Flavia Zaganelli Bologna, Italy

Artistic residency: Placebo Dances

Bologna, Italy
November 1–12, 2023
November 1–12, 2023

In November choreographer and dancer Flavia Zaganelli is invited to develop an artistic residency at Moving in November Festival in Helsinki, as guest of Santarcangelo Festival within the programme of Boarding Pass Plus Dance. Dedicated to the development of the choreography for Placebo Dances, the research is realised with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute of Helsinki.

The Placebo Dances are dances that revolve around Pleasure, that are moved from pleasure and toward pleasure are moving. They are dances generated by movement practices that Flavia Zaganelli has been working since the beginning of the pandemic: the dances surface thanks to the initial attention placed on the breath, which, guided and tamed, generates states of presence of body and mind; so that the body in motion break down toward two seemingly opposite tensions: ecstasy and abandonment. These are the two extreme ends of a physical and emotional tension that at its core accommodates pleasure, abandonment, tenderness, attention, ecstasy, collectivity, observation, release, eroticism, fragility, amusement.

Conceptually, the idea of Placebo Dances is rooted in the chemistry of the human body, in the almost absurd yet validated concept of the placebo effect, that is, the ability of the human mind to enact a chemical healing process in the face of a state of illness of the body at the very moment a person decides to take care of himself. Placebo Dances seeks a transposition of the same principle by bringing it from the micro-world of chemistry, to that of movement and performance. Is it possible to find an artificial dimension, as real and profound as that of dance and performance where one can experience processes of activating pleasure, well-being and “healing”? Can a bodily practice generate states of enjoyment, joy, deep presence, ecstasy and complete relaxation in both those who implement it and those who observe it? What do those who directly generate the practice experience? And what does the observer experience?

With Placebo Dances we traverse states of presence in a space-time that requires us to question the positioning of our body in the world. Precisely for this reason they lend themselves to become relational and open devices in different collective forms – workshop, community and sharing –to generate a connection between observed and observer, between moving bodies and static bodies to find a closeness of bodies that makes our being in the world erotic.

Italian dance artist and performer. She trained independently, collaborating since 2013 with international artists and choreographers. In 2017, she graduated from Tanzfabrik Contemporary Dance School and Smash#9, both in Berlin. She then began creating choreographic works collaborating with other artists and embarked on a more autonomous path. Her research is cross-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary. Her interests lie in relationships between things, hybrid forms, and collaborative processes. For her, dance and performance serve as tangible places to embody her thoughts about the future. In 2021, her first work The Game We Play premiered at the Danza Urbana Festival in Bologna and, thanks to the award of Bando Abitante by Compagnia Virgilio Sieni, she created and presented INVISIBILIA. In 2023, her last creation electrica /ecosi’stɛma/ premiered at Spazio Kor in the season co-curated by Chiara Bersani and Giulia Traversi. With her new research Placebo Dances, she is among the selected artists for the Boarding Pass Plus Dance 2023 grant.

Boarding Pass Plus Dance is a a project for professionalization and international mobility for dancers, choreographers, curators and producers funded by the Italian Ministry of Culture and promoted by a network of Italian organizations initiated by Comune di Bassano del Grappa – Operaestate / CSC with Associazione Culturale AREA06 – Short Theatre, Fondazione Piemonte Dal Vivo – Circuito Regionale Multidisciplinare, BASE Milano and Santarcangelo dei Teatri. The network shares the common mission of supporting the artistic development and professional growth of Italian artists by promoting their creative processes through mentoring and residencies, by presenting and facilitating the circulation of their works nationally and internationally. Boarding Pass Plus Dance is a response to the increasing need for artists to connect with the international scene, to research and discover new inspirations as much as to develop new collaborations and maximize their visibility.
In light of the new international challenges, the project rethinks the notion of mobility by providing Italian dance makers long residencies to create their own works, peer-to-peer artistic exchanges to cultivate future collaborations, public platforms on specific themes such as sustainability, inter-culturalism and dramaturgy in partner’s location and online presentations, dedicated to specific geographical areas to allow alternative forms of traveling and networking, exploring the digital as a collective space to overcome isolation and national borders.


Accessibility: venue accessible for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility. Facilitated access from side entrance through via A. Costa.

via Ruggeri, 16



idea Flavia Zaganelli
progetto supportato in residenza da Altes Finanzamt-Berlin (Queer kollektiv art space)
workshop ospitati da GADA Playhouse (Firenze), Paleotto11 (Bologna) e Danza Urbana Festival (Bologna)

© Stefano Scheda