Aug 302014

Il Presidente, Giorgio Napoletano with then Mayor of Florence Matteo Renzi and Carla Fracci - photo: Cambi/Lusena/Sanna, source

What have Italian Prime Min­is­ter, Mat­teo Renzi, and Italian Bal­let Icon, Carla Fracci got in common?

Well, they were col­leagues when Renzi was the Mayor of Florence and Fracci was (and still is) respons­ible for the Cul­ture depart­ment of the Florence Province. But now they have a hash tag in com­mon too.

La Fracci, who is largely com­puter illit­er­ate and doesn’t have a web­site or a Face­book page, cer­tainly doesn’t foray into the world of Twit­ter. Renzi, on the other hand, is extremely web-savvy, and a reg­u­lar tweeter. After a declar­a­tion yes­ter­day with his immin­ent plans to ‘unblock’ Italy and sim­plify its legendary buro­cratic pro­cesses, he launched the hash tag #pass­od­o­popasso — step after step — which just hap­pens to be the title of Fracci’s new auto­bi­o­graphy. …con­tinue reading.

Aug 292014

Elīna Garanča in curlers

Elīna Garanča has sung in Verdi’s Requiem at La Scala and in recital, but never per­formed in an opera. There was a planned Don Gio­vanni which she pulled out of when she became preg­nant, and an opera was set up with Ric­cardo Muti which was then can­celled. This sea­son she arrives for the Milan Expo sea­son with three dif­fer­ent engaga­ments: the Requiem with Ric­cardo Chailly, Mario Martone’s pro­duc­tion of Caval­leria rus­tic­ana, and Emma Dante’s much dis­puted Car­men. Though it was sub­jec­ted to boos and fis­chi Garanča, sur­pris­ingly, didn’t watch a video of the pro­duc­tion before agree­ing to the engagement.

I haven’t seen it, but it doesn’t worry me. I don’t want to over pre­pare myself and I’m curi­ous to dis­cuss with the dir­ector what her think­ing was behind this version.

She was talk­ing with Francesca Gam­ber­ini in the Cor­ri­ere della Sera’s Style magazine, who asked her about play­ing Carmen.

I’m an act­ress and my job is to find the key to play­ing the role without resort­ing to the usual clichés. …con­tinue reading.

Aug 232014

Elite Syncopations with Brandon Lawrence in 'Friday Night' - photo Bill Cooper

When did you start dan­cing?
I star­ted dan­cing at 8 years old and then I joined the Royal Bal­let School full time at 14

Why did you start dan­cing?
I’m not sure why… I was prob­ably influ­enced through films and TV.

Which dan­cer inspired you most as a child?
As a child Car­los Acosta and Michael Flat­ley. I love Irish dancing!

Which dan­cer do you most admire?
Even though she’s newly retired I really admire Leanne Ben­jamin and also Xan­der Par­ish for mak­ing the move over to The Mari­in­sky. …con­tinue reading.

Aug 212014

Edward Watson and Ivan Putrov in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake

In 2012, Ivan Putrov had the con­ceit to pro­duce an all-male gala where Don Q vari­ations were ban­ished, Le Cor­saire’s jetés out­lawed, and Albrecht’s entre­chats six for­bid­den on pain of death. It short, he wanted to do some­thing dif­fer­ent in form­ing Men in Motion: a cel­eb­ra­tion of male dan­cing from Nij­in­sky to now.

Putrov assembled an impress­ive group of dan­cers at the La Versili­ana Fest­ival on the Tuscan coast. He brought some of the same pro­gramme and com­pany from this year’s per­form­ances at the Lon­don Coli­seum, though it was presen­ted in very dif­fer­ent sur­round­ings: an open-air stage, set between the trees, in a gen­teel park in the grounds of a villa by the Medi­ter­ranean Sea. He also proved his abil­ity for form­ing col­lab­or­a­tions, and giv­ing dan­cers and cho­reo­graph­ers alike new oppor­tun­it­ies. …con­tinue reading.

Aug 202014

Carla Fracci and Toni Candeloro in ArtemisiaOn 20 August last year Carla Fracci was cel­eb­rat­ing her birth­day frol­ick­ing in the Medi­ter­ranean Sea with her two grandchildren.

This year, her 78th birth­day, she’ll be open­ing in a new bal­let in the open air — fin­gers crossed with this year’s Italian sum­mer — in Oria, a hill town with a pop­u­la­tion of 15,000 in the Apulia region, in the middle of Italy’s heel.

The work com­mem­or­ates the 50th birth­day of her co-star, Toni Can­de­loro, who is from the town. …con­tinue reading.