Gianni Santucci

Choreographer and Stage Director Gianni Santucci’s “exhilarating” and “striking contemporary choreography” (Bachtrack) has graced the world’s dance and operatic stages, earning him the International FINI Lifetime Achievement Award. Combining his extensive experience in gymnastics, body movement, acting and classical and contemporary dance, Santucci has brought his unique style of “total theatre” to productions in Italy, Russia, France, Switzerland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Finland, Norway, Greece, Spain, Belgium, Hungary, Oman, Japan, Israel and the United States.

Gianni Santucci began his life on the stage with classical dance studies in Arezzo, Rome and New York, later assimilating contemporary dance techniques under Alwin Nikolais, Enrica Palmieri and Carolyn Carlson. Early in his career, he performed as a dancer with ballet companies in Rome, Naples, Taormina, Urbino and Trieste, as well as with several New York ensembles. At the same time, Santucci was a gymnast competing at an elite level and winning national championships.

His passion as a performer prepared him for a celebrated career as creator, choreographer and collaborator. “The applause of the audience is what you’re looking for. That’s the point,” says Santucci.  “To see people understand your point of view from your hard work, and the fact that you have done your best. That is the reward that is truly priceless.”Santucci’s hard work and clear viewpoint are evidenced in recent stage directing engagements including revivals of Elisir d’Amore (Toulon), La Traviata (Avignon), Manon (Monte Carlo), Madama Butterfly (Sassori) and Carmen (Bilbao; Japan), as well as new productions of The Merry Wives of Windsor (Kaunas music Theatre, Lithuania), Tosca (Pompei Festival; Taormina Arte festival), Nabuccoand La Bohème (co-produced with S. Mazzonis for Tel Aviv; Opera Royal de Liège Wallonie), La Traviata (Ancona, Palazzo Farnese) La Fille de Mme Angot (Liège; Lausanne) Don Pasquale (Opera di Roma), Die Csárdásfürstin (Rome) and the staging of Pagliacci featured in Woody Allen’s 2012 film, To Rome with Love. Santucci has choreographed operas including I Vespri Siciliani (Mariinsky Theater) and Jerusalem (Opera Royal de Liège Wallonie).

His choreography can be seen on TV on shows like I Borgia, I Medici: Masters of Florence, HBO’s Rome; commercials for Ferrari, Fiat, and Peroni beer; as well the films John Wick 2, Third Person, Il Viaggio della Sposa, (awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival), MGM’s Ben Hur MMXVI, and Roberto Benigni’s Pinocchio.His own musical comedy, Nicola, il Santo, was produced in Bari in 2006.

Santucci’s upcoming engagements include choreographing a short movie by writer/director/producer Pavlina Proevska, scheduled for shooting in the spring of 2020. My Heart No Longer an Orphan is a true story about first love-last love set in the late 60s in Yugoslavia, and is a co-production between the Macedonian–based FilmsZaNas D.O.O.E.L and a Montenegrin co-producer. He is also teaching at the International Summer Intensive FINI Dance NYC culminating in a performance at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre, and staging the revival of Bizet’s Carmen and Donizetti’s Anna Bolena at the Royal Opera House of Muscat, Oman.

As a mentor and instructor, Santucci conducts stage direction and body movement masterclasses in Arezzo, Norway and Rome. He has held the position of ballet master at the Teatro Massimo Bellini Theatre in Catania and taught modern dance at the Centre Chorégraphique National Roubaix-Nord Pas-de-Calais, as well as teaching contemporary and classical dance in schools throughout Italy and France.