Michele Rizzo

born 1984, Italy
lives in Amsterdam

Michele Rizzo’s choreographic work Higher xtn. considers the unique spaces of nightclubs and the ways they afford both self-expression and community for the dancers who frequent them. Throughout the piece, a group of trained dancers perform minimal, repetitive movements to a hypnotic electronic soundtrack. In sync and yet seemingly oblivious to each other, their bodies move in unison and form a cohesive whole, transforming the intimate anonymity of a club into a public spectacle.

Through dance, Rizzo explores individual psychology and collective rituals. His work straddles contemporary art and performance. By suggesting music and synchronous movement as fundamental forms of human togetherness, Rizzo’s approach resonates with one of FRONT International 2022’s central considerations: how can art offer experiences of shared joy that create community despite difference?

Although Rizzo was one of the first artists to be selected by FRONT 2022's original co–artistic directors for inclusion in the show, his performances were canceled at the last moment due to difficulties in receiving US visas in a timely manner from the State Department. Even though the work could not be realized in Cleveland at this time, it remains at the core of the show’s thematic focus on music, dance, synchronicity, and community.

The Cleveland Museum of Art

Michele Rizzo, HIGHER xtn., 2018, Supported by Stedelijk Museum, Mondriaan Fonds, and Het Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. This program is also supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.

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