Florence is a city of movement—a city of dance. From the Renaissance sculptures and frescos that adorn churches and piazzas featuring men and women in elegant positions of comportment, to the Italian use of gesture and the intricate, cobble-stoned street maneuverings of car, moped and pedestrian, Florence is rich in choreographic possibilities. So perhaps it’s not surprising to learn of Florence’s vibrant dance community or that the city is host to the Florence Dance Festival, an annual, month-long event celebrating dance through performances by well renowned local and international companies. Now in it’s 16th year, the festival has featured the New York-based Merce Cunningham, David Parsons and Stephen Petronio Dance Companies, the French choreographer Pascal Rioult, and more avant-garde performances by Molissa Fenley and Jennifer Muller, to name just some of the 300-odd companies and choreographers who have performed as part of the festival. The brainchild of Keith Ferrone and his wife ballerina Marga Nativo, who also serve as co- Artistic Directors of the Florence Dance Company, this year’s festival brings together a range of movement vocabularies and cultures: cutting edge work from Canada, the contemporary ballet of San Francisco-based Smuin Ballet and the Florence Dance Company, and the hip-hop inspired work of Philadelphia’s Rennie Harris Puremovement. This confluence of dance vocabularies, which will descend on the Teatro Romano di Fiesole (June 19 through July 28), is not only an opportunity for Florentines and tourists alike to view important work by both established and emerging contemporary choreographers, but is also a venture for cultural and artistic exchange.