‘Secret Florence’: Nine Days of Art, Cinema, Dance & Music

A Secret Florence moment of Aria, Sounds and Music, at Villa Strozzi

The city of Florence, in hibernation for the past 15 months, now begins to resume its position as a cultural and historical capital.  Nine days of art, cinema, dance and music coordinated by five international organizations signifying and celebrating the post-pandemic cultural rebirth of Florence offer Tuscans and visitors rejuvenation with the sixth edition of Secret Florence.  In tune with the theme of the project, performances happen in spaces and buildings not normally open to the public.

The events kick off Thursday, June 10 with “A Bigger Splash,” a 1974 movie by Jack Hazen set in the late sixties and early seventies in Swinging London.  Part documentary, part fiction, the film follows the life of British artist David Hockney.  Hockney himself tells of his creations, circle of artistic friends and his relationship with his partner and muse, Peter Schlesinger.  The screening takes place at the Cinema La Compagnia at 8:30 pm.  Admission is free with reservations required at info@cinemalacompagnia.it

On June 12, 13 and 16 Fabbrica Europa presents a project “Il Pallone al Bracciale” (The Ball on the Bracelet).  The subject, a sport which has its roots in Greek and Roman antiquity, originally practiced in the courtyards of noble palaces and later played in squares and streets, involves athletes who hurl the ball with hand or racket against a wall.  Today versions of the game are pelota in the Basque region of Spain and France and jai alai, played in Latin America and the US.  In the 18th century Italian cities, including Florence, built special facilities called spheristeri specifically for the game.

Fabbrica Europa combines Il Pallone Al Bracciale with choreography to offer performances of athleticism and dance.  On June 12 the day, dedicated to ancient spherical sports, includes demonstrations of pillotta or braccialino in Piazza Santa Croce, from 10 am – 12 noon.  Then at 3 pm, an Urban Walk from Piazza San Firenze with choreographic movement culminates in Piazza Santa Croce where participants can attend a demonstration by athletes who still play the game.

The following day, June 13, another Urban Walk begins at Piazza San Firenze, again with choreographed movement, ending at the Sferisterio delle Cascine Park, where semi-final games occur at 3 and 4:30 pm with the final between winners at 6pm.  Spectators can watch the challenge as four Florentine teams, Azzurri, Bianchi, Rossi and Verdi vie for the championship.

On June 16 at 6 pm at the Performing Arts Research Center, choreographer Alessandro Sciarroni presents his research on the ancient handball game followed by a film “Aurora: A Path of Creation” highlighting on goalball, a sport practiced by blind and visually impaired players.   All of these events are free with reservations required:  Tel. 055.365707 (Monday to Friday 10 am – 1 pm and 2 – 5 pm, Saturday 10 am – 2 pm) or email: info@parcfirenze.net

Belgian composer, writer and performer Wim Mertens performs a solo piano concert of his works on June 15.  The concert begins at 7 pm in the Cloister of Carmine Convent.  Tickets can be purchased for €8 at Ticket One: www.ticketone.it  Info: musicusconcentus@gmail.com /Tel. 055.287347

The Palazzina Indiano Arte at 6 pm hosts the program “Caro Mondo” (Dear World) on June 18 at 6 pm.  The event includes performances, exhibitions and installations on the theme of care and connection.  The palazzina, in Cascine Park on the bank of the Arno River, provides a setting for photography and nature exhibits with a cafe onsite.  Free admission.  For details:   info@palazzinaindianoarte.it,  tel. 055.0880601 – 055.2280525.

From June 21 to 23, as part of the Tempo Reale Festival 2021, ARIA: Sounds and Music, presents a program of Italian and international musicians, a symbolic gesture of the reopening of the art of making live music in Tuscany.

The Sounds and Music schedule: June 21:  Air #1 features Michele Rabbia, percussionist and Parisian musician Julien Desprez.  Rabbina uses percussion and electronics as the expressive methods guiding the project.  With Desprez’ Agora, the viewer is guided through an electric jungle created as a recording studio track during the 2020 lockdown.  June 22:  Air #2 includes Vincenzo Scorza, described as a ‘sculptor of sound,’ who actually no longer performs with sound but with behaviors.  Dario Fariello, an instrumentalist and improviser from Naples, plays saxophones, viola and modular synthesizers.  The group Zumtrio, comprised of guitarist Frencesco Canavese, Francesco Giomi on synthesizer and drummer Stefano Rapicavoli, introduce a project straddling structure and improvisation. June 23:  Air #3 features Anthony Pateras, composer, pianist and electronic musician who introduces his latest work Nonsite Satellite.  Composer, performer and sound designer Lea Bertucci performs next using wind instruments, electroacoustic feedback and tape collage.  All performances will be at the Villa Strozzi Terrace at 8:30pm.  Tickets are €10.  Info at festival@temporeale.it  Tel 055.717270.  In case of rain, the appointments will be held at the Limonaia of Villa Strozzi.

Events are organized in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions with limited capacity to allow for adequate spacing.  For complete information, see website:  www.secretflorence.it

To see the entire Florence Summer Festival Estate Fiorentina program, click here. (rita kungel)