic pair and the company.

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