Our Company


L'espace APS/ASD was founded in 2012 in Palermo with the aim of promoting and disseminating avant-garde and research-based contemporary dance and culture locally, nationally and internationally, and it has became a point of reference for its revolutionary and holistic approach through the productions of its dance company, its commitment to dissemination and its educational programme.

The association was founded by choreographer and dancer Giovanni Zappulla, who i salso artistic director of the Zappulla DMN company and creator of the innovative DMN method, which stems from the substantial union of contemporary dance, Taijiquan and Zhineng Qigong. This method is the expression of a model of study consistent with human nature in all its aspects (biomechanical, energetic and psichi), and it sjpws itself thanks to disciplines that enable the development of human potential by re-establishing the heritage of internal connections.

President of the association and co-director of the Zappulla DMN company is the dancer Annachiara Trigili, who together with the musician and composer Giuseppe Rizzo, the dancer Roberta D'Ignoti, and the visual artist Petra Trombini constitute the main creative core.

One of the goals of our company is to stage pure and natural dance through the close link between mind and body, making the dancer a means to push the audience to experience the performance as both an aesthetic and emotional experience.

The company has a repertoire consisting of the following shows:

  • Apollo e Dafne (2015), a duo with music by Giuseppe Rizzo;
  • Memories from the future (2016), a trio on Beethoven's Seventh Symphony;
  • Sul Sentimento (2017), on music by Fabio Badalamenti;
  • Natural Landscapes (2016), a collaboration between the Zappulla DMN company and the M.I.M. Arte Escénico Collective of Mexico City, a piece for 10 dancers with music by Giuseppe Rizzo;
  • Wunderkammer (2021), trio with music by Giuseppe Rizzo;
  • Dafne e Apollo (2022), a duo with live music by G. Rizzo and videomapping.

The association's operational headquarters is Centro Xinergie in Palermo, a space created in collaboration with the Quarto Tempo association that represents a nerve centre for art, production and training, conceived to create synergies between different activities and professionalism. Inside, there are two large coworking and three multipurpose rooms used mainly for dance training and all artistic production.

The association has a partnership with La Galèrie Chorégraphique in Carcassonne (FR) directed by Thierry Gourmelen and is the winner of three European Erasmus+ projects for the dissemination of good practices through the art of choreography. These three projects, currently in progress, are Dance Highways, Viral Visions and InToDaTe and contribute to the creation of a strong international network with various realities operating in the contemporary dance scene including:

  • La Fundición - Asociación Puertas Abiertas (Bilbao, Spain);
  • Dansearena nord (Trømso, Norway);
  • Fundacja Rozwoju Teatru ’NOWA FALA’; (Wasaw, Poland);
  • Theater der Klänge (Düsseldorf, Germany);
  • Body Architects (Wien, Austria);
  • Mala akademija umjetnosti (Ernestinovo, Croatia).

They together give rise to training and performance events.
In fact, in May 2021, the association organised the first edition of the Festival Dissidanza in Palermo and in October 2022 the second one, involving national and international artists involved in experimental and innovative performance projects among contaminations and avant-garde technologies.

Through its productions, the Zappulla DMN company has carried out several international projects, including in 2016 a collaboration with the M.I.M. Arte Escénico Collective in Mexico City that gave rise to an artistic residency and to the creation of the show for 10 dancers “Natural Landscapes”, performed at the TMO in Palermo and at the Dance Theatre in Mexico City.

The company also took part in:

  • 2019 e 2020 editions of Festival Danses- Cités de Carcassonne,
  • Choreographic platform of Rencontres mouvementées di Toulouse in December 2020,;
  • Dissidanse Festival in Ajaccio in September 2021
  • U:New Festival in Warsaw in December 2021 in September 2022.

The association is also involved in professional and amateur training through weekly courses, stages and workshops with choreographer Giovanni Zappulla and the Zappulla DMN company, as well as collaborations with national and international artists such as Damiano Bigi, Patrice Usseglio, Marina Rocco, Michèle Ettori, Fabien Delisle, pursuing the dissemination of DMN method, which represents an innovation in the training panorama of performers and dancers.

DMN's origins

Danza Movimento Naturale method was created in 2005 by Giovanni Zappulla, who is choreographer, dancer and artistic director of his choreographic centre L’espace.
Giovanni's long stay in France - precisely at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Boulogne-Billancourt and at the RIDC (Rencontres Internationales de Danse Contemporaine) - led him to deepen the path already taken by the dancer Isadora Duncan (1877-1827).

