On 21's May, 2019 was the premiere of the Ghetto Ballet at the State Opera - Stara Zagora. An unexpected spectacle that defies the familiar classic plots with the idea of ​​showing a person what he is when he does not pretend. As he is among others when left alone. Choreographer Mario Piazza, who has been working with the ballet company since the beginning of the season, reworks the original version of "Ghetto", presented for the first time at Teatro Massimo - Palermo in 2002, specifically for our dancers. His assistant in the work is Louis Party, who is also a tutor of ballet at the Stara Zagora Opera.


On May 29, the troupe toured the Musical Theater in Sofia and allowed the Sofia audience to see the spectacle in a new look. Years ago, Piazza worked on the same title with the Sofia Opera Ballet, but this time decided to revive it with dancers from the "linden city" because of the incredible diversity of nationalities that made up the troupe. Currently there are ballerinas and ballet dancers from across 11 from different nations. This makes the composition extremely colorful and allows the idea of ​​the spectacle to be maximized.


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Born in Canada, in the family of Italian Jews, Mario Piazza may have been inspired by his own life and the problems he and his family and people were facing. The spectacle is based on the fate of a Jewish ghetto and the persecution of this people during World War II, but the topic is far from exhausted. Mario Piazza also addresses the issue of the slaughter of Gypsies, as well as their lifestyle, which is reinforced by music, and in particular songs such as "Jelem, Jelem".


According to Mario Piazza, the widespread notion of the ghetto is the place where those who are rejected by society for one reason or another - racial, gender, based on poverty and crime - reside. But in his performance, he turns the ghetto into a meeting place, a place where everyone is equal, everyone is just human on Mother Earth. All cultures, all nationalities, with their many differences, meet there and lend a hand.

The show indirectly begs the questions: Why do we live in the ghetto? What happens in a ghetto? Who isolates us - ourselves or society? Who determines by what criteria a person is evaluated? What is his affiliation? Important issues that concern all societies at all times, and especially today, when wars are fought at the most primal level - race, gender and identity. Through atypical movements, avoiding classic postures and breaking pirouettes, "reapers" (paste) and "chanshman" (chanchman de pie) so that at times they may look unfinished or inaccurately fulfilled, Mario Piazza "hits" a wall that distracts man from true dance - that of the soul.


The choreography involves many movements characteristic of Jewish prayer, such as the hand that closes one's eyes while the other points the sky to make connection with God. Specific Jewish rituals have also been recreated, such as the wedding - an important and groundbreaking event in the life of every person in all nations.

The ghetto only deludes that it is Jewish. It is actually every ghetto in the world, every form of isolation, rejection, discrimination. In the lives and traditions of the Jewish people, everyone can recognize themselves and their own nationality. Through the dance are presented the reactions of man in separation, war, escape, gathering again after a long separation. Looking at it, the audience discovers that we are not that different. After all, we all respond equally to death, we all suffer and weep, we all love and need a hug and understanding. Everyone in this world is looking for peace, freedom, family.


The topic is extremely topical and delves into the wave of mass protests, the fight for freedom of expression, of same-sex marriage, of sexual orientation in general. But centuries-old traditions, besides supporting us as a people, often stifle us, suppress them, prevent us from developing our full potential and separating ourselves from others in order to create ourselves. To live in a way that we think is best for ourselves.


Ballet is first and foremost a quest for humanity in this orphaned world that has made us strangers to one another. The show prompts such a longing for understanding and unity, because we are all human beings and we all have feelings. If we can understand the other, we will love him more and hate less.


It is great that in our very impoverished time from opera and ballet, there are such performances because nothing speaks as clearly without words as dance. And one performance leads to another, provoking more people to engage in ballet. He is a good example and a good example. Because, as Mario Piazza puts it, "dance can really change the world, because artists, dancers are the athletes of God." After all, aren't we all - the whole world, one big ghetto in which we try to find ourselves among others and identify with them without losing our personality?

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