intervista personale

Published 16/04/2016


 Pierluigi Abbondanza,

 dance photographer






Pierluigi Abbondanza was born into a family of photographers, starts from an early age became interested in the work of parents, continues to follow the family business in parallel with studies up to 27 years old when he opened a studio just doing pictures for advertising and portraits. To 38 years old is fascinated by the discipline of Ballet, following lessons in the Hall in order to have a better understanding and began photographing shows and classes. He was invited to scale at the ballet school, following and photographing lessons for four years with results appreciated so much that his pictures are used for the calendar of 1998 Porselli. During the same period follows and photographer for two years at the Accademia Nazionale di danza in Rome the dance lessons and was invited to photograph the final show of the Princess Grace Academy in Monte Carlo by Marika Besobrasova. Since 1997 following as official photographer summer internships of the Royal Academy of Dance of London in Italy and the masters of St. Petersburg in Rapallo. This collaboration is made the official calendar of the Italian Royal Academy 2000. Since 1999 consistently follows the dance studios and launched a line of posters, postcards and calendars. Continues to take pictures by great artists such as Luciana Savignano, Svetlana Zakharova and many others.



Dear Pierluigi, we start with the memories of your childhood and with the first approach to the art of photography?

My memories are tied to things that disappeared, dark rooms with red light and tubs for developments; Once photography was built by hand, a knowledge and an emotion that you are missing out. Had my first camera at the age of 9 years was one of the worst on the market 2 Bencini Koroll but indestructible. The film allowed only 12 shots so I trained to look for the person who really deserved.

What was the catalyst that triggered your passion and interest in dance?

It was an invitation to photograph an essay. There was a strange magic that I didn't understand but fascinated me. Some time later I was asked to photograph of the lessons that I have a lot more buff and from there began my career in dance.

You're famous for your photographs you tell the noble art of dance. Since you started, how it changed the world dance from your point of view?

Surely the technique has improved a lot but I think he got too much attention compared to the expression and emotions that dancing has to transmit.

Your passion for dance shots take you to photograph "moving moments", uses some special technique?

Honestly, I only care to find the moment that excites me more, interestingly is also the time when the pitch is perfect and the excitement is at maximum.

How you manage to catch the famous "Dead Poets Society"?

You live with the artist instead of "Chase", there is no other technique.

In your opinion, for all young people who want to get closer to this art, as one lives in photography in our country?

It's a good job that gives a lot of satisfaction cosmetics but you live so hard, like all art-related jobs in our country are not recognized and respected as it happens abroad.

What are the photographers who have most inspired in your career?

I would say Robert Doisneau that taking photographs extremely lives with unique moments. Although dated retain the same vivacity of the moment of the shot. And then the portraits of Berengo Gardin very descriptive of people's lives.

You were fortunate to partner with international companies, in your opinion are there any differences between Italian and foreign photography in the methodology?

No, there are no major differences, only that foreign theaters have better use of stage lights making it easier to work.

What are your most significant stages in the photographic world duh-studies!!?

Surely all those years photographing the lessons of Ballet School of La Scala, who infused dance knowledge valuable for my work. And then the encounter with Svetlana Zakharova which allowed me to discover that I was at the height of the largest étoile.

In emotional terms what does it represent for you photography?

Through photography, I can prove to other the emotion I feel looking at the dance.

In your spare time I dabble with photography or is it just a profession?

When working in art there is never a clear boundary between work and private life. Art leaves little room to do more. To me, photography is not only a profession but a part of my life.

What was the meeting in the dance world that proved important for your professional growth?

A dancing master, Carlos Palacios, who taught me to grasp life in photos of the steps. He said: "there is a moment in the step where you live, you have to see it and capture it before it remains only the shape". A teaching of great value.

In addition to dance what do you like to photograph?

Typically landscapes and animals, I have three cats ...

Today we use very photoshop and photo editing, what do you think about that?

Photo editing is born with photography. In my day we worked on the negative to correct every flaw he had and it kept with the correction in the darkroom when printing and development. Photoshop is a great evolution of this. A great photographer Andreas Feininger, said: "There is not much difference between how do you see the eye and the camera, the eye sees the most important things and leave out the flaws while the machine picks up everything". So there is a lot of work done before, during and after the shoot to make the photo as close as possible "to the perfect image" that the eyes had seen.

How important is the "light" for your work?

Since the word photography means writing or drawing with light I'd say he has a great deal of importance. Light is an essential part in the emotion of the shape drawing. The same movements with a strong frontal light or a candle cut describe two different emotions. Light is the third essential component of a show, with music and choreography. In these three components the artist creates and my job is to return in the most alive can this creation.

What kind of procedures do you usually (if you do) on photographs taken?

