Art direction & More: the revolutionary talent of Laccio

The  young, eclectic and versatile Emanuele Cristofoli (a.k.a. Laccio) represents an unconventional and revolutionary talent in the dance world and beyond.

His career has gone down many paths: first dancer, then choreographer and artistic director. Thanks to his experience, Laccio is currently able to curate, coordinate and organise an event equally as well whether at the theatre, in music or on television, defining it down to the smallest details. His artistic direction is characterised by an innovative, ever-changing touch; his style is evident in the Modulo Project, the most active and original urban dance company on the national scene, and in the Modulo Academy, the first vocational academy focused on dancers specialising in the field of urban dance.

Laccio artistic director
Laccio (Ph. Umberto Nicoletti)

Yours is a unique path: you studied Interior Design at IED, then Fashion, with fashion collections sold in renowned boutiques and department stores, and various projects ranging from TV programs such as the X-Factor to cinema (Sorrentino’s Loro, Muccino), theatre, shows for brands of the calibre of Calzedonia, Alberta Ferretti, Benetton. Do you think that such a mix of versatility and eclecticism is crucial for making a name for oneself in today’s showbiz? Do you try to pass it on to your students and the young people you deal with?

Today, the entertainment world has become more and more steeped in contaminations. We talk about “performance”, because various languages and means of communication are of- ten combined. Dance, music and visual art, but also graphics and styling are vital ingredients, each of them needing the other to complete a story. My education in Interior Design and Fashion allow me to speak the language of the professionals I work with today in order to understand what’s feasible and what isn’t. You have to know your resources and how to best use them.
Young people should be aware that the nowadays showbiz is built upon the blending of various branches (costume, lighting, stage design, music and choreography), and knowledge is fundamental so that the combination of those elements forms something harmonic.

What is talent for you?

It is difficult to describe it, today you have to be able to produce your own narrative, and know how to do that. A “genius” is someone who has ideas, things to say, and knows how to do so using the means that society offers. There is no space for unruliness; on the contrary, planning and organisational skills are fundamental.

Laccio art director
The Italian version of music show X-Factor (ph. courtesy Sky Press Office, credits Bianca Burgo)

Could you tell us a little bit more about your work at Modulo Academy (an academy that develops and launches the careers of specialised urban dancers)? What are the indispensable traits of an emerging dancer who wants to make a name for him or herself in that field?

The Academy is a place where students work on themselves, and on how to find their own language passing through those of their teachers. It is located in Milan, which allows us to bring in various professionals working in the field, artists that narrate their own experiences.
I try to involve them in our projects, giving them a chance to complete their education by having extraordinary experiences, not least the X-Factor finale at the Assago Forum.

Who among the new names and emerging talents do you think has what it takes to become prominent figures in today’s showbiz?

Surely Blanco has brought in a rush of energy that has “ruffled” the music biz. Broadly speaking, I think there are many artists in the underground scene with a lot of talent and will to narrate themselves. But just like in every other field, you need to have the right occasion to showcase your abilities, the occasion that lets you show and convey to many other people what instead often stays locked up in a tiny room, in a drawer, or in an mp3 inside our laptop. With the X-Factor, we give people the possibilities to “shout” their own songs to a select public. The last two editions in particular have given the alumni the chance to showcase their own songs, and we worked a lot on their personalities. I have to say that it’s an entirely new show!

Laccio X Factor
The Italian version of music show X-Factor (ph. courtesy Sky Press Office, credits Bianca Burgo)

What are your future projects?

Recently I’ve been working with Laura Pausini, an artist that I truly cherish for her sensitivity, and her ability to be inspired by everything surrounding her. Not only that, Eurovision is coming, which is perhaps the most widely broadcast and talked about event of my career! Other than curating Laura’s performances, I will choreograph the entire Eurovision show: a challenging but surely unforgettable task. Let me point out the dates: May 10, 12, 14, when the two semifinals and the final will take place. It’s going to be amazing!

Opening image: the Italian version of X-Factor (ph. courtesy Sky Press Office, credits Bianca Burgo)

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