For the past 30 years Roberto Zappalà has been running and recounting a lively and vibrant South «with tenacity, clarity, vision and continuous desire to move forward, to perfect his poetics, to give a home to his ideas of dance, naturally humanistic and philosophical» (delteatro.it).
Some characteristics of his creations: his personal narration on his land, Sicily, a rigorous work on his choreographic language called MoDem and the research on the vulnerability of the bodies, all characterised by an intense poetic line and by a deep dialogue with “the human”.
In 1989 the choreographer founded Compagnia Zappalà Danza, for which he realized over 80 creations, and he has also collaborated with other companies, including Balletto di Toscana, La Scala Theatre Ballet School in Milan, Norrdans, ArtEZ -Arnhem, Goteborg Ballet, Theater am Gaertnerplatz of Munich and others. His creations ‘A.semu tutti devoti tutti?’ (2009) and ‘La Nona’ (2015) have been awarded with the Danza&Danza Prize
In 2011, he created the choreographies for the Opening Ceremony of the World Fencing Championship and in 2016 he directed the project Parata Urbana for the Torinodanza festival and the Défilé of the Biennale de Lyon
He has worked with many opera directors, such as Daniele Abbado, Federico Tiezzi and Giorgio Barberio Corsetti, and with several artists from the international scene, including Giovanni Sollima, Paolo Fresu, Fabio Vacchi, Alfio Antico, Vincenzo Pirrotta, Gianluigi Trovesi.
Together with Christian Graupner (Humatic, Berlin) he realized the interactive installation “MindBox”, second Prize at the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition(Atlanta/USA 2011) and he has produced some essays on the methodology of his work, recently published in a single volume Omnia Corpora
Roberto Zappalà is also responsible for the conception and restoration of Scenario Pubblico, launched in 2002 and rare example in Italy of a European choreographic centre, recently recognized by the Italian Ministry as one of the four National Dance Production Centres.
In November 2013, he received the Italian Association of Theatre Critics Award and in 2019 the Danzuso Prize.