MicroDanze, dancing in the most beautiful museums when no one expects it

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Think about arriving in one city and discover it like this: enter the most beautiful museums, indeed in the most secret places of the most beautiful museums, and find a mini-performance of contemporary dance waiting for you. A dancer in the background of theAcropolis of Athens; a dark room that explodes in colors, music and movement as soon as you enter; a dance that between the statues of antiquity takes up their message, acts as a bridge between the contemporary and that iconic beauty that seemed to have stood still over the centuries.

«Eppur si Moglie01» at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, with choreography by Francesca Lattuada.

We were in Athens when we were lucky enough to attend «MicroDanze“, project of National Foundation of Dance / Aterballetto of Reggio Emilia on the initiative of the General Manager Gigi Cristoforetti which on its initial date promises what it was designed for: bringing contemporary dance to unusual places, offering visitors a glimpse into its power, opening an unexpected curtain. To make the arts meet, to make them dialogue, but above all, to tell us that there are so many ways to discover beauty and the more we invent the more we participate in the creation of art, the more we bring emotion into our lives. It is the privilege of dialogue, between the arts, between cities and experiences. The project, born in Reggio Emilia, has launched bridges in Brussels and Athens. Departed from here on October 9, it will arrive in Reggio on 12-13 and 14 November and in Brussels on 9-10 and 11 December 2021 (information on www.aterballetto.it).

«Forget me no», the choreography is by Konstantinos Rigos

Valeria Isaeva

But what does it mean “MicroDanze»? It means brief moments of kinetic explosion, in a confined space and in a confined time. We saw the first dances at the Acropolis Museum of Athens: in the great hall of the statues one of these came to life as if to break the silence and the marble. Then in front of the west pediment of the Parthenon, the famous one with the dying bull under the claws of the lionesses (waiting for England to bring the other home), a dancer freed himself in the air as the tourists stopped to watch.

«Parole di Carta», choreography by Hèlias Tur-Dorvault

We continued the journey toEmst, the Museum of Contemporary Art. We walked through the exhibit Ubuntu (beautiful dedicated to African art) and in a room-amphitheater we found the dancer Martina Forioso, who in “Pensieri di carta” he lived the fatigue of all the words that invade our life every day; then we went up for another performance to the roof of the museum, a rooftop with an immense view of the white city.

the MicroDanze they led not only a new discovery of the city, but also directed our gaze, focused our attention on the space in which we danced. Not just the performance but the setting, the panorama, the artwork behind it, the architecture.

On the roof-garden of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, designed by Renzo Piano in Athens.


The last stop was at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, an exceptional place in the new Athens. Born in 2016 at the behest of the foundation named after the Greek shipowner and donated to the Greek state in 2017, it is a rare example of patronage. Project of Renzo Piano on 175,000 square meters (here before there was the racecourse) it is a gigantic structure that in the style of the Genoese master combines functionality, sustainability and beauty, in the name of stylistic elegance. Here they found a place there Greek National Library and the Opera House, event rooms, restaurants, with a large canal facing it (and sailing lessons are offered) and an amazing park that from the street level follows the diagonal line of the roofs of the buildings, of ascending height, to completely cover them. Once a vegetable vault of olive trees and Mediterranean scrub among which cicadas sing.

In this unique place, suspended between the windows, among the grass of the planted roof, in theagora – the entrance square to the foundation – we saw stories, style, passions, messages on display. The small space of the MicroDanze as a place to invent a new way of being, a space of transformation.

Suspended in the park of the Niarchos Foundation

Valeria Isaeva

The last room is the most intimate of this journey, which began in the morning and ended in the evening by entering a dark room in the back of the Opera, where we arrived with a “cargo-lift” used for the sets that is difficult to imagine like this. great. An already dreamlike means to enter the mood of the last four MicroDanze.

«Kepler», choreography by Diego Tortelli

In absolute black, a beam of light guided our attention to four dancing stories, from «The Wound» by Pietro Marullo, a golden cube that becomes fluid like the wind to free a dancer until the final piece, «Kepler» by Diego Tortelli, perhaps the funniest and most joyful that tells in a micro-moment the life in space of three settlers: “I thought about it during the lockdown – said the author – it seemed nice to me, in front of the world in pandemic, to imagine a new future on a new planet ». A perfect ending for a project that creates new futures (even if much closer, the next one is in Reggio Emilia).


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