In the footsteps of Isadora Duncan: the rebel genius and her 'inner movement'

Isadora was a rebellious genius and an indispensable part of dance history because she did not have a pre-established academic education and had the courage to explore. Thus, the Danza Movimento Naturale method takes its starting point from an in-depth study of this American dancer’s technique, the first one to speak of internal movement.
"We could define it as a movement that finally resolves the dichotomy between spirit and body. A dichotomy that has been imposed as a superstructure but that the Greeks did not know: in theatre they were musicians, actors, dancers together. In the same way, internal movement starts from the soul, radiates to the bones and deep muscles, to the mind and body: it is a force that we have not been used to taking advantage of for centuries” Zappulla points out.

The connection with eastern disciplines

The DMN method was born out of the collaboration between choreographer Giovanni Zappulla and dancer Annachiara Trigili and it develops through the substantial union of contemporary dance with music and the encounter with Taijiquan Chen and Qigong, two eastern disciplines in which lies the concept of internal movement that is consistent with human nature in its biomechanical, energetic and psychic aspects.
“It should come as no surprise that Western thought and techniques meet Eastern ones, just as mind and body can dialogue again through DMN method, because human body is conceived as an orchestral instrument” observes Zappulla and also adds “It has the same harmony that we find in the images of the dancing Greek figures, the same harmony that Isadora sought in museums, and then brought back to the theatre: the natural place of this harmony”.

Questions to (re)start from

What contemporary dance has been doing again for just over a century is to give the body the opportunity to construct its natural history and express its essential movement according to its true balance. By the DMN method, body learns to listen to these laws.
"We have to start with some questions: do we let our bodies express their own rhythm? How can we follow their natural mechanisms to really move, regardless of the effect to produce and the result to achieve? How can we move slowly or quickly, without being forced into artificial movement? If technological progress has helped shrink the space-time in which we bulimically acquire information, what about individual space-time?" asks Giovanni Zappulla.

Sicily, abroad, past and future

The DMN method has already been exported across borders, from France to Mexico, through workshops and performances in which dancer's body is no longer considered as an object to be subjected to often irreversible wear and tear as a tribute to the aesthetics of movement, but as a centre of strength, growth, and well-being. Thus, the dancer becomes strong through dance itself, dance becomes natural again, as well as incredibly rich, bodies can go far beyond questions of techniques and styles and movement has its own truth.
“At the same time the research that I carry out could only be born in Sicily. The company that I direct could only be conceived in a land with an immense heritage of culture and that possesses the strengths and capabilities to find a meeting point. A contemporaneity in evolutionary continuity with a past in which mind and body were united in a single harmony. Our task is to find it again. Only then will the dancer realise that he has already music inside him, written only for him: and all he can do is to listen to it and share it”, choreographer Giovanni continues.


Our Company

DMN’s origins

The Zappulla DMN Company was founded in 2015 in Palermo in order to promote and disseminate contemporary dance locally, nationally and internationally. The founding artists are choreographer, dancer and teacher Giovanni Zappulla and dancer and teacher Annachiara Trigili. The Zappulla DMN Company was born out of a passion for unconventional dance and continuous training that has led, over the years, to an awareness of the need to restore quality and dignity to dance movement, which are elements often sidelined in favour of a purely aesthetic result. Therefore, the high-level pedagogical and choreographic commitment based on the Danza Movimento Naturale method was born. The Zappulla DMN Company is based at Centro Xinergie in Palermo, where various cultural activities take place in continuity with the artistic and pedagogical objectives of its association and founding team: contemporary dance, contact improvisation, theatre and music, Qigong and Taijiquan Chen style.

Giovanni Zappulla

Giovanni Zappulla (Palermo, 13/10/1973), dancer and choreographer, trained at National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Boulogne-Billancourt (Paris), and graduated in June 1999 from the French RIDC (Rencontres Internationale de Danse Contemporaine founded by Françoise and Dominique Dupuy and directed by Brigitte Hyon) and is a professor of contemporary dance.
He is a Qigong operator with a national diploma issued by ACSI; Qigong operator and FISTQ (Italian Federation of Tuina and Qigong Schools) teacher; 2nd level Chen style Taijiquan instructor (national diploma issued by ACSI) and student of Master Wang Hai Jun (12th generation of the style). He has danced in various French compagnie, including Gigi Caciuleanu and Ruxandra Racovitza and for the Choreographic Centre Vallée D'Or directed by Serge Keuten, where he also organised choreographic workshops for children and adolescents.

