At the Large Theater in Pompeii, the “PARADE” & “PULCINELLA” ballets are on show
In 1917 Picasso traveled to Italy together with Jean Cocteau to work with the Russian Ballet “Parade”. During his stay the artist visited Rome, Naples and Pompeii.
The Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism celebrates the centenary of Picasso's journey with important initiatives, such as the next show promoted by Pompeii’s archaeological park in collaboration with Mondadori Electa: the “Parade-Pulcinella evening” scheduled in the Large Theatre of the ruins.
From Thursday, July 27th, to Saturday, July 29th, the dancers Rebecca Bianchi, Claudio Cocino, Manuel Paruccini and the chorus of the Opera of Rome, directed by Eleonora Abbagnato, will revive the characters and the magical ballets “Parade” and “Pulcinella”.
The “Parade” ballet was born in Rome in 1917 by the collaboration - masterfully orchestrated by the Russian Ballet’s manager Sergey Djagilev - between Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Léonide Massine and Erik Satie. It was immediately thought of by its creators as a new and a revolutionary ballet, where, for the first time, on stage there were three-dimensional costumes similar to sculptures, on an innovative choreography made of dry and fast movements. The setting is the present of that era, a street in Paris where some artists from the circus’ universe and the music-hall - a Chinese wizard, a young American girl and two acrobats - perform with the intent of attracting the spectators. “Parade” exalts characters portrayed in everyday scenes and it was completely detached from the other ballets of the era, based on myth and fairy tale.
“Pulcinella”, a ballet in one act set in the city of Naples, went on stage for the first time on May 15th, 1920 at the Opéra Theater in Paris and Picasso's "visual provocation" immediately received the spectator’s consent. Threefold signature: Igor Stravinskij's music, Léonide Massine's choreography, Pablo Picasso's stage design and costumes. The idea was born from the suggestions collected by Diaghilev, Stravinskij, Massine and Picasso during two trips to the city of Naples and s trip to Pompeii made in March and April 1917. The inspiration for the ballet is the atmosphere lived in the alleys and the Neapolitan markets, the charm of the ancient city of Pompeii and the great tradition of the Italian Art Commedia. To suggest the subject of the ballet is the finding of a manuscript in the National Library of Naples, centered on the famous mask of Pulcinella. Picasso creates a scenery whose fragmentation into rectangles, squares and trapeziums is based on the geometric setting of Cubism and whose cool colors exalt the light of the costumes. In Naples he had been able to attend numerous puppet shows with the Pulcinella protagonist, remaining particularly fascinated by his repeated changes in addressing the audience.
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Politics, 2000 years ago as it is today, has always had its charm: in Pompeii, as was the case in all the cities that had to elect their representatives, it actively involved the whole population who was very fond of the election campaign. All political issues were discussed in almost all the places of the city, from the streets to the taverns.
An epoch of the political life of the ancient city has also remained in the many electoral manifests that are widely spread in different places and that invited citizens to vote for this or that candidate. The term "candidate" derives precisely from a special white, candid toga, which in the pre-election period the various aspirants in power wore.
Unlike our electoral posters that are made with paper, the electoral slogans of Pompeii and the ancient Roman cities were written directly on the walls. The "programmata", as was their name, were actually painted on the walls of houses or buildings, since, at that time, there were no special spaces dedicated to electoral propaganda. The chosen walls were therefore designed to accommodate the writings thanks to a job assigned to a “dealbator”, who, at night, painted the scripts with the help of a lantern’s light.
The electoral posters were not the work of the candidate, but he had to do a good election campaign by trying to make every effort to make himself popular, even by making donations to expand his circle of followers. When the politician had to meet his voters, he always brought a slave called a "nomenclator", who had the specific role of remembering the names of the characters he met. A curiosity is that the electoral posters were signed not by the candidates but by his friends, family and relatives and even by the city corporations.
As a rule, after the name of the candidate and the indication of the office to which he aspired, a short formula was written that contained a sort of invitation to vote for him. An example was the OVF abbreviation (“Oro Vos Faciatis”, that means "please do it, vote for him"). Also, as a good rule for a politician, it was appropriate that he was far from scandals and gossip and that his image was as "candy" as possible, like his dress.
In Pompeii there were two kinds of “programmata”: their names were “antiquissima” and “recentora”. The first one dates back to the period before the foundation of the colony, while the others are referred to the last 17 years of the city's life. Even though women did not have the right to vote, the Pompeiian women followed politics with great passion and, in fact, many of the 2,500 election posters found in Pompeii are signed by women.
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David Gilmour was serious when he said his return to Pompeii would become a movie. "David Gilmour live at Pompeii" the inevitable title chosen, will be out in worldwide cinemas on September 13. The launch strategy involves the presence of the rockumentary in cinemas for one day only, before the release of the DVD and the Blue-ray in November.
The film is about an hour long, shot in 4K, and directed by Gavin Elder, a South African filmmaker who has already directed a docufilm on Duran Duran. "The show includes songs that cover all of David's career, as well as many Pink Floyd classics, including “One of these days”, the only song that was played in the 1971 concert, too" says the production’s press release, which mentions the footage of the 4th and 7th of October of 1971. However, they were certainly not real concerts: the group was alone with the crew among the excavations, except for a few lucky viewers. "The concert also included the performance of “The Great Gig in the Sky” taken from the album The Dark Side of the Moon, which David Gilmour rarely performed in his solo career".
The superintendence of Pompeii, which at the time - as usual - denied the request to have a rock concert inside the ruins will have royalties on the sales. The DVD will, of course, have a different duration and will include a few extras including interviews. A television broadcast seems likely at least in England on the BBC.
