Virgilio Sieni

Virgilio Sieni has been the director of the Dance Sector of the Venice Biennial since 2013. As choreographer and dancer, has been a protagonist of the Italian contemporary dance scene since the early 1980s. Born in Florence, he trained in classical and contemporary dance in Amsterdam, New York and Tokyo, and also studied visual arts, architecture and martial arts. In 1983 he founded the Parco Butterfly company, which was transformed in 1992 into the Compagnia Virgilio Sieni, currently one of the most significant elements in the Italian choreographic panorama, with close ties to the most important European theaters and festivals, including Festival d’Avignon, Biennale de la Danse de Lyon, Charleroi Danse of Brussels and Theatre du Merlan, Scène Nationale de Marseille, as well as all the major Italian dance production locales. As a guest choreographer, since the early 1990s Sieni has created choreograhies for major Italian Operas and theatrical institutions including the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Teatro Comunale of Florence – Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Teatro San Carlo of Naples, the Teatro Massimo of Palermo and the Teatro dell’Opera of Roma. He has often collaborated with internationally-known visual artists, musicians and composers in the creation of his works. The musicians have included Alexander Balanescu, Giorgio Battistelli, Ennio Morricone, Steve Lacy, Francesco Giomi/Tempo Reale, Evan Parker and Stefano Scodanibbio. For costumes, Miuccia Prada has collaborated with him on three productions. Since 2003, Virgilio Sieni has been the director of CANGO Cantieri Goldonetta in Florence: a space he conceived inside an historic building in the Oltrarno neighborhood, equipped to host dance and other body practices, artists, viewing and research on the contemporary languages of art. Springing from his experiences with the Company and with CANGO, in 2007 Virgilio Sieni founded the Academy of the Art of the Gesture, an innovative context geared towards transmitting artistic practices and defining a new relationship between training and production, aimed at both professionals and groups of novice dancers, from children to senior citizens, as well as the blind.
He supervises the publication of a series of books entitled Il Gesto in collaboration with the Maschietto Editore publishing house in Florence.
In 2013 Virgilio Sieni received the title of CHEVALIER DE L’ORDRE DES ARTS ET DES LETTRES from the French Minister of Culture Aurelie Filippetti.