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The culture of Emilia-Romagna abroad in 2020


The year 2020 is the annus horribilis of the pandemic the world over. Among the many disastrous consequences, the cultural venues were closed and cultural activities cancelled, re-scheduled, redefined, transformed. Culture did not want to stop: theatres, museums, culture professionals, public bodies, and institutions created new virtual stages and shared with a wide audience many contents and new ideas, and new ways to interact.

logo Cultura d'EuropaIn this particular time and unprecedented condition, the year-end report of Emilia-Romagna cultural export – commonly very rich in numbers and activities – presents a problematic result in quantitative terms but it is always very high in terms of quality, innovation, widespread distribution.


The number of events had a drastic contraction (more than 40%, compared to 2019) but, even if numerous appointments already scheduled had been cancelled over the months, 195 events took place in 130 cities in 50 Countries on all continents.

France, Germany, United States, and Croatia -in that order- are the countries which hosted the largest number of events (and we are pleased to underline that one event reached New Zealand).

dance, music, theatre

Teatro Due Mondi, Vedrai, vedraiThe live staged performances were 61, mainly in Europe. Amongst the most active companies we still find: Aterballetto as regards dance (7 cities in 5 Countries); Accademia Bizantina and Soqquadro Italiano as to music (4 cities each, in 2 and 3 Countries, respectively); Teatro Gioco Vita (8 cities in 2 countries) and La Baracca-Testoni Ragazzi (7 cities in 2 countries) as to children theatre; ERT / Pippo Delbono (11 cities in 9 Countries) and Teatro Due Mondi (14 cities in 2 Countries) as to drama (but we cannot fail to mention a new record by Motus theatre company: the highly acclaimed performance MDLSX, on tour since 2015, reached two cities abroad also this year, in Argentine and Portugal).

Federico FelliniThe absolute protagonist was Federico Fellini, in the year of the centenary of his birth, celebrated worldwide. According to estimates by the official programme of the Committee for the Celebration ‘Fellini 100’ (Emilia-Romagna Region is one of the eight supporting bodies and partners), the events abroad dedicated to the Maestro from Rimini are more than 100.

international awards
fuse*, MultiverseIn the specific context of documentary film, it is worth mentioning Il varco - Once More Unto The Breach by Federico Ferrone and Michele Manzolini, produced by Bologna-based Kiné: Best Film in the section ‘What the Doc!’ of the 23rd DocsBarcelona; EFA Editing Award to Maria Fantastica Valmorii.
Also the audiovisual installations by Modena-based art studio fuse* received important recognitions: Multiverse won the Red Dot Award and the CODAawards Merit Award; Treu / Trust was awarded at POCHEN Biennale.

exhibition and promotional events
In this area, different conditions and criteria are concerned: many exhibitions were presented online and for the most part they are included in the promotional events organized by Emilia-Romagna Region (more than 100).

An intense activity was carried out by the Office for cultural activities abroad on the occasion of the Fellini 100, Rodari 100, and Artusi 200 anniversaries (these last, also celebrated in the 20th Week of the Italian Language in the World and in the 5th Week of Italian Cuisine in the World):

  • Fellini 100the three digital multilingual exhibitions dedicated to Fellini, made in co-operation with Centro Cinema Città di Cesena and Municipality of Rimini, were presented –both on site and virtual– in 58 international venues;

  • 100 Gianni Rodarithe exhibit Illustrators for Gianni Rodari. Italian Excellence, made in collaboration with Bologna Children’s Book Fair, was programmed in 28 venues the world over, and was one of the most appreciated events of the 20th Week of the Italian Language in the World.

  • Artusi 200on the occasion of the 5th Week of Italian Cuisine in the World, more than 60 events organized by Emilia-Romagna Region and Casa Artusi (the exhibit dedicated to Artusi, webinar, conferences, videos, …) were presented in 31 Countries in all continents.


Many cultural contents were made available online by the more than 1800 cultural professionals of the territory since March, sharing the campaign of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) #WeAreItaly, and the virtual festival promoted by the regional Ministry for Culture #laculturanonsiferma: theatre, poetry, cinema, concerts, virtual tours in museums, interviews, and much more. Moreover, throughout the year many events became completely virtual or programs available both live and streamed were planned. Various proposals of cultural contents transferred on the digital environment were developed.

