Fabuelonna: A Surreal Blend of Soccer and Ballet

Photo of author
Written By Chris Azzopardi

What art form is more fitting to express the beauty of the beautiful game than ballet? For a group in Washington, DC, the answer is apparently “none.” Though, they’re only half serious about the ballet thing, we think.

The group is called Presto Bando, and the best I can tell, they’re usually just a three piece band. But they dabble in performance art, and their interest in soccer has led to a piece called “Fabuelonna: A Soccer Tale.”

The Washington City Paper describes it like this:

Lots of kids play soccer and take ballet lessons after school; very few kids become footballers and ballerinas. They’re familiar archetypes, but they’re also out-of-reach and romantic.

At least that’s how Brandon Ables sees things. That’s why his group, Presto Bando, created Fabuellonna, a “soccer/ballet/performance piece” that they’re performing tonight at St. Stephen’s. Ables studied philosophy in college, and is interested in how Americans romanticize other cultures, especially Europe’s. In that desire he sees suburban America’s obsession with soccer—if you aren’t European, you can at least act like it, right? Fabuelonna: A Soccer Tale follows a young soccer player on his way to becoming a famous European superstar. In the process, Fabuelonna comes to America to revive soccer in the states and tries to spread his wisdom to America’s soccer youth.

The first (only?) performance took place Saturday night in DC. Those attending were told to expect the following at a Facebook page for the show:

Live Dancing
Live Commentary
Fake European Men
Soccer Ball on a Bungee Cord
Pamphlet
Simulated Game Situations
Investigating American Attitudes Abroad
Trickle Down Soccernomics
Tumbles
Fake Italian Arguments

Oh, and the group is encouraging people to bring vuvuzelas. Encouraging it.

We can only hope that video of the performance surfaces, so that we may share with you whatever the hell this is supposed to be. In the meantime, if you’re still having trouble picturing just what Presto Bando is contributing to American soccer culture, take a gander at this “video flier”.

I’m all for examining the American attitude towards soccer. But this is just all kinds of wow. As for the melding of soccer and ballet, it has been done before and by legitimate plié types.

That’s weird, too.

Leave a Comment