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MAB15: A legacy that is future

MAB was born in the perspective of “transformation”, “evolution” and “looking ahead”. It does so from the very moment in which it sublimates the human experience of a far-sighted Woman, prematurely deceased and always in love with Life, young people and Ballet, in a project that serves the new generations and Classical Dance, for fifteen years, celebrates the idea that Art is a clear expression of the most precious values of existence itself.

This is a legacy, gathered with visionary strength by Maestro Roberto Fascilla, founder of the event and translated into a precise programmatic dimension by General Manager Gisella Zilembo, who was the creator, at the request of President Silvio Andrea Beretta and his family. It is a project, celebrated by “his city”, the Milan in which he was born and which has awarded him the highest civic honor, The Golden Ambrogino, and today known and appreciated worldwide.

MAB is the son of a great dream and the tireless work of many, to make it true.

MAB’s synergy and understanding with the iconic personalities of the International Ballet (which have always been recognized and gathered in the name of Mrs Etta, committing themselves as jurors in the different stages of the competition, with the responsibility to accompany with rigor and honesty the path of those who, over time, have ventured on the stage of the Teatro Manzoni) has built the future of many current stars of the ballet scene, which at MAB owe their debut and, as they often say, their own “luck”.

Among the finalists and winners, to give some examples, Nicoletta Manni and Timofej Andrijashenko, Emma Mardegan, Angelo Greco, Antonio Casalinho, Rebecca Storani, Linda Giubelli, Claudio Coviello, Oscar Valdez… among them also how many, from an idea of the outgoing director Julio Bocca, shared with the MAB management and welcomed by the 2024 board, one of the personalities called to succeed him at the head of the artistic committee of the fifteenth edition : Salvatore Manzo (First winner of the MAB Prize and now winner of the San Carlo in Naples). At his side in the jury, for the final 2024: Giuseppe Bausilio (whose podium of MAB earned the opportunity to fly to NY and become the first Billy Elliot in the history of Broadway, inaugurating a career admirable worldwide), Flavia Stocchi (first to win the title in the junior category and now professional in strength at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome), etc…

The idea of the Maestro Bocca, fully in line with the nature of MAB is that the Dance is such if alive and vital, deeply rooted in tradition to be able to project courageously into the future: for the fifteen years of the Prize, which bases its DNA on Classical and Neoclassical Dance, “looking ahead” means declaring the deep sense of the legacy of the Great Ones who made its history and reading its dynamic power.

The Ballet remains an intrinsic and essential object of the event, the Great Masters remain points of reference in the various stages of the event, which during the final celebrates the invaluable contribution, with a Lifetime Achievement Award and a passing of the baton to the winners of the first editions.

Not only that: the artistic direction duplicates and consolidates the founding idea that DANCE is ONE and that CLASSICAL is the essential basis, as such capable, with its lexical rigor and its precise poetic quality, to create avant-garde.

Thus, according to a vitalistic principle that intertwines tradition and innovation, roots and perspectives in line with the world of the current scene, is entrusted to a young étoile (Salvatore Manzo, in fact), exponent of the “pure classical world” and to an artist worldwide known for having practiced the contamination stage as the key to an extraordinary choreographic language, unthinkable regardless of a solid technical basis matrix Classical: Lizt Alfonso.

Classic is, in itself synonymous with universal: something that is able, in its titanic essence, to survive time and space, declining to the folds of human experience without losing its identity, able to evolve precisely in the name of the ability to “speak” outside and above circumstances.

MAB Award, for fifteen years it intends to support young people, promotes the Ballet and, for this, remains strictly focused on the Classical and Neoclassical world: foundations and springboard of a living legacy, which is itself, future.

15 years at the service of talent, in the name of a great dream

2024 is, by association MAB, a special year, that of its fifteenth anniversary: an important moment and an opportunity for reflection on the future, but also on the roots of a reality now present and recognized throughout the world, which is born from daily commitment, unshakeable and passionate of many, with the firm intention of celebrating talent, through the magical human kaleidoscope of Classical Dance, in the name and thanks to the example of Mrs Etta.

MAB is the acronym of Maria Antonietta Berlusconi, but it is first and foremost, an ethical heritage: the desire to be at the service of young people and their dreams, with the responsibility to make them true, to give hope by building perspective, as in the intentions carried out by the founder and first artistic director, the master Roberto Fascilla.

On this basis, the 2024 edition of the International Prize of Classical Dance (conceived by Gisella Zilembo, at the request of the Beretta Berlusconi family), celebrated at the Gala of the AIEF Association for Childhood and Adolescence (pres. Tommaso Varaldo), at the Castle of Lucento, on 19 November.
During the evening, next to Albano Carrisi, in the presence of an audience composed of prominent personalities, including Mariella Enoc, perform three young talents MAB: Chiara Liberto, Ismaele Narcisi and Noemi Cobelli, with a firm will to establish socially meaningful connections.