Two thousand and six hundred people were standing where gladiators fought in the first century BC. The "Rattle that lock tour" did not make prisoners, with much nostalgia, just like the location. The history that was inscribed amongst the stones is the history of humanity, accompanied by the most revolutionary soundtrack of the twentieth century. This is sure to be an instant classic. Lasers, pyrotechnic fireworks, the big circular screen, psychedelic solos, and then the long-awaited playing of "One of these days," the only song in common with the 1971 film lineup. We look forward to seeing this concert in the cinemas on September 13th.
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Summer has come and everybody’s starting to plan their holidays.
If you’re going to visit Pompeii and the Campania region in general, this article is perfect for you to not miss all the latest news for enjoying a great summer!
First at all, Ancient Pompeii becomes family-friendly, thanks to some nurseries, which offer private and relaxing spaces for nursing and diaper changing, inside of the Archaeological Area. The three nurseries, symbolically inaugurated last May 14th on Mother’s day, are located in three different places of the Ancient city: on the Via dell’Abbondanza, on Via Nola and at the crossroads of Via Stabiana and Via Della Fortuna.
This service is one of the initiatives organized in the Archaeological site in order to offer a more comfortable visit and meet the needs of the tourists. The campaign started in December 2016, with the project “Pompei per tutti” (Pompeii for everyone), proposing a facilitated itinerary for families with stroller or mobility impaired people. Actually, they will have no difficulty accessing and visiting the site.
Another great news is the creation of “ArcheoTreno”. It is a vintage train which connects Naples, Pompei, Paestum and Ascea, in order to promote the archaeological cultural heritage in Campania. ArcheoTreno is part of the Region's strategies to promote and encourage tourism in Campania, using land and sea transportation. In addition to enhancing and improving links to the various tourist destinations in the region, among the goals is also the relaunch of rail travel that has begun to involve an ever-growing array of enthusiasts around the world.
During this summer, every fourth Sunday of every month, ArcheoTreno will offer a cultural and archaeological journey. From June to December, there will be seven runs, from 7.30 to 24.00. The departure is from the station of Napoli Centrale and the arrival is at Ascea, with stops in Paestum, Pompei and Velia.
ArcheoTreno joins to the “Reggia Express project”, which offers eleven train runs, from Napoli Centrale to the famous Caserta’s Palace, every second Sunday of every month, until December, excluding August. On board there are tour guides, wearing 18th century costumes. And, about the trasportation, don’t forget that there also is the Campania Express train, a special fast train that goes from Naples to Sorrento in 50 minutes.
But, usually, people who come to Pompeii and the Campania region want also to enjoy the beautiful weather and sea that these places offer. So, the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education) gives fifteen Blue Flags to many sites in Campania, according to water quality and services offered to bathers. The rewards go to two sites in the Province of Naples, Anacapri and Massa Lubrense Marina del Cantone, Marina di Puolo and Recommone. The Province of Salerno gets better results with Agropoli, Ascea, Pollica, Vibonati, Positano, Sapri, Centola, San Mauro Cilento, Montecorice, Capaccio, Pisciotta, Casal Velino and Castellabate.
So, what are you waiting for? Come see one of the most beautiful archeological sites in the world and book one of our unique time-traveling tours through the Ancient Roman city of Pompeii!
When the archaeologist Vittorio Spinazzola saw the cast of the two intertwined bodies (just found in the house of the Criptoporticus of Pompeii) he had no doubt. It was a man and a woman, hugged together in their last moment of life. Someone christened them "lovers."
A year later, Spinazzola, archaeologist and regent of the ruins, was sent away because his sympathies were not really directed towards Mussolini. The "Lovers" instead remained there, with mixed success, rarely shown. However, in people’s imagination, they remained the most fascinating cast of the history of Pompeii, a symbol of love and passion. For decades, the casts were closed in storage and have never been studied. For a "Christian Pietas" because as explained by the Superintendent Massimo Osanna in 2015, "they have always represented the bodies of dead people and not only archaeological remains". It was the month of May, a few days before the exhibition "Kidnapped to Death” which took place in a large wooden pyramid set up in the arena of the Amphitheater. A historic day, not only an exhibition. The plaster that hid bones, clothing fibers, buckles, and common objects that Pompeiians normally wore in 79 AD, could be studied. CAT, DNA tests, spectroscopy and all the most sophisticated instruments that modern medicine has were used. All this effort for a man and a woman of two thousand years ago.
Some casts were even treated with an IV because they were yielding to time. Ironically it was happening to the most recent ones, those found in the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century. They realized that poor quality plaster had been used. Much better plaster was used by Giuseppe Fiorelli, the man who invented the casts in 1863, that’s why his plaster cast were intact. Obviously, the exhibition brought the “Lovers” before the eyes of the people. However, Mr. Osanna, with scientific rigor, brought the truth to which Spinazzola believed in. They were not a man and a woman but two women, perhaps a mother with her daughter. Love “kidnapped to death" was not the passion of two lovers but a mother’s desperate hug on the last attempt to save her daughter.
And yet there's another twist. "Pompeii never ceases to amaze. I always imagined that it was a hug between two women. But CAT and DNA have revealed that they are men", said the superintendent Massimo Osanna. And they are not father and son. According to the results of the scientific tests, they are two boys aged 18 and 20 years.
"We cannot say - says Mr. Osanna - that the two characters were lovers. However, it can be assumed, but it is difficult to know for sure”. The analysis does show that the eighteen-year old cast belongs to a male, and probably so for the twenty-year old. However, on the oldest there is no certainty, because the DNA after two thousand years is very spoiled. Their love is the only thing that resists time.
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Staff at Flashback Journey to Pompeii. Our goal is to bring you up-to-date information on events, continuing archeological excavations and more on Pompeii.