We want to remember just some among the most virtuous and innovative ones, that deal with theatre, music, dance, opera.

  • Pippo DelbonoEmilia Romagna Teatro and Compagnia Pippo Delbono, in co-operation with international partners, developed a project of multilingual subtitling (11 languages) of 4 shows, made available free streaming and shared with about 50 Italian Cultural Institutes, Embassies, and Consulates on all continents. Moreover, ERT made ERTonAIR, a virtual arena where to join streaming events and interact, that is still going on.
  • Instabili Vaganti, 8 ½ Theatre ClipsInstabili Vaganti theatre company conceived the project "Beyond Borders", which combines theatre, dance, video, visual and digital arts following an innovative process of remote interaction and co-operation with artists from around the world. Among the first works, the web series  8 1⁄2 Theatre Clips: How the pandemic changed our lives, eight video-performances created with Iranian Don Quixotte theatre company and coproduced by the Embassy of Italy in Teheran. The debut was in August, the last episode expected in February 2021, while new projects were developed with artists from China, Spain, India.
  • Ater Fondazione, Teatri nella reteATER Fondazione made the platform “Teatri nella rete”, proposing a streaming season from December to January to replace the seasons of the theatres closed due to the pandemic and keep theatre in close connection with the community: 11 shows premiered from the stages of the Multidisciplinary Circuit of Emilia-Romagna and from the Teatro Galli in Rimini, besides webinars, backstage videos, events for children.
  • Ravenna Festival liveFondazione Ravenna Manifestazioni/Ravenna Festival made the platform, offering almost 40 live stream and on demand appointments from the Festival programme and re-proposing more than 30 during the holyday season.
    Ravenna Festival has been the forerunner not only with regard to the live streaming. The opening concert conducted by Maestro Riccardo Muti was also the opening event of Estate all'italiana Festival, the digital festival promoted by the MAECI and shared by its cultural and diplomatic network abroad: a symbolic message to the world on June 21st, World Music Day.
  • Estate all'italiana FestivalEstate all'italiana Festival programmed other events ‘made in Emilia-Romagna’: three further shows from Ravenna Festival; the opening concert of Emilia Romagna Festival (celebrating its 20 years with a very special debut: the flute and strings Concerto n. 2 by Michael Nyman, written for Massimo Mercelli’s flute and dedicated to their mutual friend Ezio Bosso); L’Orfeo by Monteverdi, performed by Accademia Bizantina conducted by Ottavio Dantone, the Spoleto Festival of 2Worlds opening event.
  • Teatro Regio di Parma, Giuseppe VerdiThe Teatro Regio di Parma made Festival Verdi Home Streaming, programming through March and April the free vision of 11 operas among the most successful produced for the Festival, a virtual review shared with the Italian Cultural Institutes network that registered users from more than 100 Countries all over the world.
  • OperaStreamingTogether with all the "Teatri di Tradizione", the Regio di Parma participates in the project OperaStreaming", promoted by Emilia-Romagna Region and coordinated by Fondazione Teatro Comunale di Modena: 9 works by the main regional opera production bodies live broadcasted from the theatre where they were produced and staged, with a programming from September 2020 to April 2021, also available deferred. It is the second season of a project started in 2019 that reached more than half a million spectators and gathered an enthusiastic international audience interacting from many Countries, and which in December arrived also in China.
  • Fondazione Nazionale della Danza/Aterballetto dance company conceived video-creations made in quarantine, premiered streaming on RAI 5 in April and June, then available on the Company’s website and social channel.
    Aterballetto, Don JuanBut the Company, which started the year 2020 on tour in Israel, could also perform abroad the new creation by Johan Inger, Don Juan. After the premiere in Italy, in October, the performance was staged in the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, opening show of the season of one of the most important French theatre as regards dance, and at the Festspielhaus St. Pölten, another leading venue for dance (and music) near Wien. The crowning of this ‘creative tenacity’ was a prize: the Danza&Danza Award as Best Italian production in 2020.

The activities were done with the precious co-operation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s network of diplomatic and cultural Representations.

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published on 2021/04/26 14:25:00 GMT+1 last modified 2021-04-27T09:26:40+01:00

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