Independent choreographer and dancer, currently lives and works between Madrid (ES) and Naples (IT) with more than 14 creations Gabriella Riccio is one of the recognized choreographers of the experimental dance scene in Italy (A. D’Adamo, edited by, Spazi per la danza contemporanea, Editoria & Spettacolo (2009). An eclectic profile with a vast artistic interest that leads to collaborations with different artists and disciplines, questioning dance itself, its limits and boundaries, beyond definitions and labels with a keen interest in the performer as a person and in the “other bodies”.
Her career takes place between Naples and Berlin, with her company cia gabriellariccio founded in 2003 and with interesting collaborations for well-known international choreographers or groups, such as the company Felix Rückert in Berlin, the Japanese Hal Yamanouchi and the Argentine Silvia Vladimivsky. The development of her creative imprint is the result of a training focused on contemporary dance, but also of a constant exploration in other disciplines, which leads her to a research project on the body and on the contemporary scene as tools of knowledge, with an interest in the more open and experimental nature of dance, attention to new formats and new technologies, a close relationship with music and the sound environment in dialogue with musicians and composers active on the international scene such as Elio Martusciello, Achille Succi, Neil Leonard, Massimo Scamarcio, Norsola Johnson, artists of the transavantgarde like Carmine Rezzuti and philosophers like Jean-Luc Nancy, Maurizio Zanardi, Vincenzo Cuomo, Romano Gasparotti.
Gabriella Riccio was born in Naples and in her hometown she approaches classical and contemporary ballet. In 1996 she moved to Rome where she was curator of the Italian Dance and Performance Platform and of the program of seminars and master classes with international choreographers for the Romaeuropa Festival and the Montpellier Danse Festival, the Urban Performance section for the Festival Enzimi, the international video-dance Festival Il Coreografo Elettronico and Terpsychore project – European Network for the protection of the audiovisual heritage of dance. This is a very nutritious time for her career, being able to access the panorama of contemporary creation on an international level and coming into contact with some of the most representative personalities of the European scene. At the same time, for her a research path opens around the body that dances, exploring other techniques and knowledge such as buto, tango, dance-theater, yoga, zen, vipassana, bdsm. She collaborates as an assistant to the choreographer for the Argentine Silvia Vladiminsky who invites her for a residence with her company in Buenos Aires, and in closer dialogue works as an interpreter and assistant of the Japanese Hal Yamanouchi, among others in Tourandot (1998) for Teatro dell’Opera de Roma and Setsuna (2002).
In 2003 she took the international leap to join the Felix Rückert company in Berlin in a very intense dialogue with the artistic research of one of the most experimental and transgressive choreographers in Germany, participating as a dancer in the productions of the company Ring (2003), Secret Service (2004), Love Zoo (2004), takes part in the research residences and the creation for the Love Zoo and Messiah Game (2004) productions and is assistant to the choreographer for the creation of Mushroom (2003), as well as in the seminars of the company oriented to professional dancers and performers, working in the European spaces of the experimental dance scene as Dock11 in Berlin, Les Bains: Connective in Brussels, Albergo dei Poveri in Naples, Accademia Nico Pepe and the Festival Corpi Sensibili in Udine, Statens Teaterskolea in Copenhagen , Eurokaz Festival in Ljubljana, Tanzhaus nrw in Düsseldorf.