Generally speaking about light to save all the details that would be lost if incorrect, then as a second operation cutting.

What is your favorite camera and lens? What do you use regularly?

Habitual use Nikon D800 with the goal 70-200 F 2.8 but I'd be curious to try a Mirrorlens of last generation.

It still uses film or everything has become digital-only?

You can still find something in film but digital technology has made it much more practical work, you don't have to resort to outside laboratories for developments hoping that give you the product you want but you can check directly on the computer. Also large companies like Kodak have already announced the end of production of films.

I had the pleasure of reading your book about Svetlana Zakharova. Tell me how did the idea of this book and what was it like working with a large étoile current player?

Me and Svetlana we liked each other professionally since the early meetings, I was fascinated by the quality of his movement and emotion that passed and she liked them back in my photographs. Svetlana had expressed a desire to do something together so I offered her the book she eagerly accepted. This followed two years of intensive work, this book on his request was to inspire in those who turned a "wow" to every page. Svetlana herself is demanding and essential, knows exactly what he wants, and decided the choice of photos in the same spirit. It was very rewarding to work with her and at the same time very simple. Is priceless for me to have on my personal copy of the book as a "thank you" to full page!

You said recently that you have in the pipeline, you and Svetlana, another book, right?

Yes, loved it so much the first one during the presentation of the book at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples announced that the pictures that I made to Giselle were the beginning of his second book.

Let the memory book ... When I say Ballet School of Teatro alla Scala, what occurs immediately?

A particular impression that I will never forget the most was the perception of the Academy itself as something magical. The elegance and the education of girls that greeted you bowing, we gave the perception of a timeless place and out of touch. Classroom work was stiff but intuition that being there was a privilege for both the girls for me. His years at ballet school were crucial, since they have brought profound knowledge of this art exactly how they should live it the dancers to make it their own. I will never cease to thank Mrs. Anna Maria Prina at the time Director of the school for giving me this gift.

While at the Accademia Nazionale di danza in Rome?

The transition from Ballet School of teatro alla Scala at the National Academy was very clear. The atmosphere of the Academy was more "education", the commitment of the students in class was always remarkable but different. Actually there is not much difference between a school that lives inside a theater in constant contact with its artists and its stage as in scale, from the life of the school as it is in the Academy in Rome.

You are currently the official photographer of the summer workshop of the Royal Academy of Dance, what kind of experience is?

Are the most important and popular Internship in Europe for schools affiliates RAD. For me it is a beautiful and rewarding challenge to photograph so many different classes with good teachers who are mostly former professional dancers.

You had the good fortune to photograph and work with the masters of St. Petersburg in Rapallo, an internship that I know very well and you can count as a real Italian establishment, the most historic classic level. If I remember correctly I was born an exhibition?

Yes, my first exhibition was among other things of which I have a good memory. Was the internship that allowed me to know the Russian school and the St. Petersburg Mariinsky dancers. I remember still with a shudder the splendid "bars" of Russian dancers guests along with professional dancers of Italian companies present to the stage, seemed to come from another planet, gorgeous!

In addition to Zakharova who want to remember between all the dancers and dancers that are passed in front of your lens?

With my work I have the advantage of knowing the artists not only professionally but also in their humanity. Remember Natalia Osipova, pure and seemingly fragile private electricity on stage, Ivan Vasiliev explosive on stage and off it, Opera enthusiast who sang at a dinner the whole opera of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, Leonid Sarafanov and Olesya Novikova elegant and deeply in love, the first time we met Leonid introduced me to his wife saying: "my love," Dinu Tamazlacaru wonder, and I could mention many more jumps, Polina Semionova, Evgenia Obraztsova, Luciana Savignano, Lucia Lacarra and Marlon Dino, Myrna Kamara, Phoebus and all the Scala family etc. At the end I can say that every artist is a whole universe unto itself and each of them was a unique experience.

For you the art of dance, beyond photography, what does it mean?

For me it's a borderland between reality and dream where the dancers such as antique smugglers give us emotions and dreams. Movements become vivid and intense, the shapes and lights allow us to taste aesthetics in everyday life they escape.

A tip for all those who wish to learn about the photo linked to the world of Ballet?

First of all to love dancing, never stop learning and being always curious.

After many years, to those who say a heartfelt thank you for your important artistic career?

Anna Maria Prina, for opening the doors of the dancing school, Carlos Palacios for teaching me the qualitative assessment of my images, Svetlana Zakharova for choosing me for your first book and Frederic Olivieri which promoted the first contact with Svetlana, but especially to my lifelong companion and adventure to have believed in me more than I believe I.

Finally your thoughts on the world of dance seen from the inside?

I can say, that for good or bad, it's nice to be there, I had to start all over again we wouldn't go again without thinking twice.

Michele Olivieri