Romaeuropa Festival – An Exploration of Contemporary Design in Rome

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Rome has been the resilient, long-standing European nerve centre of art and culture since the dawn of modern civilisation. But since 1980, Romaeuropa Festival has sought to introduce a flavour of contemporary design in Rome through performance art, music, dance, and theatre.

What is it?

Established now as one of the greatest art events in the world, Romaeuropa Festival attracts a multitude of acts from a wide expanse of mediums to showcase their works for two autumn months, between September and November every year. In archaic halls and theatres across the ancient sprawling city, tourists experiencing the delights of The Pantheon can slip into a show at one of the many participating venues, such as Teatro Olimpico and Auditorium Parco de la Musica, displaying an inverted world of contemporary design in Rome.

New meets old

Lovers of modern art and fresh forward-thinking ideas might almost forget the historic wonders and romance that await them outside. Although this is unlikely considering the main reason to visit this wonderful ancient city is for the old buildings and artwork. However, it demonstrates how popular and strong the festival’s appeal is, managing to survive this long in a place where contemporary art isn’t the first thing that springs to mind.

Explore the city

Visitors to the festival can take a stroll from their accommodation and in one instant choose between the classic ancient delights of city – the galleries, museums, chapels, The Colosseum and The Pantheon – or take in the more contemporary design in Rome, and experience an altogether different side to the 2,000 year old city. There are influences from all around the world presenting famous acts, undiscovered artistic gems and new, never-before-seen material to excite and intrigue visitors in equal measure.

Enjoy the art

At the heart of the festival in 2012 was a celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the birth of 20th century post-modern composer, John Cage, known for his experimental musical works, including the score “4’33”. This year the programme features a wide array of thrilling contemporary design in Rome and multi-media art performances. These include a piece of musical theatre called “Aliados”, which centres on the relationship between the meetings of Margaret Thatcher and the former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet in the years 1998-2000. The piece aims to explore the pair’s shared memories of recent history and show how facts can alter due to the decline their respective psychological conditions

But the festival isn’t all modern performance art. There are classical compositions and dances representing the city’s deep-rooted traditions sitting comfortably alongside post-modern operas – a refreshing take on the form by Messiaen/Santasangre, for example.

The Italian capital has so much rich culture to offer all year round to tourists, but with the added injection of a two-month celebration of contemporary design in Rome, there are more ways than ever before to enjoy your visit.

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Source by Roberta Stuart

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