Want to know more about what the Romaeuropa Festival is bringing this year?
The thirty-eighth edition of the Romaeuropa Festival is shaping up to be one of the richest ever: 90 performances featuring 500 artists from 34 countries, who will enliven REF2023 with a program of music, theater, dance, digital arts, and creations for children. Over two months of programming will take place in 13 locations throughout the Capital city.
A journey between tradition and contemporaneity, exploring the plurality of perspectives offered by artists’ sensibilities and their storytelling of the present world. The festival will be animated by different generations: alongside some icons of the international scene, the most original names of the current artistic landscape will come together in a fertile blend of stories and paths.
Contemporary Italian repertoire, a focus on international electronic music, and spaces for experimentation in musical theater; and furthermore, sounds and choreographies capable of expanding the geographical and mental horizons of our perspectives. Ceremonial chants, shamanic traditions, virtual rituals, afrobeat with a hip-hop and electro twist, and much more.
The particular nerve center of this crossroads of events will be La Pelanda at Mattatoio, the protagonist of the 2023 edition, thanks to the setup of four performance halls, an area for installations and meetings, the reception and ticketing service, and the refreshment area.
Best Events in Rome this autumn
The festival kicks off on September 6th and 7th, outdoors in the Cavea of the Auditorium Parco della Musica Ennio Morricone, with Ukiyo-e, the first choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui for the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève. The choreographer blends contemporary compositions with sounds of tradition performed by the composer and singer Shogo Yoshii, narrating, through music and dance, our ability to perceive beauty even in moments of crisis.
Not to be missed is the appointment with the techno legend Jeff Mills, who will perform alongside musicians Jean-Phi Dary and Prabhu Edouard.
The unforgettable Franco Battiato will be exclusively remembered for REF by Sentieri Selvaggi, who, for the first time in the same evening, will perform avant-garde classical compositions written by the inimitable artist, shedding light on a lesser-known page of his extraordinary musical journey.
A major highlight of the Festival is also the electronic experimentation, featuring some of the most acclaimed international artists: Caterina Barbieri with her Spirit Exit, through which she has established herself as one of the leading names in music festivals worldwide; the eclectic Australian producer and musician, Ben Frost; Plaid (a historic group representing the electronic generation of the 1990s) who will perform their latest album, Feorm Ferlox, live; and also Tovel (aka Matteo Franceschini), blending acoustic sounds of piano, saxophone, strings, and bursts of modular synthesizers in Gravity.
Sponsored by the Embassy of Ukraine, the folk quartet originally from Kiev, DahkaBrakha, will also perform, blending traditional music and rhythms from around the world, ranging from folklore to theater, creating a powerful anthem against war.
Greek choreographer Christos Papadopoulos presents his first creation for Dance On Ensemble, a renowned group composed of professional dancers over 40. Choreographer Kat Válastur, alongside the female vocal group Pleiades, offers a personal exploration of the mythological figure of the goddess Diana, the protector of women. Meanwhile, the Italo-Spanish collective Kor’sia adapts a masterpiece of Italian literature, Francesco Petrarca‘s “Ascesa al monte ventoso” (Ascent to Mount Ventoso).
A bridge between different traditions is also built on stage by the dancer Jon Maya and the bailaor Andrés Marínche with Yarin, where they engage in a dialogue between Basque and flamenco traditions, navigating through both differences and a shared desire for a common path towards the future.
The African continent takes center stage in the work of choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly, who, in C la vie, gives life to a new ritual fueled by traditional forms and rhythms. Similar roots are found in the journey of Princess Isatu Hassan Bangura, who tells her story in “Great Apes of the West Coast,” from Sierra Leone to the Netherlands and finally to NTGent. The rising star of African dance, Qudus Onikeku, pays homage to the musical richness of Nigeria through his piece “Re:incarnation,” blending the energy of ancient rites with that of a new generation of artists active on social networks.
Among the highlights in the theater sector, we note the presence of the icon of world cinema, Isabelle Huppert, directed by Ivo van Hove in his staging of Tennessee Williams‘ The Glass Zoo (at Teatro Argentina). REF pays tribute, one year after his passing, to the great Master Peter Brook, who has been a protagonist of this festival multiple times, with his latest production, “Tempest Project.” Additionally, the English company Forced Entertainment returns with the Italian adaptation of the cult play “Tomorrow’s Parties,” featuring Ubu Prize-winning actor Marco Cavalcoli and Caterina Simonelli and Ascanio Celestini, who breathe life into Donkey and Ox, a story without a spectacle, a theatrical and musical construction where they perform with three musicians.
The protagonist of November at the Mattatoio will be the Kids & Family section, curated by Stefania Lo Giudice: a space dedicated to children and their families. The creativity of the Netherlands will take center stage with the visionary and immersive “The Night Watcham,” presented by the theater companies Het Filiaal theatermakers and Het Houten Huis, as well as the entertaining musical theater show “Ik…eh ik,” capable of making any household object produce sounds. Lastly, Meneer Monster will present “Lucky Luck,” a western-themed show loosely inspired by the famous comic book series Lucky Luke.
The circus company Quattrox4 returns to the Romaeuropa festival with “Leonia,” while Roberto Abbiati will construct a small wooden cabin from whose walls stories, characters, and journeys inspired by Moby Dick come to life.After a two-year break, the Kids & Family Playground returns, a playful space dedicated to the very young audience with installations, performances, and artist’s games: an area dedicated to wooden games proposed by Officina Clandestina, a stop-motion workshop offered by Spin-Off and Moonchausen, and the special musical and performative carousel “La Dinamica del Controvento” by Teatro Necessario, a true show constructed as an adventure, a journey to new lands to discover or imagine.
Romaeuropa Festival 2023
From September 6 till November 19
AUDITORIUM PARCO DELLA MUSICA – MATTATOIO – TEATRO ARGENTINA – TEATRO INDIA – TEATRO VASCELLO – VILLA MEDICI ACCADEMIA DI FRANCIA