In 1998 he created the Arteos company in Paris and in 2001 he returned to Palermo to stage the show Coin café , a play for four dancers and an actress, at Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa in Palermo.

In 2006 he was the creator and promoter of the Choreographic Centre L'espace, for which he takes care of its artistic and pedagogical direction, and of the dance company L'espace, with which he created the shows Lezioni di Volo, L'Aviateur, Coming Soon and Tech No Trash (the latter is a show on recycling and promotion of renewable energies that he will take on tour for Energie Alter-native festival).

In 2015 he created the Zappulla DMN Company, which works to promote and disseminate contemporary dance locally, nationally and internationally.
The company is based at Centro Xinergie in Palermo, where cultural activities of various kinds take place: contemporary dance, contact improvisation, theatre and music, Qigong and Taijiquan Chen style.
What drives this company's commitment is passion for dance, through choreographic production and a high-level pedagogical training effort based on the innovative method DMN. This method he conceived represents a training possibility in the contemporary choreographic field; it is based on a holistic vision of the individual and draws on the oriental knowledge of Taijiquan and Qigong, working on the multiple aspects of the human beings to reawaken their potential, re-establish their physical and emotional connections for a strongly expressive and performative result.
The fruit of this method's work can be seen in the creations he has been staging since 2016:

  • Apollo e Dafne
  • Memories from the future
  • Natural Landscape, born out of an international collaboration with M.I.M. Arte Escénico (Mexico City), Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and Secretaria de Cultura in Mexico City.
  • Love You-man' s love, a performance on pre-Christian rituals of altered consciousness that is currently under creation.

Moreover, the company is the winner of the European projects Dance Highways, Viral Visions and InToDaTe, aimed at the creation of an international network for the dissemination of avant-garde choreographic culture and research and thanks to which Festival Dissidanza 2021 and 2022 were created in partnership with the associations L'espace and Quarto tempo, as well as with the French and Spanish cultural Institutes and the municipality of Palermo.

Annachiara Trigilli

Annachiara Trigili (Palermo, 19/07/1983) graduated in Performing Arts Science and Technology with a specialisation in Musicology and Performing Arts at University of Palermo.
She is a qualified Qigong operator recognised by the ACSI and the FISTQ (Italian Federation of Qigong and Tuina Schools), and she is also a 2nd level Taijiquan Chen style instructor (national diploma issued by ACSI) and a student of Master Wang Hai Jun (12th generation style).

She began classical and contemporary dance studies in Palermo and participated in numerous national and international workshops: Bruce Taylor, Wayne Byars, Brigitte Hyon, Marina Rocco, Gigi Caciuleanu, Sasha Stepkine, Andrè La Fonta, Keiko Saintorant, Sophie Chadeffaux, Sarah Reina, Patrice Usseglio, Giusy Di Giugno, Damiano Bigi.

She contributed actively to the creation of the centre L'espace, of which she is a founding member. With Giovanni Zappulla, she collaborated in the research and realisation of the Danza Movimento Naturale method.

In April 2004 she performed Lezioni di volo during an event organised at Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa in Palermo. 

She is currently a contemporary dance teacher at Centro Xinergie, a project born out of the collaboration between L'espace APS/ASD and Quarto Tempo APS/ASD, and is co-director and dancer of the Zappulla DMN Company directed by Giovanni Zappulla with whom she debuted in Palermo in December 2006 in the show Coming Soon.

She participated in the creations Tech no Trash, Jubilaction, Apollo and Daphne, Natural Landscapes, Wunderkammer and Daphne and Apollo. She is currently involved in the creation of the show Love you-man's love.

Roberta D'ignoti

Roberta D'Ignoti (11/12/1995) graduated in Literature, Music and Performing Arts at University of Palermo with a specialisation in Musicology and Performing Arts at University of Palermo.

She began dancing at the age of seven, has studied jazz and modern, then classical and contemporary dance at the choreographic centre L'espace with Giovanni Zappulla and Annachiara Trigili.
She has attended several classical and contemporary dance stages at Centre National de Danse in Paris with various teachers, and partecipated in a twinning project between L'espace and the CND coordinated by Marina Rocco and Giovanni Zappulla.

