Swans never die

Variations on the "Dying Swan" in the Third Millennium


What remains nowadays of a choreographic work considered a milestone in the 20th century Western dance canon? In which forms and bodies has it survived over time? Who collects its legacy and why? How does it resonate with present choreographers and what values can it convey in the future? These are some of the questions which Swans Never Die deals with. A project conceived by a network of national partners: Lavanderia a Vapore, Operaestate Festival Veneto and CSC Centro per la Scena Contemporanea Bassano del Grappa, Triennale Milano Teatro, Fondazione Teatro Grande di Brescia, Festival Bolzano Danza – Haydn Foundation, Il Cassero LGBTI Center – Gender Bender Festival, Mnemedance and DAMS/University of Turin. During the 2021/’22 season, SND has invited the audience to re-think, or better re-presentify (through workshops and performances), The Dying Swan, solo created by Michel Fokine for Anna Pavlova in 1905: an opportunity to explore styles, compositional techniques, cultural and anthropological identities. Fitting along the line dedicated to the reenactment of repertoire in contemporary age, the paper – starting from an historical and theoretical framework (not forgetting some emblematic previous variations on the “swan theme”, like the Invisible Piece by Cristina Kristal Rizzo) – aims to offer a phenomenic analysis of some salient moments of the project, through declarations, critical restitutions, documents, and work materials.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Miriana Pelosi, University of Turin

Miriana Pelosi Is currently teaching techniques and history of dance at Umberto Eco High School in Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy. Previously, she has held positions in various dance institutes across Italy, including Educandato Statale agli Angeli in Verona and Felice Casorati in Novara. She earned her Degree in Music and Performing Arts from Turin University in 2023, guided by Alessandro Potremoli and Rita Maria Fabris, who supervised her research study project titled Swans Never Die - A swan engram, focusing on the connections between contemporary dance and social dynamics. During her university stage, she served as an arts promoter for the Egri Foundation in Turin. She completed in 2016 her Dance Graduation at the National Dance Academy in Rome. Additionally, her curriculum includes collaborations with local newspapers and dance festivals.

Matteo Tamborrino, University of Turin

Matteo Tamborrino, PhD (1992) is Research Fellow at University of Turin, Subject Expert at University of Pisa and - since the year 2023/'24 - assistant professor at University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. Among his main fields of investigation: Italian experiental theatre (Carlo Cecchi, Leo de Berardinis, Perla Peragallo); the relationship between Sienese and Spanish theatre during the so-called Siglo de Oro; Yiddish actors' art (with particular reference to the work of Israel Becker); the processes of circulation and distribution of performing arts in Piedmont region. Since 2019 he has been a member of the editorial bord of the class A journal «Mimesis Journal», while in 2022 he became part of the web editorial team of CUT - Consulta Universitaria del Teatro. He is a freelance journalist and collaborates with the Press Office of Piemonte dal Vivo Foundation. He carried out an archival internship at Teatro Stabile di Torino / Centro Studi del Stabile.

Andrea Zardi, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna

Andrea Zardi, Ph.D. Si è laureato in Storia dell’Arte presso l’Università degli Studi di Milano e ha conseguito la magistrale in Cinema e Arti della Scena presso l’Università di Torino. Ha lavorato come archivista per il Centro Studi del Teatro Stabile Torino e nel 2017 è stato assegnista di ricerca nell’ateneo torinese, dove ha conseguito il Dottorato. Ha collaborato al PRIN 2015 – “Per-formare il sociale: formazione, cura e inclusione attraverso il teatro” e con il NIT Neuroscience Institute of Turin. È stato assegnista di ricerca nel Dipartimento delle Arti dell'Università degli Studi di Bologna e  ha collaborato con l’Università di Roma “La Sapienza” – dipartimento di Psicologia. Le sue ricerche vertono  sulla interdisciplinarità fra neuroscienze, Studi di Danza e con gli Studi Culturali, pubblicando su riviste scientifiche. Ad oggi è assegnista all'Università di Torino, collabora con diversi enti territoriali ed è direttore artistico della compagnia ZA | DanceWorks.

How to Cite
Pelosi, M., Tamborrino, M., & Zardi, A. (2023). Swans never die: Variations on the "Dying Swan" in the Third Millennium. Mimesis Journal, 12(2), 67-94. https://doi.org/10.4000/mimesis.2800