A week after the release in Italian cinema, The White Crow won the podium in the standings at the box office, although preceded by Arrivederci Professore in second place and Toy Story 4 in the first.
Ralph Fiennes’ film about the life of the Soviet dancer, begins on a running train, the one on which Rudolf Nureyev came into the world and goes on to tell the protagonist’s childhood and youth, through a stream of consciousness made up of temporal ellipses, without interruption or particular stylistic underlining, except in the parts that portray Nureyev as a child, in which the choice falls on black and white.
Focused on one of the crucial moments of his career and his life, the film tells the story of Nureyev’s first trip out of the Soviet Union, when he sets foot at the Paris Opera together with the other dancers of the Leningrad ballet and demonstrates who he is , determined to make a real revolution in the world of ballet, rendering justice to the figure of the male, subordinate until then, to that of his female partner. Beyond the biographical story more or less known to enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts, there are two points, as far as I am concerned:
– the first to know, to know, to see, in the part relating to the Parisian context, in which Nureyev takes every opportunity to experience the symbolic places of culture and art that the city offers;
– The second is the dialogue with the teacher and mentor Alexander Pushkin (played by Ralph Fiennes himself), in which the latter asks him what the ultimate goal of the dance is.
In the first I could not help but reflect on the young Nureyev’s foresight, on his ability to emerge, to go beyond, to have guessed how much the other arts, all the arts, from painting, to architecture, to literature, were indispensable to dance, as the relationship, the contamination of the same, would have been able to revitalize them over time, to add value to each language taken individually.
In the second, my thoughts turn around the meaning. What is the meaning of dance? Why does a dancer dance? To show a perfect technique? To entertain the public? None of the two. None of the endless answers certainly right, but accessory, compared to the true motivation that is valid for dance, painting, photography, poetry, etc. etc; none really important if at the base of everything, there is not a story, a point of view to express, a need to tell about one’s own personal tale.
The story, the urgency to say something, is equivalent to identity and not only when it comes to art or culture. The story is the differential, it is the project, it is the element of distinction between one subject and another, it is the substance. The story is one in which men and women identify themselves or not, the one for which remember. This happened to Nureyev and to many who, like him, managed to leave a footprint in the memory of humanity.
Anyway, we all have a story, so let’s ask ourselves: what is our language? How can we tell it better and make a difference in what we do?
On 6 and 7 April 2019, the city of San Severo in Puglia and the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi, are preparing to welcome a great event dedicated to dance and to all lovers of this wonderful art form. But let’s get to know the founder of this initiative better. Following the interview with Rossella Damone
Before revealing the details of this wonderful project, I’d like to talk a little about you and your passion for dance. You yourself have studied dance for many years and you have been a professional dancer, but tell us how the meeting with this discipline happened…
The meeting with the dance I owe it to my mom. She was the one who, loving the ballet, took me to a school that was exactly in front of my house. Maybe a sign of destiny. It was love at first sight, the same I felt when, for the first time, I entered a theatre, our beautiful theatre. The red color and softness of the velvet of the armchairs, that huge chandelier that appeared to me mysterious and the stage with those large wooden boards that glisted under the effect of the lights. It was all so fascinating and magical that, already so small I was kidnapped… forever… And then I had the good fortune to meet a teacher who sent me for this sublime art an infinite passion. The dance encompasses everything: there is the music, there are the scenographies and the costumes, there is the inspiration of the choreographer, the interpretative and athletic ability of the dancer… and his heart. What more would you want? The love of Dance is for me a great companion of life. Those who know me know well.
But now tell us about this project: how long have you started thinking about it? What does IDA mean to you? What is your goal on this initiative?
The idea took shape last summer. My biggest wish is to return, at least in small part, to this theater the immense joy that it gave to me in the 30 years in which I danced. In These years has been done a lot to give light to the Teatro Verdi and I wanted to give my contribution. I began to hope that the first-magnitude stars in the international dance scene could discover on our stage the potential talents and, at the same time, that our children were not forced to face long journeys to have the opportunity to be noticed or simply to be able to bring these excellencies of the world of choreutics, just as it had happened to me as a little girl. I wanted to make it easier to live an experience so wonderful, motivating and exciting, the same that I wanted to live as a pupil in my city. Our beautiful theatre deserves a great competition and the names involved in this initiative are truly of absolute excellence. The presence of professionals of this level goes beyond my expectations. My admiration for them is immense and I will never thank them enough for adhering to my request. It is for me a dream that is realized together with that of many young promises.
