“[…] eight dancers lead us towards what eventually resembles aneo-traditional rock rave. And when the two drummers unleash their bursts of rapid-fire percussion, which grab your guts and turn them upside down, it’s in the bag.”

Le Monde, 2013

In the concert-performance Based on a True Story the acclaimed choreographer Christian Rizzo places eight male dancers and two rock drummers on one stage. With increasing rhythm in a folkloric-trance-like state, the group of dancers becomes a community, sweeping us up into a ceremony whose moments of silence are no less powerful than the intensive playing of the two phenomenal drummers.

First appearing at the Avignon festival in 2013, Christian Rizzo aims to reproduce a breath-taking experience he once had in Istanbul, where a group of Turkish men burst onto stage during a performance and broke out into a short and intensive folkloric dance. In Based on a True Story Rizzo combines the same motifs of archaic intensity and ecstatic repetition, creating a kind of futuristic folklore based on a true story which was never written.

With an exceptional mixture of tribal rhythms and psychedelic rock, rugged masculinity and tenderness, both traditional and contemporary, earthly and spiritual, Rizzo’s dancers and drummers scorch the stage with electrifying energy. At the end of the show the audience is left not only elated, but is given the possibility of viewing the other, as well as themselves, with greater compassion.

Rizzo, who is the current artistic director of the International Choreographic Institute (ICI) in Montpellier, is a multi-disciplinary artist who came to the dance world from music and costume design. In Based on a True Story, he not only brings to the stage his distinctiveness as a choreographer, but his love of rock music and costume and set design.

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