Every year, the Alda Fendi Foundation holds the Lenten Experiments, an avant-garde performance series that takes place around the last week of Lent. Every year I go and every year I write about it.
Why am I so predictable? Because I believe in the Experiments and more importantly, I believe that if you have the opportunity you should go see them.
What are the Experiments? 45 minute ultra-sensory mayhem. Music- classical, techno, nostalgic. Performance- shocking, nude, beautiful, dance. Imagery- shocking, historic, cartoon, text. The Experiments are the love child of Raffaele Curi and Alda Fendi. They are a nod to a part of Roman culture that only gets seen by the outside world for a few seconds in films like La Dolce Vita, Mamma Roma and La Grande Bellezza, or if you’ve had the good fortune to have a very crazy weekend in Rome. They are performance art not just by the players on stage but also by the participants who seeming stand around watching the performance unfold in fabulous attire and from all walks of life. They are a three dimensional celebration of the thoughts that run rampant in Raffaele’s head.
Who is Raffaele Curi? Raffaele is a personaggio, a character and living legend. He grew up in Ancona, moved to Rome to act and immediately received a role in Vittorio de Sica’s Academy-award-winning Garden of the Finzi-Contini. From there, his life imitated art, a bit La Dolce Vita with a touch of La Grande Bellezza. Pedro Almodovar, Prince Charles, Man Ray, Susan Sarandon, Carlo Menotti are some of his friends, and me. Raffaele lives just around the corner from my house, close enough to bump into each other at our local market and just far away enough to never ever want to hang out at my bar because he is faithful to the one I don’t like. It’s a Rome thing.
And he is Alda’s partner in crime, the ying to her yang, the extra set of eyes and ears and most importantly her friend. And its because of that friendship, Raffaele has had the opportunity to create experiments with complete freedom and sheer glee. Oceano Adriatico is a celebration of the crazy life journey of Raffaele, in part by art director Dante Ferretti as well as Curi’s love for his childhood home in Italy’s Le March region. Get it? Adriatic Ocean, because the world revolves around Le Marche. . . .
What did I think? Oceano Adriatico is a bit more tame than years past, and it is a great celebration.
Performances April 3 to 6, Studios dePaolis, via Tiburtina 521. For more information, please check out my article in Ansa.