Immediately thereafter, the MAB management flies to Finland on an official visit to the Turku Municipality and the City Polytechnic, to lay the foundations for a collaboration, aimed at strengthening the links between the realities involved, promoting Art as a prerequisite for a healthy society.

So, at the return, on the occasion of the celebrations of December 2 at the Papermoon Garden in Milan, the President, Silvio Andrea Beretta, announces the transformation of the Award “Joy of Dancing – Sabrina Beretta” in a donation to the Charity Partner, inaugurating a tradition that reinvigorates the social character, always essential for the association.

Just the cut strongly intended to highlight the link between Art and Philanthropy, December 7, is worth to the Association MAB the Civic Merit Ambrogio d’oro, awarded by the city of Milan, at the Teatro Dal Verme.

At the same time, the 2024 Call for Proposals is launched and the names of the artistic directors of the 15th year are announced (exceptionally two, on the occasion of the important event):
Lizt Alfonso (who take up the baton of Julio Bocca and prepares to welcome in Cuba a delegation MAB in early January, for the special MAB Habana, in collaboration with Ballet Beyond Borders) and Salvatore Manzo (first winner in 2010, recently named Etoile of the Teatro San Carlo of Naples. To him, the honor of leading, during the final of June 9 at the Teatro Manzoni, the jury composed of the triumphants of the first editions).

In the meantime, the formative appointments continue, for the young people who choose dedication to study and are passionate about dance knowledge.

On December 15, at the Teatro Manzoni, the show “What i Want for Christmas”, announced on TV by Federica Panicucci in Mattino 5, co-produced by Influendo srl, conceived and directed by Gisella Zilembo, as a result of a workshop of Theater Coaching and Mindfulness applied to the Performing Arts. Among the protagonists, Noemi Cobelli, Andrea Cheldi, winner of the MAB Prize 2023 and Ester Papini, finalist in the same edition, who share the stage with artists of different backgrounds and emerging talents of the MAB circuit.

Also in December, Gisella Zilembo, meets the students of the Liceo Coreutico Candiani Baush, to illustrate the history and intentions of Ass. MAB and conduct a seminar, in collaboration with Francesco Posa.

At the same time, at the convention center of AC Hotel by Marriott Milan Sesto, dozens of young dancers from all over Italy take part in intensive courses, valid for access to Artistic Residences (theoretical and practical in-depth events, held at the Arcimboldi Theatre in Milan, in collaboration with accredited training centres) and receive a surprise message of encouragement for their further training at MAB, Marianela Nunez, connected from London.

At the start of the Artistic Residences, in the dense programming of the association, is combined, in January, in addition to the official visit to Cuba, President Silvio Andrea Beretta, General Manager Gisella Zilembo, Claudia Zaccari and the teacher Patrizia Tosi, the traditional appointment with Igal Perry, with a special Masterclass Audition, in Turin (at the affiliated studio MAB Magdeleine G), for admission to the educational programs of Peridance, famous New York Academy.

It is at PERIDANCE that, during the spring study trip and in conjunction with the third edition of MAB USA, at the KNJ Theater, in March, the international certification program for teachers will be launched, dedicated exclusively to the owners of the centers belonging to the circuit schools MAB. It is a project of the highest importance, for the ratification of the skills of teachers, with a certificate of professionalism issued by a training center of undisputed world reference.

In February, meanwhile, a delegation composed of the dancers of Teatro Oscar at Studio Danza Arabesque (always MAB accredited schools) will be guest, representing the network, the Performing Arts Academy of Huittinen, led by prof. Evan Schoombie, thanks to the international study program directed by Gisella Zilembo.

Although it is only the beginning and the coming months promise great news, the calendar full of appointments of MAB, back to mean the history of the Association as that of a culture of “doing”, in the name of a great dream: that of Mrs Etta, who has been living and growing in his beloved children for fifteen years.

19 November 2023 MAB celebrates its 15 years participating Gala AIEF, at the Castle of Lucento (TO)

Turin: magical city, perfect setting for dreams to be realized.

29 April 2023, on the occasion of the World Day of Dance, Piedmont in Dance, directed by Krizia Zuccaro and Giuliana Carello appoints godmother of the event Gisella Zilembo (general manager of MAB, with whom the event shares the attention to young people and the belief in the social value of Art).

