Maria Bonzanigo (born in Lausanne, originally from Bellinzona, Switzerland)
Composer and choreographer
Co-founder of the Compagnia Finzi Pasca
She started studying composition with Paul Glass in 1977. She trains as a dancer, dance pedagogue, and choreographer with Rosaria Chladek between 1981 and 1995. Following a meeting with Greek choreographer Zouzou Nicoloudi she discovers a passion for Greek mythology, and between 1984 and 1991 she creates some choreographies around mythological characters, using her own voice as auditory support. In 1982 she begins teaching dance in her mother Graziella Bonzanigo’s school. Later she teaches in the training course programme organised by the Rosaria Chladek International Association. In 1984 she meets Daniele Finzi Pasca, with whom she begins an intense and long-lasting artistic collaboration. For years they run the company Teatro Sunil together. The following year they create a circus act together with Fabrizio Arigoni.
Together with Daniele Finzi Pasca and Marco Finzi Pasca she elaborates an image of the art of clowning, dance and acting; a theatrical technique they name the “theatre of the caress”.
Between 1984 and 2003 she collaborates with the Teatro Sunil in around thirty creations as actress, dancer, composer of the stage music, choreographer or director: among others Viaggio al Confine, Dialoghi col Sonno, Concordanze, Passo Migratore, Icaro, Percossi Obbligati, Patria, Aitestas, Visitatio (co-produced by Carbone 14 of Montreal), Di Sogno e Volo, Te Amo, Tres Tristes Tangos are worth a mention.
In 1995 she meets Hugo Gargiulo (scenographer, actor and writer), whom she marries in 1998 and with whom she establishes a strong artistic understanding.
In 2002 and 2003 she composes the music to Nomade – la nuit le ciel est plus grand and Rain –comme une pluie dans tes yeux for the Cirque Éloize in Montreal.
Between the years 2004 and 2005 she composes most of the music to Corteo for the Cirque du Soleil, also taking care of the artists’ preparation on stage both musically and choreographically. In 2006 she is part of the directing team in the Turin Winter Olympics closing ceremony, designing the acrobatic choreographies and composing original music for the ceremony.
In 2007 she signs the choreography and composes the music – recorded by the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana – for Nebbia, a Cirque Éloize and Teatro Sunil production. For this she is awarded, in 2009, the Gascon-Roux prize, of the Théatre du Nouveau Monde in Montreal, Canada.
Between 2009 and 2010 she writes the music, recorded in Moscow at the Mosfilm by the Rachmaninov Orchestra, to Donka, a Compagnia Finzi Pasca and the Chekhov International Theatre Festival production together with the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, created on the occasion of Anton Chekhov’s 150th birth anniversary. Maria is also responsible for the show’s choreographies and musical concept.
In 2011 she is one of the team who founds the Compagnia Finzi Pasca, together with Antonio Vergamini, Daniele Finzi Pasca, Hugo Gargiulo and Julie Hamelin Finzi (in alphabetical order) . The new company encloses the Teatro Sunil and Inlevitas.
In 2011 she also takes care of the choreographies in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Italy, later introduced at the Mariinsky theatre in St Petersburg, Russia. The show was resumed in 2014.
In January 2012 the Compagnia Finzi Pasca together with the Teatro Sociale in Bellinzona produce a concert which presents a selection of Maria’s stage compositions written over a 25-year time lapse.
Still in 2012 Maria Bonzanigo composes the music to the show La Verità, the orchestral parts of which were once again recorded by the OSI (Orchestra della Svizzera italiana). She is responsible for the choreographies, with Daniele Finzi Pasca, and generally for the sound design of the show.
In 2013 she composes the soundtrack to Mohammed Soudani’s film Green Gold, and in 2014 she writes the music to Bianco su Bianco, the company’s latest creation.
Since 2012 she has passionately returned to writing chamber music composing I miei mondi for the piano and Sale sui Cavalli di Sole for the Trio des Alpes. She is working on more chamber compositions, choir pieces, the soundtrack for a documentary about CERN, music for another show by the Compagnia Finzi Pasca.
Her work was published by Ed. Jecklin (Zurich), Teatro Sunil, Cirque Éloize, Cirque du Soleil, Ed. De Agostini and Compagnia Finzi Pasca.