Thursday, June 26, 2008

Alanis Morissette | The Auditorium, Rome | 24 June 2008

The annual season of open air music events during July in the Cavea at the Auditorium Music Park - Luglio Suona Bene - got off to a wonderful start on Tuesday evening with a sellout concert by Alanis Morissette.

The atmosphere was incredible and the enthusiasm, (word perfect) singing along and spontaneous shouted declarations of adoration were rewarded with a blistering performance of classics from her multi-Grammy winning back catalogue as well as a smattering of tracks from her latest album Flavors Of Entanglement.

Alanis Morissette has an incredibly charismatic stage presence - in fact she seemed determined to connect with each and every member of the audience regardless of where they were sitting in the Cavea, rushing backing and forth across the stage with dynamism in between bouts of headbanging! And on a personal note - I'm a sucker for girls with guitars who play the harmonica! In the words of the song which closed the concert Thank You Alanis for a wonderful evening!

Full setlist (with thanks to Italian fan site )

Moratorium I
All I Really Want
Eight Easy Steps
Citizen of the Planet
Underneath (Piano Solo)
Versions of Violence
That Particular Time
Hand in My Pocket
Moratorium II
You Oughta Know
Head Over Feet
You Learn
Thank You

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Danny DeVito on the set of When in Rome

If you're in Rome for the next couple of weeks take a wander over to Piazza Borghese for a curious new tourist attraction – a fibreglass Baroque-style fountain created on the set of the new Walt Disney movie When in Rome which is currently being filmed in the city.

According to the Cinecittà Website local residents have become so attached to the fountain that they have written to the mayor requesting that it stay in place a little longer!

Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil) is directing the film which stars Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars fame, and Danny DeVito who we spotted in Piazza Borghese yesterday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Giovanni Baronzio and the Rimini School in the 14th Century | Palazzo Barberini

Taking as its centre piece a recently restored multi-panelled Dossale from Villa Verucchio depicting various scenes from Christ's Passion by Giovanni Baronzio - exhibited for the first time in its newly reassembled state - this small exhibition at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica in Palazzo Barberini also offered several other gems from the 1300s from other lesser known artists working in Rimini in that period. In fact, my favourite room was the very first in the exhibition which focussed primarily on tiny devotional panels created in the main part for private alters such as Pietro da Rimini's 1330 pair of panels – The Resurrection and an exquisite Noli me tangere. Giuliano da Rimini's Byzantine-looking Head of Christ painted in c.1320 in Room II was also a fascinating fragment of what was once a much larger panel allowing us to view from close up the incisions in the inlaid halo and a tiny square of the painted background draperies decorated with abstract motifs.

The exhibition is a preview of works which be housed in the soon to be opened (end of 2008 according to the gallery Web site) ground floor section of Palazzo Barberini dedicated to works from the twelfth to fifteenth centuries.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

500,000 at Roma Pride Parade 2008

If the local authorities had hoped to spoil the party by denying Rome's annual gay pride march - Roma Pride - access to Piazza San Giovanni they failed miserably in their attempts because the 2008 event was a staggering success – 500,000 people marched and sang and danced their way from the starting point at Piazza della Repubblica arriving several hours later at Piazza Navona. Here are a few highlights!

CinaviCina Festival | Chongqing Acrobatics Troupe

In another of the free performances in the Cavea at the Auditorium Music Park (Friday 6th June) as part of the CinaviCina Festival, audiences were treated to a further aspect of Chinese Culture – traditional circus and the extraordinary acrobatics of the Chongqing Acrobatics Troupe.

Moving through an hour long programme of increasingly difficult and improbable feats of balance and strength the show ended in a breathtaking display of gymnastics as five of the acrobats leaped through impossibly high and narrow hoops, encouraged all the while by an enthusiastic audience.

They'll be performing again (weather permitting) at the festival's close on Sunday 8th June at 23.00...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Roma Pride at Piazza Navona

The final destination of the Gay Pride march in Rome on Saturday 7th June has been finalised - according to RomaPride the Parade will finish in the historic setting of Piazza Navona, instead of Piazza San Giovanni.

Full route as follows:
Piazza della Repubblica (gathering at 15.00 for 16.00 departure)
Viale Luigi Einaudi
Piazza dei Cinquecento
Via Cavour
Largo Corrado Ricci
Via dei Fori Imperiali
Piazza Venezia
Via di San Marco
Via delle Botteghe Oscure
Via Florida
Largo di Torre Argentina
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II
Piazza di S. Pantaleo
Piazza Navona

Visualizzazione ingrandita della mappa

Countdown to Rome Pride!

RomaPride, the capital's Gay Pride Parade has suffered a last minute bureaucratic attack and been refused permission to conclude the march at Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano only days before the event (last year saw a huge gathering in the square which is traditionally used for large demonstrations and the annual 1st May rock concert).

The final route should be confirmed later today, but the STARTING point is at least certain - be at Piazza della Repubblica at 16.00 this Saturday, 7th June, 2008 if you'd like to lend your support. Italy’s new minister for equal opportunities has angered gay rights groups by refusing to back a gay pride march because, she said, gay people no longer suffer discrimination in Italy...Given that the centre-left government which collapsed earlier this year, failed spectacularly to honour pre-election promises and to win legal status for same-sex unions, ostensibly because of opposition from Roman Catholic politicians, discrimination against gay people in Italy is, regrettably, still very much a fact of life here.

Further details in English on the Roma Pride Web site

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

CinaVicina Festival | Gongfu Monk Group of the Shaolin Temple

The Festival of Chinese Culture, organised by the Fondazione Musica per Roma in association with the People's Republic of China's Ministry of Culture, continues at the Auditorium with theatre, music, dance, circus acts, art and literature. On Sunday evening there was a spectacular display of traditional Shaolin Kung Fu by the Gongfu Buddhist Monk Group in a packed Sala Sinopoli. Shaolin Kung Fu was first developed during the Tang dynasty, both as a form of exercise to keep monks fit between long periods of meditation and as a means of defence against aggressors - the Emperor Li Shimin even maintained a troop of warrior monks who put down a revolt with their fighting skills. This present group of performing Shaolin Monks was formed in 1987 by Shi Yongxin, the abbot of the Shaolin Temple, to help spread knowledge of this traditional skill worldwide. Sunday's performance was certainly a testament to the enormous physical and mental training and discipline required - a stunning display that was applauded by an enthusiastic audience. In the ten minute interlude there was even a brief lesson in Shaolin Kung Fu for the children present in the theatre who were invited on stage to practise their moves under the tutelage of a real Shaolin maestro!

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