In Piemonte in Danza, Ass. MAB comes into contact with AIEF, Foundation for Childhood and Adolescence, chaired by Tommaso Varaldo, whose vision is immediately shared, always promoted by MAB President Silvio Andrea Beretta and Gisella Zilembo, together with the technical and artistic committee: involve the BIG to help the small.

The occasion comes with the AIEF 2023 Gala, November 19, at the Castle of Lucento.

MAB turns 15 at the same time.

To begin to celebrate this important anniversary in such a special evening is a living expression of a great dream, of Mrs Etta Berlusconi and Maesteo Roberto Fascilla: to give space and listening to young people, to support them in their human commitment through Ballet .

In the national circuit of MAB schools, are selected to dance at the AIEF Gala, the young talents directed by Mara Fasulo – Art and Passion Academy (Chiara Liberto and Ismaele Narcisi) and by Barbara Ante – Event Dance Bolzano (Noemi Cobelli). The dancers are seated on the same stage, on which the same evening Albano Carrisi sings and is awarded the dr. Enoc, for a precious and indispensable cause: to be concretely at the side of children and young people.


This year MAB has been nominated for the Ambrogino d’oro, as Milanese excellence in the world ✨

The City Council, for 2023, has awarded the gold medal to individuals only and the “Civic Ambrogino d’oro merits” to associations and organizations.

MAB is among the 15 winners!

We all are, in our history and in our actions in support of Dance and youth!

Thank you always to the Beretta Berlusconi family; to the large MAB family; to the administration led by Dr. Merlini; the secretariat led by Dr Frisone; the World Stars of Dance, today led by Maestro Julio Bocca, who have always supported us; Mediaset and Mondadori; the Teatro Manzoni to be always “our home”; to the schools, to the teachers and to all the boys that continue to believe and to make; to all the technical and artistic team, for the engagement, the will, the trust and the determination, in rendering true the great dream of the Etta lady, of the dear Sabrina and the Teacher Fascilla

W la Danza

With immense esteem and deep gratitude
Silvio Andrea Beretta and Gisella Zilembo

Dance for Social

On 30.09.2023, MAB will participate in the initiative “Dance for Social”, under the patronage of the City of Carate Brianza. Lorella Formica, a member of the Association’s academic board, will speak as a spokesperson for MAB to explore significant themes related to the value of Art and Ballet in promoting fundamental human principles for civil society.

18 September 2023

It was held at the Teatro Manzoni in Milan the press conference on programming 2023/24, masterfully conducted by the director Alessandro Arnone, in the presence of an audience interested and involved, which has counted eminent personalities of the world of culture, of Entertainment and Communication, including the MAB president, Silvio Andrea Beretta.

The presence of artists came to meet spectators and journalists, in view of a season full of titles and content.
Among the events on the bill “What I want for Christmas”, the Dance Party-Show of Gisella Zilembo, born at MAB, as a result of an international laboratory of Theater Coching, which involved experienced dancers and young talents, in an intense coordinated synergy, by EventiDanza and Influendo Productions.

The result is a performance inspired by the atmosphere of Christmas, to the notes of the most famous Christmas music. The appointment is at the theater on December 15 at 20.45, for a collective party, which aspires to return the deep social nature of the Theatre, in a joyful and calvinianamente “light”.

10 September 2023

Ass. MAB inaugurates the activities 2023/24, with the conference dedicated to “Anne Boleyn” by Francesco Posa, at the Carducci Association of Como.

Among the performers, the same Posa and Stefania Ballone, both already teachers for the MAB Artistic Residences. Present,
with Francesco Borelli (DHN), speaker of a detailed historical introduction, Gisella Zilembo (General Manager MAB), for a dramatic and anthropological excursus on production.

Speakers, representing Ass. Entitled to Maria Antonietta Berlusconi and President Silvio Andrea Beretta, committed to institutional appointments abroad, Daniela Casagrande (Professor of Stage Management), Danilo Spada (Professor of Neuroscience and Anatomy applied to Dance) and Costanza Frisone (Assistant Director).


The first round of summer events ( Summer Camp ) MAB 2023, which saw many young dancers reach the venues of Cavallino/VE (Le Terrazze del Mediterraneo Camping Village 5*) and Riace Marina/RC (Il Partenone Resort Hotel 4), to follow lessons,  masterclasses and workshops in the different choreutiche disciplines and support the audition to access the institutional training programs (including, the now famous Artistic Residences, the Teatro Arcimboldi in Milan and the new international Certificate Programme).
The work of Theater Coaching conducted internationally during the academic year 2022/23 and whose scenic outcome will be presented at the Teatro Manzoni in Milan on 15 December has been perfected at the camp.

