Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Hot Night, A Cool Dance Performance

     There was not a breath of fresh air on a hot summer's night in downtown Florence.  With no fountain like the Trevi in Rome to jump into when driven by desperation from the heat, residents not on vacation as well as tourists needed entertainment.  Maybe that's why the performance by the Rome Ballet in the courtyard of the Bargello museum was completely sold out, leaving standing room only.

     The event was part of the 22th annual Florence Dance Festival, which is under the guidance of artistic directors Keith Ferrone, an American, and his wife, Marga Nativa, former prima ballerina at Florence's Teatro Comunale.  Every summer, the couple are committed to showcasing contemporary dance in this Renaissance city by inviting visiting companies from all over the world.

Photographer Elke and I enjoyed the athletic grace of dancers interpreting Schubert's Ave Maria.  Right before the intermission was a contemporary Tango Suite, also featuring male dancers in red high heel shoes.  As the dancers were constantly moving, they were difficult to photograph.

      The Bargello has a unique history that many locals are not even aware of.  Despite its fortified and austere look, the medieval building is home to a superb collection of sculptures from the Florentine Renaissance.  The 13th century building primarily acted the city’s town hall and palace for the Florence’s Magistrate.  However, the city’s prison was also located here and executions took place in the center of the courtyard for 500 years.  In 1865, the building was converted to Italy’s first national museum and boasts works from Michelangelo, Giambologna, Donatello, Cellini and terracotte by della Robbia.

 The audience enjoyed the performance, fascinated by the muscular acrobatics of the dancers.  Through the camera lens, Elke noted the stage make-up and wondered how it remained intact without melting in the heat.

1 comment:

  1. This looks awesome! As an avid dance fan, I wish I was still around to have seen this. I love reading these posts, keep up the good work!