Friday, June 28, 2013

A "Gabbiotto" of Dance: Biennale Danza Opens Today

Iris Erez performs Atleta Donna on Viale Garibaldi in Castello
The "gabbiotto"--that is, the tacky ticket booth/gift shop--that was appended to the base of the campanile in Piazza San Marco has been removed, but you can't blame those Venetians who were perturbed by the sight of a few new large white-framed glass boxes being erected in various campi around town yesterday and today. These structures, however, in Campo Santo Stefano, Campo Sant'Angelo, and at one end of Viale Garibaldi (in photos), will serve as the sites of one of the pieces in this weekend's Biennale Danza.

I caught part the performance this evening on Viale Garibaldi by the dancer Iris Erez. Entitled Atleta Donna, it's a three hour piece, in which the dancer in her glass room is, paradoxically, isolated in public. The essential drama in the piece is generated by the transparent walls, and by the way apparent boundaries between the dancer and her audience--as much psychological as physical--are explored and altered, reinforced or transgressed.

If you happen to be in Venice this weekend you can see this piece, and many others; a full listing of events may be found at:

It's a fascinating piece and merits much more attention, but there's a lot going on this weekend and right now I have to head out to the Festa di San Pietro di Castello (or San Piero de Casteo, in Venetian). 

Erez leaps up to toss a marker to a toddler--her own--on the other side of the glass

As you can see above, the dancer is free to invite a volunteer from the audience to join her in her glass room


  1. Thanks for that post, Sig. We went to an end of year exhibition at the art college a few weeks ago. One young guy was sitting in a glass cube with 1.5 m sides. People were invited to write questions in red marker on the outside of the glass to which he replied, in black, on the inside. Again that idea of communicating yet separated.

    1. Artists in glass boxes seem to be a perennial favorite over the past 40 years or so, Andrew; I believe Tilda Swinton just spent a few days sleeping in a glass box at NYC's Museum of Modern Art. A cube with 1.5 meter sides sounds pretty claustrophobic to me! Thanks for your comment.

  2. Hey, look at you, the volunteer in the glass space! That is you, isn't it?

    Have fun for all of us, at the Festa. We look forward to seeing and hearing about that.

    Cheers from Down Under.

    1. In order to maintain my air of mystery, Yvonne, I won't respond to your question of whether that is indeed me in that glass room!

      The Festa was quite wonderful; I'm sorry you missed it--but, then, you miss a lot of other less-wonderful things avoiding Venice during these peak tourist days.