Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino’s summer season is well under way. Every summer the Florence based classical music organisation presents performances in the square outside of Palazzo Vechio, Piazza della Signoria.
This “Gala of Dance” comprised of a variety of musical pieces performed by the company’s ballet dancers. From Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Nights Dream to contemporary works composed by Yo Yo Ma, there was a great variety of pieces performed. Unfortunately the choreography was substandard and repetitive. Why have dancers laying on the floor when 95% of the audience would be unable to see them. The contemporary dance choreography to Yo Yo Ma’s music was frankly boring. It entailed a dancer who seemed like she had never touched a sword before in her life trying to convince the audience that she was in fact so capable with the weapon that she could easily dance with it in hand. The addition of an east Asian inspired robe did nothing to aid the referencing. A group rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake bordered on the edge of a school recital-like performance with all of the dancers in white lycra body suits dancing over and under one another’s linked arms.
It would also have been preferable to have the accompanying music performed live, perhaps by Florence’s youth orchestra, rather than recorded music. It would have added to the outdoor atmosphere and increased the vibrancy of the performance.
Despite the criticisms, it is wonderful to offer art to the the general populace for free. A great endeavour in fact. The audience swelled as the time passed, locals and tourists alike. A better setting than than in front of Florence’s ancient buildings and iconic statues I would struggle to imagine. The most enchanting part of the evening was seeing the dancers’ silhouettes outlined over the form of David and on the wall of the symbolic Comune di Firenze building.