PATHWAYS DAY: "Save the Last Dance for Me" by Alessandro Sciarroni (Italy)

  • July 29, 2023 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • PS21 "Open-Air" Pavilion Theater (General Admission)

    2980 New York 66
    Chatham, New York 12037
Ticket Price $0.00-$10.00 This event is now over


Alessandro Sciarroni, Associate artist of CENTQUATRE-Paris and Triennale Milano Teatro 2022-2024, and recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Dance at the 2019 Venice Biennale, brings his bold yet graceful work of theatrical social dance to PS21.


“Alessandro Sciarroni is a choreographer with the identity card of a thespian, he’s a dance researcher with the soul of a visual artist, he examines loneliness but loves the emotional exchange between performers and spectators.” — Rodolfo Di Giammarco, La Repubblica


Performance: 7:30 PM
Polka chinata workshop: 8–10 PM


The polka chinata (crouched polka) is a rarity in ballroom dancing: it was performed exclusively by pairs of men. It originated in Bologna around 1900 and had nearly disappeared when Giancarlo Stagni, a professor and dance master, rediscovered it in the 1990s and began teaching it to his dancers. Theater-maker and choreographer Alessandro Sciarroni, whose work inhabits the tension between tradition and modernity, found the dance, its hypnotic nature, and its near-extinction fascinating.


Immediately after the performance, Sciarroni's dancers Giovanfrancesco Giannini and Gianmaria Borzillo will lead free workshops in the polka chinata for dancers and non-dancers alike, diving into the form and invoking the spirit of the community to save the dance from the brink of extinction.  Open to all.


Part of PS21's PATHWAYS Day, featuring day-long creative engagement with PS21's grounds. Before the show, take part in Processional Arts Workshop's Invisible Cities, a roving performance installation and puppetscape inspired by Italo Calvino's meditative fiction. Witness and take part in this sprawling and collaborative creation on PS21's trails! Participants of Invisible Cities can attend Save The Last Dance For Me for FREE!


More info and sign up.


Dancers Giovanfrancesco Giannini and Gianmaria Borzillo, photo by Cult TV


In polka chinata, the dancers add the distinctive chinata move to the basic polka steps, whirling around each other in a low flywheel spin. In Save the Last Dance for Me Sciarroni sets his choreography to electro swing music rather than the classic accordion. The initial impression of technical complexity and challenging physicality soon gives way to a sense of emotive force and pleasure, for dancers and audience alike. 


Dancers Giovanfrancesco Giannini and Gianmaria Borzillo, photo by Claudio Borgia


About the Artists


Alessandro Sciarroni is a visual artist, theater researcher, and choreographer, importing techniques and experiences from disciplines such as dance, theater, circus arts, and sports. His creations often reveal the obsessions, fears, and fragilities inherent in the act of performing, incorporate repetition that tests the limits of the performers’ physical endurance, and engender an empathic relationship between the audience and the performers.


He has taken part in the Biennale de la Danse in Lyon, Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, Impulstanz Festival in Wien, the Venice Biennale, the Festival d’Automne and the Festival Séquence Danse at 104 in Paris, Hong Kong Art Festival, Juli Dans Festival in Amsterdam, Festival Panorama Rio de Janeiro and he exhibited his work at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Punta della Dogana-Palazzo Grassi in Venice and the MAXXI Museum in Rome.



Performances, classes, workshops, encounters, and community programs tailored to the area’s permanent residents: PATHWAYS is a staple of PS21’s annual community programming and central to our mission. PATHWAYS is our multidisciplinary public initiative that features free performances, arts and environmental education workshops, circus and processional arts, participatory events, and installations. The unifying thread of PATHWAYS programs is their shared habitation of the intersection of nature and the arts, making use of PS21’s ergonomic and reconfigurable theater, as well as our 100 acre campus and off site performances and encounters.


Banner photo © Passages Transfestival-Metz 2023 - Photo: Raoul Gilibert

Date & Time

Sat, Jul 29, 2023 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Venue Details

PS21 "Open-Air" Pavilion Theater (General Admission)

2980 New York 66
Chatham, New York 12037 PS21 "Open-Air" Pavilion Theater (General Admission)
PS/21 Inc

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About PS21

A vibrant center for contemporary performance in the Hudson Valley, PS21 “presents work that challenges and invites” (The New York Times): adventurous productions by leading and emerging American and international artists in music, dance, and theater, and visionaries creating entirely new genres. On our open-air Pavilion Theater stage, across our expansive, unspoiled grounds, and in the diverse surrounding communities, PS21 cultivates and presents productions that transcend aesthetic boundaries and revitalize existing artistic languages and grammars. Throughout the year, we host developmental residencies for dancers, musicians, actors, and creators of original, even unclassifiable new work. Rooted in community collaboration, PS21’s programming engages creatively with critical global and social issues. It is a mecca for innovative and original artistic voices, a destination for performance that can be experienced nowhere else in the region. PS21’s Pavilion Theater is a green-energy marvel surrounded by 100 acres of unspoiled meadows, trails, and woodlands that are a haven to wildlife and visitors across the region.  Integrated into our unspoiled campus, the theater embodies our commitments to the public: open, inviting, and optimized for their enjoyment and encouraging citizen expression and participation.


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