Teachers from all over the world have made their knowledge available, in an atmosphere of great technical, artistic and human sharing, with students from all over Italy and abroad.

Among them:

In Cavallino:
Classical Technique : Alena Tarasova; and Nikki Holck; Contemporary Technique: Assaf Salhov; Urban: Hamza Erbbibi; New Style Hustle: Mike All; 
Theater coaching: Gisella Zilembo
(For the schedule schools: Progressive Ballet Tecnique: Maya Botta; Classical Technique: Barbara Ante and Lisa Stragapede)

In Riace Marina, Italy: 
Classic Technique: Kristina Grigorova, Patrizia Tosi, Monica Cagnani; Tecncia Contemporanea: Francesco Posa; Modern Technique: Nico Benedetti; Urban: Hamza Erbbibi; Urban Fusion: Skaar; Theater coaching: Gisella Zilembo

Next step: a week of intensive studies at the Performing Arts Academy Finlnadese, which will host the activities of MAB in August, giving space to young talents awarded with scholarships, to access academic programs.

On the academic board :
Contemprorary dance: Suvi Nieminen; 
Ballet: Raija Lehmussaari and Olga Mironenko; MUSICAL theater/singing: Andreas Forsberg, Evan Schoombie; 
Theater coaching: Gisella Zilembo

Cavallino photo

Riace photo

“No one dies as long as he lives in the heart of those who remain” (U. Foscolo)

Silvio Berlusconi has always called her his “little sister Etta” and, with this tenderness, with the same genuine sense of protection, he approached MAB, the association founded to remember Maria Antonietta, celebrate the memory and above all carry out the attention to the new generations and the love for art, born years before with the foundation of the Princess school.

MAB has been, from the beginning, the bright response of an entire family to a sudden darkness: the choice to put oneself “at the side”, to make beauty bloom, even on a great pain.
Significant parable was the constant presence of the former Premier, who has always accompanied the event with care, respect, enthusiastic participation, as discreet.

He saw the final Gala of the MAB Prize, at the Teatro Manzoni in Milan, as an unmissable event, an evening in which to remember his beloved Etta, celebrating very young Aristi. He arrived without a clamor and assisted fascinated, enthusiastic, grateful: he practiced that gratitude made of concreteness (so much so as to establish a special Prize in his name, in support of emerging industry operators – so as to rely on a solid economic basis, to dedicate themselves to innovative projects in the Dance – over the years transformed into an instrument of openness to an unthinkable world dimension) and of careful consideration for the work of each.

During the first edition, admirable exchange of jokes with Rossella Brescia (godmother and presenter of the event) to establish extemporaneously the important recognition entitled to him, which anticipated a “behind the scenes” known only to operators, in which, at the end of the evening, the Knight reaches the stage closed curtain, to shake hands with all the organizational and technical team, along with the master Roberto Fascilla and his nephew Silvio Andrea Beretta, president of MAB, with whom he shares intent and objectives.

It is a delicacy that returns with steadfast steadfastness, so much so that, in 2016, when he had to, despite himself, miss the final, he did not give up to feel his closeness and to honor those who were in the theater, in the name of a great dream. He sent, by surprise, a letter read on stage, addressed to the competitors, to whom he wished a bright path, to the artistic director Fascilla, to the general manager Gisella Zilembo and to the team, to whom he expressed sincere appreciation.
He expressed his constant closeness, with gestures full of meaning, out of every incursion, that did not correspond to making himself available to a work, of which he supports the power, in the visionary enthusiasm and tenacious planning, that have always given MAB body and substance.

Silvio Berlusconi lived the project with great enthusiasm, in the name of an essential ideal, shared with his nephew Silvio Beretta and imprinted in the DNA of the association: offering space to young people, believing in the value of culture, pursuing excellence, without compromise.

As the book “La Vita che danza” (ed. Mondadori Rizzoli) recounts when, at the suggestion of Maestro Fascilla, the Zilembo, then a fledgling manager, in 2009 was summoned to design MAB, the call appeared to her a joke and, once the misunderstanding was resolved, to her question “Why am I here? There are people of great experience who do this work”, the answer sanctioned the ethical and far-sighted approach of the MAB world: to give consideration to those who deserve, apart from any other consideration. MAB was born, therefore, with a single rule: employ for each role growing professionals, to offer a chance and give confidence.

This same trust is perhaps the most precious and powerful gift that Silvio Berlusconi today bequeaths to the association, which has become a leading international reference point, always faithful to the idea of making true, with commitment, what appears utopia.

Also in his name, with enormous gratitude, the leadership, led by the President, renews the will to do more and more and more better, so that skills and dedication have full realization and dreams can become results.