Carnevale di Venezia
Carnevale di Venezia. On Saturday, January 26 the streets of Venice began the traditional Carnival, which in 2013, is held under the motto “life in color” and will last till February 12. Within two weeks, residents and visitors will be entertained by theatrical performances, fire and water shows, exhibitions and evening activities. The choice of colors of the Carnival is influenced by the history of Italian painting. Many spend several thousand euros on the purchase of stylized historical costumes that are participating in a special contest. Nearly three million tourists annually come to Venice to become a part of the festivities that everyone should see at least once in life.
The main idea of the Venice Carnival, the first documentary mention dates back to the XI century, show off and demonstrate themselves, hiding behind the mask. Now ticket prices for costume balls in Venetian palaces and theaters reach a few hundred euros, and all fees often go to charity.
Eighth year in the official program included performances by Russian Venice carnival groups in the framework of the project “Russian cultural mission to Venice”, implemented by the Directorate of the international programs with the support of the ministries of culture and Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
In the past, the Venetian carnival was something of a movable feast, beginning as early as October or Christmas and lasting until Lent. This long carnival season incorporated an element of “bread and circuses”, with crowd-pleasing performances intended to curry favor with the populace. In addition to masquerades, there were rope dancers, acrobats and fire-eaters who routinely showed their skills on Piazza San Marco. The diarist John Evelyn visited Venice in 1645–6 and reported on “the folly and madness of the carnival”, form the bull-baiting and flinging of eggs to the superb opera, the singing eunuch and a shooting incident with an enraged nobleman and his courtesan, whose gondola canoodling he had disturbed. During the 1751 carnival, everyone gathered to admire an exotic beast, the rhinoceros, captured in a famous painting by Longhi, which is now displayed in the Ca’Rezzonico.
Life As a Masquerade Carnival in Venice is a ten-day pre-Lenten extravaganza, culminating in the burning of the effigy of Carnival in Piazza San Marco on Shrove Tuesday. As an expression of a topsy-turvy world, carnival is a time of rebellion without the risk of ridicule. The essence of the “feast of fools” lies in the unfolding Venetian vistas: masked processions heading towards Piazza San Marco past shimmering palaces, with surreal masqueraders tumbling out of every alley. The revelers flock to Florian’s cafe in Piazza San Marco, the air sickly-sweet with the scent of fritters and the sound of lush baroque music. Carnival capers include costumed balls, firework displays and historical parades, all staged by the carnival societies.
Many of the most distinctive carnival costumes are inspired by the commedia dell’arete. The essentially comic genre originated in 16th century Italy and featured improvisation, a fast pace, and witty regional parodies. In addition to stagecraft the genre relied on stock characters who wore costumes and masks to differentiate their roles. A typical feature of the popular comedy was that characters spoke in regional dialects, leading to comic contrasts and misunderstandings. Thus, the classic pair of manservants, Harlequin (Arlecchino) and Brighella come from Bergamo and speak the local dialects. The merchant Pantalone speaks Venetian while the Doctor (Dottore) favors Bolognese and the lovers Tuscan. The manservants, known as zanni, include Brighella, the wily servant, and are always plotting and intriguing. The bilious green color of his mask shows his bitter nature, as does his broken nose and ugly face. He wears white livery, with green diagonal stripes. The acrobatic Arlecchino is often the butt of Brighella’s jokes. Harlequin’s costume of colorful rags is a symbol of his poverty, and later became his red, orange, and green suit.
Carnival Lore Epiphany in Venice was once a time of gentle melancholy, with the city wreathed in winter sleep. The recent revival of carnival, after an interval of several centuries, has dispelled the mellow mood. When Napoleon conquered Venice in 1797, the carnival went the tragic way of the Venetian republic. Although revived sporadically in the early part of the 20th century, it was only fully restored in 1979. The event was eagerly reclaimed by Venetians, with playful processions and masquerades. It is easy to mock the carnival as a commercial fabrication but its roots go deep in the Venetian psyche. The city has an instinctive love of spectacle and dressing up, dating back to the glory days of the republic. The carnival reaches back to medieval times and represents a cavalcade of Venetian history, tracing political and military events, factional rivalries and defeats.
Carnevale di Venezia