Alongside her work as an interpreter, during her stay in Berlin, Gabriella Riccio debuted in the field of creation. Her first works markedly conceptual are presented in unconventional spaces and focus on the relationship between performer and spectator, in which the audience actively and directly participates: Watch | Touch (2003) created by the Festival Maggio dei Monumenti of Naples, is a work on exposure, intimacy and vulnerability with the formula “solo performance for a solo spectator”; Körpersprache (2004) an experiment on power games, commissioned by the Goethe Institut Neapel and invited to the Rassegna Di Seconda Mano; K.I.S.S. # 1 – about fragility (2004) conceptual work that investigates the theme of fragility with live electronic music by Elio Martusciello, created for the Vetrina dei Giovani Coreografi of Naples, Mensch – über Schönheit [Tryptik] (2005) triptych for an itinerant audience is a dispositive to interrogate the concept of beauty, once again with electronic music by Elio Martusciello created on commission and with the contribution of the Goethe Institut Neapel. In its solo version Mensch – über Schönheit [Solo] (2006) was invited by the Ente Nazionale di Promozione Danza di Napoli (National Dance Promotion Authority of Naples) at the choreographic platform of young authors and choreographers, during the World Dance Day. The work receives an oral mention from the jury “for the quality of the choreographic work” within the international video-dance Festival Il Coreografo Elettronico, and is invited by Filmstudio80 in Rome, as part of the festival “Tra genio e sregolatezza: il video d’autore Made in Italy”. With Echo Resonance & Memory (2008) site-specific creation on the theme of memory in dialogue with the original music by Neil Leonard of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, her research opens up to interaction with the new video technologies in collaboration with Alia Scalivini and Alexis De Vita. The same year she is invited to the NTFI Napoli Teatro Festival Italia as part of the project ZAC Zone di Attacco Creativo, presenting the urban dance interventions Guerrilla Remixed (2008) with a group of 11 performers. Noli Me Tangere – work in progress (2008) – selected for the ETI / MIBAC Transitidanza 2 project, presented as study at the NTN Teatro Nuovo Nuovo in Naples, in this work the interaction between movement and music blends thanks to new technologies applied to the sound environment and to the exploration of a dramatic dimension of dance in relation to the word and philosophical thought. In 2009, the cia gabriellariccio is recognized by the Regione Campania and obtains access to funds as a dance production company. La pièce Noli me tangere (2009) makes its debut as creation at the TIN Teatro Instabile of Naples, then it is selected under the artistic direction of Mauro Petruzziello, within Festival Deus Ex Machina.01 for the Kollatino Underground space in Rome and debuts as national premiere at DOCK11 in Berlin. Diventa ciò che sei (2009) is a site-specific performance in dialogue with Carmine Rezzuti historical artist of the Neapolitan transavantgarde. Writing on waters (2009) with the participation of the cellist Norsola Johnsos of the Goodspeed You! Black Emperor, a performance that explores the possibilities of instant composition is presented at the Auditorium of the City of Albino, Bergamo.
Following the 2009 crisis, Gabriella Riccio joins the Italian movement of self-organized cultural spaces and the commons and concentrates her activity as an independent artist, activist and researcher as resident choreographer at L’Asilo, open community of artists, activists and researchers in self-government at the Ex asilo Filangieri of Naples. L’Asilo becomes her point of reference for independent research and production. Here she directs the permanent research workshop Esperimenti di Sopravvivenza nello Spazia, she realizes the Oltre l’apparenza residence (2015) with the dancer Alessandra Fabbri, re-enacts Noli me tangere (2015) with a new artistic formation, creates the works Magnificat – primo studio per un mondo migliore (2015) which premières during the Grande Vento at L’Asilo and La Follia (2016) together with clarinetist Achille Succi which premières at the Piccolo Bellini Theater in Naples.
Since 2003, Gabriella Riccio has been accompanying her work as a choreographer and interpreter to her training and transmission activities which she brings together under the name of Experiments of Space Survival, a nomadic and permanent workshop of research and creation between dance and thought around body time and space, developing her work in various centers. The workshop is generally aimed at professional dancers, actors, musicians and artists linked to the movement and interested in finding their own physical vocabulary and all the people, with or without experience in dance, who wish to investigate the possibilities of the body and the scene as tools of knowledge. Alongside this path, since 2010 Gabriella Riccio has directed dance seminars for different communities of young people in primary and secondary schools, proposing choreographic composition as a tool for exploring the relationship between the individual and the community.
Gabriella Riccio is curator of meetings and seminars including Contemporanea09 (2009), ActionsDicembre09Live (2009), Sovrapposizioni // Overlap (2015) and Perché la danza? (2016-17) together with the philosopher Maurizio Zanardi.
The research and creation activity of Gabriella Riccio is accompanied by her reflection and theoretical production with participation in conferences, workshops and experimental proposals including the international conference on Sublimation a critical analysis of the last frontier of the symbolic at the PAN Palazzo delle Arti in Naples. From a theoretical point of view, there are two areas of interest of Gabriella Riccio. A first area of interest concerns the relationship between dance and thought by publishing the essay The body and the scene. Territories of the aesthetic-cognitive experience in the artistic practice of dance in English for the academic journal AION An interdisciplinary Journal (2016) in Space and Beyond. Space and Place in Contemporary Theater, Vol. 20, n. 2 (2016) editors Carmen Gallo and Clément Lévy, and in Italian for the review KAIAK a philosophical journey (2017). She is also invited to present her research at the 51st World Dance Research Congress of CID Conseil International of Danse of UNESCO.
Another area of theoretical-practical interest of Gabriella Riccio concerns the relationship between art, culture and politics, with essays The practice of civic use as an aesthetic, ethical and political choice for the sensitive common, by Nicola Capone and Geminello Preterossi for The School of Pythagoras Publishing, Naples 2018 and For a systemic approach to cultural heritage: civic uses and common goods. The case of the former Filangieri Asylum of Naples, edited by Fitzcarraldo, Editorial Bibliography (2018).