In Rome, AAR Collaborates with Acqua Paola Theater Group for N[ever]land Digital Arts Event

At the Fontanone, the flow of water stops only for performances

The American Academy, in collaboration with its (very near) neighbors at the Giardino della Mostra dell’Acqua Paola, was a sponsor of the 7th edition 
of the multimedia event “n[ever]land: percorsi al digitale“. It took place on five consecutive nights, from Tuesday 13 to Saturday 17 July, in one of the most dramatic 
performance spaces in Rome: the theater space inside the Acqua Paola structure.

N[ever]land founder and Acqua Paola artistic director Enzo Aronica curated the program, that alternated screenings, projections, interviews, and live musical and dramatic performances, all in a monumental Baroque setting that towers over the city from the Gianicolo. Highlights included a spoken voice performance of a text from Claudio Magris by Valeria Ciangottini (whose acting credits start with Fellini’s 1960 La Dolce Vita); a discussion with video artist Jacopo Rondinelli featuring pre-screenings of his latest work; and a mesmerizing interactive set by Canecane electronic artists Fabio Recchia and Lele Tomasi, who mystified the audience by making good on their promise to “play the air”. You can see the full 2010 n[ever]land program here.

Inside the Acqua Paola theater space, with continuous projections by Marco Schiavoni

The Acqua Paola—often called simply Il Fontanone (“the big fountain”)—will soon see its 400 year anniversary. Pope Paul V (born Camillo Borghese) completed it in 1612, using marble from the Temple of Minerva in Nerva’s imperial forum, and four columns from Old St. Peter’s. The theater group that so brilliantly uses the fountain’s interior space is the Istituto Studi dello Spettacolo Teatro Studio. Its FontanonEstate series at the Acqua Paola is now in its fifteenth year. The 2010 program started 21 June, and will continue in Rome until 12 September.

View from Fontanone interior (top); interactive projection by Quiet Ensemble, of Bernardo Vercelli and Fabio Di Salvo

Canecane artists Fabio Recchia and Lele Tomasi in the interactive installation “Airplaying”

As artistic director Enzo Aronica puts it, “n[ever]land is an opportunity to find out whether, how and to what
 extent digital technology of today can come together with modern visual
 arts as well as with the most ancient performing arts, traditional 
publishing, and the extremely mobile on-line communication, in search of
 a possible harmony between production needs and creative drives: thus, 
n[ever]land, just like the Isle of Neverland, is a place where the rules
 of the game can be changed completely….an opportunity to enjoy previews,
 screenings, presentation of new projects and exotica from the world of a 
technology that changes continuously.”

Videographer Jacopo Rondinelli (left) in conversation with Enzo Aronica

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