Classical & Contemporary at Week 5 of the Florence Dance Festival
The Florence Dance Festival, held at the Cloister of Santa Maria Novella, draws to a close with a bang, presenting a week of performances by the Compagnia Zappalà Danza, Fabula Saltica and the long-awaited grand finale of the Russian State Ballet, teeming with young stars and talent.
Tuesday, July 30, 9.30 pm
Sicilian dance company Zappalà Danza brings to the festival a show that Roberto Zappalà himself has been developing for 10 years. After a decade of scrupulously crafting his artistic vision, ‘Instrument Jam’ was finally ready to take the stage. ‘Instrument Jam’ is a music and dance show that groups together all of the instruments that Zappalà had included in a previous project entitled ‘Instruments’, developed in three sections, each dedicated to a specific instrument: The jaw harp, the hang and the drums by Alfio Antico. Musicians and seven male dancers join on stage in a spectacle of unusual sounds and movements that blur the boundaries between tradition and modern.
Full admission to the evening’s performance is 30€, a reduced ticket is 20€ for over 65’s, students under 26, members of Unicoop Florence and dance students. For children between 6 and 13, admission is 15€.
Thursday, August 1, 9.30 pm
Fabula Saltica will present a reinterpretation of the classic fairytale that we all know and love. The 10 dancers tell the story of a young girl, Cinderella, living in 1960s Italy who suffers under the tyranny of an evil stepmother and stepsisters. But, if you’re expecting the damsel in distress who is saved by her handsome prince, this version of Cinderella doesn’t fit the bill. Choreographer Claudio Ronda has brought the outdated fairytale into the modern age and left its sexist trappings behind.
Like in the original version, Cinderella struggles in a society from which she is cruelly outcast. The show moves nimbly between highs of comic relief and lows of melancholic sadness as Cinderella embarks upon a journey to acceptance and integration. In Ronda’s version however, this journey is entirely of Cinderella’s own making. Gone is passive airhead who misplaces her glass slipper at the ball, she has made way for the new-and-improved Cinderella who champions independence and determination.
The performance traces Cinderella’s personal transformation, alongside the significant societal developments that Italy underwent throughout the pivotal decade of the 1960’s. Ronda’s choreography accompanied by Gioachino Rossini’s soundtrack artfully communicate these complex social and personal matters in the topsy-turvy fairytale.
Full admission to the evening’s performance is 20€, a reduced ticket is 15€ for over 65’s, students under 26, members of Unicoop Florence and dance students. For children between 6 and 13, admission is 10€.
Saturday, August 3, 9.30 pm
For the grand finale of the Florence Dance Festival, the Russian State Ballet will present Swan Lake, staring prima ballerina Polina Filippova, Sergey Kozhanov, Natalya Tsaryova and Dmitry Vladimirov. Overcoming initially rocky reviews when it debuted in 1877, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is now one of the most iconic ballets, considered an essential in every ballet company’s arsenal.
It is also one of the most challenging ballets a dance troupe can take on, its storyline and roles being notoriously complex, namely that of the starring prima ballerina who must perform the roles of both the beautiful swan princess, Odette, and Odile, her evil counterpart. Conveying the intricate plot through the medium of dance is no easy task, and requires the interpretation to be charged with emotion so as to clarify the magic, romance and tragedy through which Swan Lake meanders, a tall order that the dancers of the Russian State Ballet artfully achieve.
Full admission to the evening’s performance is 30€, a reduced ticket is 20€ for over 65’s, students under 26, members of Unicoop Florence and dance students. For children between 6 and 13, admission is 15€. (saskia brown)