La Piaf, Ballet by M. Bigonzetti
How can you embody the larger than life artistic persona of Edith Piaf and convey her presence and magnitude in movement? Italian choreographer and designer Mauro Bigonzetti answers that question beautifully with his unique ballet performance La Piaf, dedicated lovingly to the life and craft of the French queen of chanson. Though she was known affectionately as the ‘Sparrow from Paris’, Piaf commanded the stage and captivated audiences in a way few other singers could. The Vienna Volksoper hosts this celebration of the art and spirit of the beloved French singer.
In order to capture the versatility and strength of Edith Piaf’s character, Bigonzetti designs a spectacle in which twelve different dancers portray her, each painting a new aspect of her complex life story in movement. The choreography carefully avoids clichés and does not aim to process or interpret the singer’s biography. Instead, it builds a simple yet evocative line of visual storytelling that celebrates her character and soul in ways that only a dance magician like Bigonzetti can express.
The fairy tale quality of La Piaf is amplified by the choice of music and by the carefully crafted costumes, both courtesy of Mauro Bigonzetti himself. Apart from Edith Piaf’s own timeless songs, the ballet in two acts also features music by Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Ravel, and Eric Satie. Ever since he created La Piaf for the Hanover State Opera in 2010, the world-renowned choreographer and the famous chanteuse have been a match made in heaven, and his love and admiration for her radiates from the stage. As one dancer after the other put on the mask of the powerful, talented, vulnerable and dramatic persona that was Edith Piaf, the audience at Volksoper Wien is sure to fall into the grip of these intense emotions as well. With Bigonzetti’s meticulously designed ballet production and Piaf’s unforgettable songs, a memorable and exciting evening is all but guaranteed.