If and only if

Their eyes meet, but only for seconds, before the dancers drift apart again. In his choreography “If and only if”, Rodolpho Leoni combines virtuoso duets and solos in a series of fleeting encounters and snapshots. The choreographer chases the company of the Folkwang Tanzstudio (FTS) across the stage in sometimes breathtakingly quick step combinations. Terse, precisely defined scenes, whose emotional tone runs the whole gamut from oblivious aloneness to cool indifference to hot-tempered excitability, develop to Latin-American rhythms like the samba, rumba and cha-cha-cha. Leoni does not grant the dancers nor the audience many breaks, edits images in quick succession and finally makes them jump back to the start like a furioso perpetuum mobile.

Following Michèle Anne & Thierry De Mey, Rodolpho Leoni continues the succession of internationally renowned guest choreographers at the Folkwang Tanzstudio. Brazilian-born Leoni came to Germany in 1988 via the New York-based Martha Graham School for Contemporary Dance. He created his first choreographies in 1992 and founded his own company, “rodolpho leoni dance”, in 1996. He created pieces for the Ballett Nürnberg, the Tanzkompagnie St. Gallen, and others, trained companies like the Tanztheater Münster or the Ballett Schindowski. Leoni was awarded the Deutsche Produzentenpreis für Choreographie (German Producer Award for Choreography, DPC) 2005/2006 for his choreography “Speak”. His dance language is direct, highly emotional and marked both by flowing movements and a purist, clear aesthetic style.

At the end of 2006, Rodolpho Leoni was appointed professor of modern dance/dance choreography at the Folkwang University of the Arts.

“… The piece which is set to Brazilian dance music finds its rhythm even in silence; it celebrates a cultivated joy of dancing, avoiding all clichés, posturing, and expressions of sentiment. What counts are the present moment and the next one, deciding in favour of this (and not that) within split seconds. Thinking without reflecting.”…
(M. Suchy, tanz journal 1/07)