It’s theatre time! We’re excited to announce the arrival of a wonderful ballet (based on a wonderful film by a wonderful director) to Rome. The Amarcord ballet, modelled on one of Italy’s most important films by the five-time Academy Award winner Federico Fellini, will be returning to Rome’s Teatro Olimpico from April 17th to 20th.
Much lauded as one of the most honest portrayals ever created of Mussolini-era Italy, Amarcord is an edgy film with strong characters, cutting insight and a lot of genuine laughs. The ballet has been a fantastic adaptation of this, maintaining the themes and personas of the film without uttering a single word. Since departing Rome the ballet’s star-studded cast and acclaimed choreographer Luciano Cannito have traveled the world, enrapturing international audiences at prestigious theaters from La Scala in Milan to the Metropolitan in New York.
Amarcord, which literally means “I remember” in the dialect of the seaside city Rimini (region of Emilia-Romagna), was set in the 1930s and takes inspiration from the director’s childhood, as it explores what life was like under the power of Mussolini and the Catholic church at the time. Set roughly on the life of the director as a pre-teen, it explores sexuality and family values as much as the politics of small-town Italy and the questions of the day.
The ballet marvelously pays homage to the ionic film with a star-studded cast of Rossella Brescia, TV host and actress, as Gradisca and Nicolò Noto, winner of the Italian competition Amici.
Choreographer Luciano Cannito’s aim for the ballet was to create “an impressionist point of view of the movie”, making it accessible to all audiences through the power of dance without any dialogue. “My goal is to talk to a lot of people,” he continues to explain in his interview with the Los Angeles Times, “theater was invented 3,000 years ago as a form of communication so people would recognize themselves.”
Celebrated for its portrayal of daily rural life in Italy in the 1930’s mixed with historic background of the period between World War I and World War II, the artistic ballet reinterpretation of Amarcord is the first official performance of its kind as the first performance to be endorsed by Francesca Fellini, niece of Federico Fellini and his last living relative.
Music plays an important role in this production, having been created by Nino Rota, who wrote the most famous of Fellini’s film scores; with several original numbers by Marco Schiavoni; and adaptations of songs by Alfred Schnittke and Glenn Miller. Costumes are by Roberta Guidi di Bagno with sets by Carlo Centolavigna and lighting by Alessandro Caso.
We’re pretty excited about the arrival this World-War-II-era-coming-of-age-film-turned-ballet and are honored to be hosting a number of bloggers and journalists on a pre-theatre tour, focusing on the life and films of Fellini. We’ll post some links to their reviews after the tour and show but until then, we would absolutely encourage any visitor to Rome between April 17th and 20th to very seriously consider attending the show. With no dialogue (and therefore no language barrier) it’s the perfect way to experience Italian theatre. You can purchase tickets here but hurry, we expect them to sell out soon!