Perfect imperfection



While dancers are always searching for perfection, Walter Matteini, co-artistic director of ImPerfect Dancers, explains that they can never achieve it. “True perfection lies in imperfection. Our dancers are all different — like a puzzle, each one completes the other.” The dancers may not be able to achieve perfection on their own, but as a group their combined imperfection brings them much closer to that ideal.

For their first Canadian performance, the company from Pisa, Italy will perform two different works. Istante, choreographed by Walter Matteini, is a short piece for four dancers. The title translates to “instant” or “moment,” and the piece is a reflection on the moment when people truly know themselves. “It’s about a moment where they will be lucid,” said Matteini, “in that moment they will see themselves and realize themselves. That instant is important.”

The Unseen Garden, a new creation also by Matteini, is about a place where we are free to reveal our true identities. “Every person has a secret garden,” explained Matteini, “you never really show how you are.” Although people often hide a certain part of their character, sometimes they want to share with somebody and open up to them, said Matteini. Revealing our weaknesses and our fears can remove boundaries and open our imagination.

“In that moment they will see themselves and realize themselves. That instant is important.”

Walter Matteini, co-artistic director of ImPerfect Dancers


The members of ImPerfect Dancers use their imaginations to add their own interpretations to Matteini’s choreography, but he doesn’t rely on much collaboration, and he never does improvisation.

“I start from an idea and I do research, I read, and after that I start working with the dancers,” said Matteini. Music is also a very important part of the creative process for him: “The music comes first. I never start creating without music.” For his works at Chutzpah, he draws from the works of composers such as Bach, Vivaldi, Max Richter, and Philip Glass.

The creative atmosphere at ImPerfect Dancers is one of mutual respect. “We don’t ask the dancers to be a family,” said Matteini, “they are not obliged, but if it happens, it’s good.” Ina Broeckx, co-artistic director adds, “There is a lot of community; it’s not like we are the directors and they are the dancers. We spend so much time together. Everybody is at the same level, but we demand respect.”

With a similar kind of respect for the audience, Matteini and Broeckx aren’t too concerned with whether people like the works, but they do hope that they evoke some kind of emotion.

“When we do a creation, we hope people like it, or they can hate it, but we hope they discuss it,” said Matteini. Broeckx continued, “The most important thing is that people discuss it and talk about the work. It’s like a painting — it can be different for people — it’s subjective.”

The company, in all its imperfection, is very excited to come to Vancouver for their Canadian premiere.

ImPerfect Dancers will perform as part of the Chutzpah Festival at the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre March 6 to 9. For more information, visit