She took part in the contemporary dance internship with Marina Rocco (head of the IPRC of the CND in Paris) in 2013 and in the project 'Dance, space and architecture', held by Damiano Ottavio Bigi, a dancer from Pina Bausch's company. Furthermore, in 2014 she took part in 'Unitanz', a cycle of studies in contemporary technique and choreography in Lecce, Italy, organised by the Folkwang Universität in Essen with lecturers such as Malou Airaudo, Giorgia Maddamma, Rodolpho Leoni, Susanne Linke and Stephan Arndt.

Committed to training in DMN method, she is now a professional dancer in Giovanni Zappulla's company, for which she has performed "Tech no trash", "Memories from the future", "Natural Landscapes" at the Teatro Mediterraneo Occupato (Palermo) and Teatro de la Danza (Mexico City), "On feeling" and "Wunderkammer".

She plays Chen style Taijiquan and Zhineng Qigong.

Sandra Gomez Villavicencio

She is a dancer and scenic creator with a focus on internal, natural and martial movement. She has begun in Centro Morelense of the Arts of the State of Morelos and in the Foramen M. Ballet, both in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

In search of training continuity and stage specialisation, she has followed courses in theatre, dance, music, technology and performance with masters such as Giovanni Zappulla, Aladino R. Banca, Nicolas Poggi, Francisco Cordova, La Bruja Danza, Jovair Longo, Jean Sebastien-Lourdais, Master Sui Heng Sheng (direct disciple of Shin Yan Ming, 34th generation of Shaolin warriors) and others.

She is currently learning Chinese martial arts and teaches Shaolin Kung Fu to children. She is co-founder of the Beznei Collective, where she has been involved as a creator and performer, with a total of seven of her own productions of small and large format, presented in various states in Mexico.

She won a scholarship with PECDA Morelos 2015-2016 (Morelos artistic creation and development stimulus programme) as emerging creator/dance/choreography, with the project "INMANENTE. La última es/cena”.

From 2015 to 2017 she collaborated with M.I.M. Arte Escénico with whom she performed on stages in Mexico City, Guanajuato, Morelos and Puebla (Mexico) and Palermo (Italy).

In 2016, she participated in the first artistic residency with the Zappulla DMN Company, with which she presented shows at the TMO in Palermo and at the Teatro della Danza (Mexico).

In 2018 she was again invited to Palermo in order to learn the DMN method, a project with mobility sponsorship from Prince Claus Fund.

Giuseppe Rizzo

Giuseppe Rizzo (13/11/1980) graduated in Guitar in 2007 from Vincenzo Bellini Conservatory of Music in Palermo under the guidance of Maurizio Norrito.
In 2011 he graduated in Music Instrument Didactics. In 2017 he graduated with a master's degree in Electronic Music.

As a composer, sound designer and live electronics performer, he has several collaborations in theatre, film and performing arts, including:

  • with Alessandra Pescetta ('L'ombra della sposa', 2017, produced by La Casa dei Santi Film, selected for the 74th Venice Film Festival, Orizzonti section);
  • with Letizia Russo and Franco Visioli ("You know I'm no good", 2017, produced by Venice Biennale for the 2017 Biennale Teatro festival);
  • with Claudio Collovà ("Horcynus Orca - Transito e ricongiungimento", 2016, and "Ulyssage #3 - Telemachia", 2013, produced by Teatro Biondo Stabile, Palermo; "Massa e Potere", 2015, and "Ogni qualvolta levo gli occhi dal libro", 2014, produced by Fondazione Orestiadi, Gibellina);
  • with Claudio Collovà ("Horcynus Orca - Transito e ricongiungimento", 2016, and "Ulyssage #3 - Telemachia", 2013, produced by Teatro Biondo Stabile, Palermo; "Massa e Potere", 2015, and "Ogni qualvolta levo gli occhi dal libro", 2014, produced by Fondazione Orestiadi, Gibellina);
  • with Giuseppe Massa ('Nel fuoco in chorus', 2016, MIBACT; 'Sono venuto sull'onda rovesciata con delle perle sulla fronte', 2016, SuttaScupa);
  • with the Dadalchemici company ("AlProleter", 2013, Fondazione Orestiadi, Gibellina);
  • with Andreea Costenco ("Camino HistoryOrganicStructure", 2012, Galleria Odeon, Bucarest);
  • with Isabella Ragonese, with whom he won several theatre prizes ('Che male vi fo', 2004, of which he is also co-author of the text, 'Asina', 2006, 'Bestino', 2004);
  • with Andrea Cusumano ('SomethingaboutLisistrata', 2005, a dramaturgy applied to space, by Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London).

