[“Oltremare” is] both effective and evocative. Even if a program note didn’t confirm this, it would be easy to assume that Mr. Bigonzetti’s ballet is about immigrants (very possibly Italians) to the New World.
Their suitcases tell us they are traveling; the action tells us, after a prologue where they cross the stage in single file with the suitcases, that they are aboard a ship. And their costumes, by Mr. Bigonzetti and Marc Happel, tell us that this certainly isn’t “Now, Voyager”: these folks are working class. “Oltremare” means “beyond the sea.”
The ballet, without anything amounting to much of a narrative, is a dramatic study whose dances are largely in expressionist mode, moving from one pose of gestural weight to another in staccato, fragmented sequence.