Includes biographical information from Murray Spiegel
Roberto Bagnoli grew up in Rome, Italy. He was 28 and was attending a summer work camp and in the same building where there was a residential workshop of Israeli dances. One evening he went to see what it was all about and was hooked. When he came back to Rome, he spent six months before he was able to attend a class of folk dancing, but he did finally find it. A couple of years after he started dancing, Roberto started to help his teacher at the Jewish Community Center (JCC), teaching some dances and at the same time started his first Israeli dance group.
Roberto is a biologist. He spent one year in Africa in a National Park leading a group of italian group of zoologists, doing research on wild animals, but after that he came back to Italy and couldn't find any open position for his job skills. So he started to work on a computer company, for two years, but that wasn't to his liking. So when they fired him, he was so happy and began to make a living with teaching dance.
In Italy, they call the University degree Laurea in Biology. But his specialization was in zoology. Because they don't have in Italy anything similar to the PhD. (Maybe you could call him a Zoologist! Maybe an 'advanced degree' would be the closest.)
Roberto was first introduced to folk music and dance in Rome, eventually taking part in several performances and teaching dance classes. He subsequently studied various forms of folk dance in workshops throughout Europe, Israel, and North America under the guidance of renowned choreographers and teachers.
Roberto now lives in Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy, considered to have one of the most important dance communities in Italy.
From 1995 to 2003, he performed as a dancer and choreographer with the Terra di Danza Dance Company and was involved in the production of Raggi di luna Italiana and Capriccio Italiano (Italian dances), GiroGiroMondo (dances from around the world), Keltic Emotion (Celtic dances), Mazal Tov (Israeli dances), and Ethnos (international folk dances). He is the founder of Folk Atelier Reggio Emilia (FARE), devoted to the development and conservation of folk dance heritage.
As director of FARE, he is in charge of organizing and conducting folk dance classes, workshops with Italian and foreign specialists, and of the performing sector, staging various performances, parties, and dance gatherings.
In recent years, he has organized some of the most important annual folk dance events in Italy, such as, Balkanot Israeli and Balkan Dance Camp, Maratona di Danza folk dance marathon, and Camp Yofi Israeli Dance Camp in Lago di Garda. He has completed the training program in Folk Dance Teaching led by Jan Knoppers from the National Dance Academy of Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Roberto teaches weekly classes in various cities in the North of Italy and conducts monthly sessions in Rome and Milan besides conducting workshops and seminars throughout Europe, the United States (notably the Stockton Folk Dance Camp), and Canada.
Dances Roberto has taught include Ballo in Dodici, Bssanello, Cntradanza, Courento, Do Pasi, Falsa Moneda, Galoppa, Giga, Hora din Moldava, Joj Rado Joj Radmila, Jota Revolvedera, Mazurka di Sant' Andieu, Mazurka sor Cesare, Mineco, Passu Torrau, Saltarello, Sbrando, Scottis, Sor Cesare, Spagnoletto, Su Ballito, Su Dillo, Syrtos Kitrinou, Tarantella Bim Bom Ba, Tresso, Tu Romnie, Tumankuqe, Vajta n'Elbasan, and Valle e Mesme.