In 2010 he published for ZONA Editrice 'Inferni in cerimonia', an audiobook of poetry and electroacoustic music with writer Antonino Bondì. Since 2009 he has been a member of the dance company OmoniaContemporaryArts, directed by Silvia Giuffrè, with whom he has produced several shows ("Prendo il corpo in parola", "3:00 di Alice Tatge", "L'uomo nero", "SHARE", "La donna puma").

He currently collaborates with Sicilian singer-songwriter Simona Norato, with whom he produced the album "La fine del mondo" in 2015, released by La Fionda Dischi under the artistic supervision of Cesare Basile, for whom he also composed the electronics and soundscape for the albums "U fujutu su nesci chi fa?" in 2017, "Tu prenditi l'amore che vuoi e non chiederlo più" in 2015, both released by Urtovox/Audioglobe.

Since 2006 he has been a stage musician with the contemporary dance company L’espace in Palermo, for which he has composed and played live music for several shows:

  • "Coming Soon", 2006, produced by the Regional Province of Palermo;
  • "Tech No Trash" 2010, co-produced by the Festival Energie Alter-Native;
  • "Natural Landscapes", 2017, co-produced by MIM Arte Escénico and world premiered at the Teatro de la Danza - Centro Cultural del Bosque in Mexico City;



Love you-man's love

Choreography and direction: Giovanni Zappulla
Music: Giuseppe Rizzo
Duration: 60 minutes

"Love you-man's love" stems from research into the spiritual origins of the movement, which in turn stems from an anthropological and ethnomusical investigation into the trance of ancient Mediterranean peoples.
In particular, the studies conducted on the rites and traditions of pre-Christian Sicily through the guidance of ethnomusicologist Sergio Bonanzinga of University of Palermo and Giuliana Maria Rizzuto, an ethnoanthropologist and expert on the Middle East and Coptic culture, provide scientific support.
An important contribution also comes from the hypnosis techniques conducted by Vannina Bruna, president of the Mediterranean Association of Ericksonian Hypnosis based in Corsica.

It is an intercultural project on countries in the Mediterranean area, which united by a history of conquest and coexistence between heterogeneous peoples and cultures, have enriched their contemporary social substratum by sharing a similar yet unique past.

Through choreographer Giovanni Zappulla’s DMN methodology, this piece seeks to highlight what human beings universally share: love, interpreted as universal energy that mind uses when it is immersed in an altered state of consciousness, such as the meditative state, which leads to the awareness of the bond between individual and universe. It is a reflection on the practices that have always populated every part of the world and on the potential of the human beings who, by dancing celebrate their hymn to life.

The challenge is to bring onto the stage dancers who are able to access altered states of consciousness consciously, making them ultra-sensitive and therefore highly expressive artists. The project includes a first phase of choreographic, anthropological and musical research concerning the pre-Christian era and a second phase to discover hypnosis techniques, a legacy of the American psychotherapist Milton H. Erickson. The research focuses on rituals and ceremonies which, through movement and music, lead to a state of trance. The group consists of dancers, musicians and singers and offers the spectator an intense, but above all always different experience: the artists, drawing from an altered state of consciousness, will create an ever new result with each performance.

"Love you-man's love" also benefits from the valuable collaboration with composer and sound designer Giuseppe Rizzo, whose experiences range from classical composition to electroacoustic research, and singer Irene Ientile. This project integrates the materials collected from the research, which are processed through live electronics and real time sound processing, a technology for capturing and immediately transforming sound to create a vibrant musical universe.

The artist on stage, in an altered state, draws from his stream of consciousness, giving life to sounds, noises, chants, words and phrases that are extremely coherent with the inner landscape he is experiencing, which, digitally reworked, produce a sound atmosphere of strong aesthetic impact. In this profound state, the artist produces images that the universe of his mind returns to him and that become inspiration for the set design that makes this particular environment visible to the spectator through the use of video technology.

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