23rd Florence Dance Festival
Our events listing keeps you up-to-date on the latest and greatest in culture, music and other English-friendly entertainment; this is a selection of the best of them.
CULTURE/ San Giovanni
June 21 to 30, various locations in Florence
The Festa della Cultura-San Giovanni Battista is a new event in Florence to celebrate the feast day of the city's patron saint, San Giovanni. There's a lot to do and see: 10 days of antiquarian and contemporary art exhibitions at various locations on via Maggio, a one-day conference at the British Institute (June 22), two performances of Alessandro Stradella's baroque oratorio San Giovanni Battista at St Mark's English Church (June 24+25), a string quartet in Palazzo Pitti, Gregorian chant and organ music at Santa Felicita, and guided visits to artworks in their original locations. You are unlikely to encounter any of this art, music and lectures in any other context, making the event, organized by I Buontalenti (a venture founded to create opportunities and work for Florentine creatives) particularly special. The Florentine is a proud media partner. For full details, see the festival website, www.johnhoenig.com.
June 26 to July 23, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, via del Proconsolo 2, Florence
In honour of Florence's Year of Vespucci, the 23rd Florence Dance Festival will focus on the theme Rediscovering a New World. Featuring both Italian and international artists, the festival promotes peace through appreciation, understanding and tolerance. From ballet and song to urban dance and tango, there is something for dance lovers of all ages and tastes, as tradition meets contemporary beats in the historic courtyard of the Bargello museum. For more information call 055/289276 or visit www.florencedance.org.
Until July 31, Le Murate (SUC, 1st floor), piazza delle Murate, Florence
The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights presents 27 works by Boris Lurie, an artist (b. Leningrad 1924, d. 2008 New York) active during the most tumultuous decades in modern history. As Kerry Kennedy states, ‘Lurie never let the world forget that when we see human rights violations in front of us, saying "NO!" is the only acceptable answer.' Lurie, Sam Goodman and Stanley Fisher founded the NO!ART movement against the debased avant-garde of Abstract Expressionism and later Pop Art, seeking to create art that deals with such difficult truths as imperialism, racism, sexism, consumerism and nuclear proliferation-art that leads to social action. For more information, see www.lemurate.comune.fi.it/lemurate (which also links to the RFK Center).
June 19 to November 4, Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Florence is best known for its Renaissance artwork. But at the same time that Masaccio was developing revolutionary ideas in perspective, Lorenzo Monaco was working in the International Gothic style. Gold dominates in this style (circa 1375 to 1440), appreciated by the elite of Europe and in which Florentine artists were also strong. The Uffizi celebrates the movement with paintings by Agnolo Gaddi, Spinello Aretino, Gherardo Starnina and Lorenzo Monaco, as well as illustrated manuscripts, wooden and marble sculptures and decorative arts. For more information on the show, see www.unannoadarte.it
VESPUCCI/ Finding America
July 3 to December 8, Palazzo Pitti, Andito degli Angiolini and Galleria del Costume, Florence
Over the course of 2012, the city of Florence and The Florentine have been celebrating Vespucci Year, and the exhibit The New Frontier, History and Culture of the Native Americans is the most elaborate of those celebrations. At Palazzo Pitti, the exhibit consists of important loans from the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, which, along with maps and historical information, paint a picture of the moment of encounter between the Florentine explorer and North America. The exhibit documents pre-colonial Native American culture, known almost exclusively through the distorted lens of popular film. Check upcoming TF issue 167 for a detailed article by Laura Johnson, co-coordinator of the exhibit, and in the meantime, see www.unannoadarte.it
June 26 to July 7, various villas in Tuscany
Melodie del Vino is an annual event that combines wine tasting, music performances and impressive locations in Tuscany. While the opening event on June 26 is already sold out, tickets are still available for the other dates in Fosdinovo (Massa Carrara), Grosseto, Roccastrada, Montalcino and Suvereto. All the concerts feature world-class musicians, so it is hard to name just a few. For example, in Maremma (plan a weekend by the seaside!), on June 30, French pianist Marc Laforet accompanies Japanese violonist Sayaka Shoji at Tenuta Rocca di Frassinello near Gavorrano; on July 3, Nemanja Radulovic and Laure Favre-Kahnperform a duet for violin and piano at the Tenuta Rocca di Montemassi near Roccastrada. See full details and buy tickets at www.melodiedelvino.it or call 338/9153988.
PRATO/ Festival delle Colline
June 26 to July 26, various locations in the province of Prato
In its 17th year, the Festival delle Colline celebrates the arts unlike any other. A cornucopia of musicians and actors have joined forces to produce a line up of events that challenge the imagination and present performances ‘in a different way'-this year's theme. Only here will you find a swing band that blends the sounds of Shanghai and Paris in four different languages, or groups with flamenco and jazz influences, to name just a few. Of particular interest is New Yorker Kaki King (who has played with David Byrne and the Foo Fighters), July 9 at Rocca di Carmignano. Set in the hills of the Province of Prato, the locations are equally diverse and inviting: museums, historic villas, churches, libraries, parks and city streets all serve as a stage. Many events are free and the rest are under 10 euro. For the full schedule of music and theatre events, see www.festivaldellecolline.com
OUT OF TOWN/Cartasia
June 30 to July 29, Lucca historic center
Lucca is historically a centre for papermaking, and this biennial of contemporary art is thus focused on paper. Each edition has a theme, and this one is appropriately Crisis and Rebirth, which also embraces ideas about sustainability and recycling. Seven young contemporary artists compete for a prestigious prize, and their works are on display in Lucca's piazzas and in small shows in partner museums around town. For more information, see www.cartasia.it
July 11, 7-10pm, Biblioteca delle Oblate, via dell'Oriuolo 16, Florence
ToscanaIN and The Florentine's annual event in English is back for the fourth time! In honour of Vespucci year, the theme is Exploration: From Vespucci to Now. As usual, short talks and photography will be used to reflect on the concept, followed by a networking apericena by the Cafetteria delle Oblate on their beautiful terrace overlooking the Duomo. 10 euro includes conference and buffet.