The competition will be involved in several dance schools. What is the average age of the participants? What do you expect emerges from comparing competitors?
There are two categories: Juniors 12/17 years and seniors 18/25 years. I expect a healthy competition, but above all to realize for 2 days a great dance festival from which a beautiful positive energy emanating from dreams, ambitions and hopes of many young dancers and ballet dancers, coming from different contexts and experiences but in tune with each other, because united by a single great passion for art, that gathers and nourishes the souls.
What do you think about the condition of dance in Italy today? What would you like to improve and how?
Given that you can always do better, I think the dance unfortunately, despite being in many those who love it, has less space and less tools that help to express themselves in theaters and television in the way it deserves. I hope that things will change thanks to targeted interventions and that we act increasingly in the sign of quality and professionalism because only where there is quality and professionalism, there is art and beauty.
«When there’s blood in the sky, red and blue goes to purple… Purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/god guide you through the purple rain».
Prince used this words to describe the Purple Rain, few words, not enough to uniquely define the meaning of the expression Purple Rain. The story is roughly the same: in 1983, Prince returns to his home in Minneapolis after touring the album 1999 and prepares to make his first concert at club first Avenue. Meanwhile his retinue had risen and in his head he had begun to think of a screenplay about his life/career, within which to introduce the songs of his new album, among which was the song that would then give the title to the film. Purple Rain released on June 25, 1984 for Warner Bros. Records, and is the first job for which Prince makes use of a studio band, Prince and the Revolution, whose name will be retained in the film version. Prince plays the role of his alter ego Kid, an egocentric and controversial character, with great potential, but unable to work synchronously with other musicians. He constantly discusses with the girls in his band, as well as with rival bands, while private life is no better. Parents often argue and the father, in anger and frustration at having failed as a musician and as a husband, beats his mother. In All this he meets Apollonia, aspiring singer and between the two is born a reciprocal attraction. In the couple’s relationship, the Kid discovers a part of himself that makes him similar to his father and that causes Apollonia to move away and accept the offer to sing for the rival band.
The notes of Purple rain overlook timidly during the various scenes, in the form of a cassette tape that Kid/prince tries several times to listen, then interrupted. He is a song written by the girls de The Revolution for him, but that until the end refuses to sing. Everything is going to wreck, career, sentimental and family life that ends in tragedy, with a gunshot left at the height of yet another quarrel, and that reduces the father in the end of life.
Being in front of the misfortune, reveals himself as a shock in the head of Kid, puts in front of him an aberrant scene in which he sees materialize his greatest fear: to make the same end of the parents. Face to face with the worst nightmares, after having vented the anger and put the cellar down, finds the sheet music of his father and in a state of discovered lucidity, realizes that it is still in time to reverse the course. He sits on the piano and puts back on the cassette tape; Purple Rain finally takes life in full desolation, like a light in the deepest darkness, like a flower in the midst of the most arid rocks. For the Kid is the last chance to save his career, he knows that he can disappear or be reborn and there are no middle streets allowed. Purple rain is ready, and so are the other members of The Revolution and the First Avenue audience. Before beginning, the Kid declares he wants to dedicate that piece to his father and decides to do justice to the girls of the band, marking the role of author. The music starts and the audience is mesmerized by a shower of emotions. The sequel we know, an overwhelming and legendary success, transformed into reality, in an Oscar won for the best Original soundtrack and millions of copies sold in the United States and the rest of the world.
However, what is this purple rain, no one has certainty and everyone keeps asking it from that far 1984. Reading and researching in my turn an answer, I found many and disparate, all plausible, but no certain and incontrovertible. What could really mean to Prince, I think we will never know, but the point is the emotion that inspires in each of us listening to Purple rain. The Purple Rain can take a thousand forms and embody as many moods; It can represent the tears after a disappointment, after a fatigue and the last legs for the barrel received; It can become the freedom to close your eyes and let go, letting your emotions flow, intimate, pure, uncontainable like the rain that falls and flows in rivulets on the ground; It may be the story of a beautiful love story or a manifest of excuses, if you dwell on what the text suggests, but anyway, the beauty of Purple rain, resides in the liquid consistency of its interpretation, which, like the liquid, naturally assumes the features of its container. Those containers are us, each unique, each different.
Below the links for more insights