Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Photography Marcel Regonese

In the world of the performing arts, the word “Festival” evokes a feeling of excitement. It promises something cutting-edge and fresh, the chance to see new art born and old traditions honored. Such is the goal of Antonio Pio Fini, Tabata Caldironi, and Gianluca Blandi as they present the first Italian International Dance Festival later this week.

In 2011, Artistic Director Fini formed the Alto Jonio Dance Festival in Calabria, which centered around a choreographic competition. His vision, along with Creative Director/Host Caldironi was to foster emerging choreographers, and provide them with the opportunity to present their work on a grander scale. Fini and Caldironi recognized an opening for an Italian dance festival in New York, one that would celebrate and preserve the rich culture of their native land, yet partner with Americans, both Italian and non. “It’s the perfect time for this,” says Fini, “because it is the Year of Italian Culture in the United States.”

Antonio Pio Fini and Tabata Caldironi Photography Marcel Regonese

The Festival will begin on March 21st with workshops and a choreographic competition, which are closed to the public. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges and participate in the AJD Festival this summer where he or she will get to present their work to a new audience. A reception for the participants of the festival will be held on the evening of March 21st to give the artists the chance to rub elbows and get to know one another.

“It is important that artists from both countries get to meet and not just show up and perform,” says Fini. The New York Festival will culminate in a gala performance on the 22nd with performances by companies from both Italy and America who will present works celebrating Italian traditional dance and new works.  The winner from last year’s competition in Italy, Antonella Perazzo will present a piece that she choreographed for Caliince Dance.

Tabata Caldironi Creative Director/Host Photography Marcel Regonese

When asked about their passion for the culture of dance in a country that has almost completely cut funding for the arts, Caldironi replies simply, “Who’s gonna do it if not the artists?” Fini continues the thought, “We want to do things with our festival in a new way, our own way.”

The first annual Italian International Dance Festival

Friday, March 22, 2013 at 7:30pm

Julia Richman Theater

317 East 67th Street (off Second Avenue)

Tickets: $10 – $20

Reservations: www.italianidf.com, www.theatermania.comIIDF Press Release_ENG-1 (dragged), 646.387.8979

On the program:

Atzewi Dance Company from Modena

Aconcoli Dance di Elena Albano from Milan

Mare Nostrum Elements

Michael Mao Dance

Staten Island Ballet

Talent Unlimited High School

-Appearance by Laura Caparrotti of Rome, director of the NY based Kairos Italy -Theater

-A Segment of work by famed jazz teacher, Luigi

The following IIDF Heart for Art awards will be presented to:

LuigiLifetime Achievement Award.

Elena Albano: Brigde Award for excellence in teaching.

Sasa Di Donna: Ambassador Award for being an ambassador of American Jazz in Italy

Alessandra FerriExtraordinary Dancer Award.

Written by Matthew Donnell

Matthew Donnell

A graduate of North Carolina School of the arts, Matthew Donnell is a freelance dancer, actor, clown, instructor, and film maker residing in NYC. After a decade with the Kansas City Ballet, he turned his focus toward musical theater and teaching. He strives to bring the humor of his life into his art in order to promote artistic health for himself and those around him.