The curtain rises on the Venice Biennale Theatre Festival

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The curtain rises on the Venice Biennale Theatre Festival

From 20 July to 5 August 2018, the city of art officially lifts the curtain on its prestigious Biennale. In one of the theatres in the Arsenal, prepare to be knocked off your feet by one-of-a-kind stage experiences.

The curtain rises on the Venice Biennale Theatre Festival

Making an entrance on a Baroque stage

A vaporetto zips across the lagoon, then slowly pulls up to the pontoon of a Renaissance palace. You are almost overcome with emotion as you step inside the palace that is Aman Canal Grande. This haven of sophistication, where designer furniture harmoniously blends with the splendour of centuries past, was one of the most important cultural centres in Venice in the 19th century. From the garden of this opulent city pad, other palazzi are reflected in the waters of the Grand Canal. Venice looks like a sumptuous theatre set placed at the water's edge. This living theatre gives the city they call La Serenissima, perfect legitimacy to celebrate the stage at the upcoming Biennale devoted to the theatre in its contemporary form.

Aman Canal Grande
Calle Tiepolo Baiamonte 1364
Palazzo Papadopoli
30125 Sestiere San Polo
Venice
+39 041 270 7333
www.aman.com/resorts/aman-venice

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The curtain rises on the Venice Biennale Theatre Festival

Shows of intermingling disciplines

This summer, the city of Venice is welcoming theatre-goers to its 46th International Biennale Festival. Hurry up and book your tickets if you want to attend one of the 48 performances, including 20 brand new shows, that will be staged in several theatres throughout the city.

In his introduction to Second Act, Festival Director Antonio Latella will ask the audience about the distinction between actor and performer. Choreography, music, juggling, puppetry, mime… disciplines multiply and intersect to create original performances. With a programme of crime, thriller, horror, burlesque and fantasy stories, you will experience a rollercoaster of emotions during the two-week theatrical extravaganza. These mini-retrospectives inspired by real-life events will question your perception of reality. It promises to be an unforgettable experience.

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The curtain rises on the Venice Biennale Theatre Festival

Prize-winners and show-stoppers

Following festival tradition, on 20 July, the best shows will be awarded the traditional prize inspired by the symbol of the city's patron saint: the Lion of Saint Mark. From the list of would-be winners, Antonio Rezza and Flavia Mastrella, a prominent artistic duo on the contemporary theatre scene, will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. The honour of opening the festival will fall to them with their Stage paintings. This new creation is set to stun audiences with its figurative language that mixes colours, forms, movements and words. The same day, the Anagoor company will receive the Silver Lion and present the world première of their tragic play Orestea which tells the story of legendary King Agamemnon's destiny on his return from the Trojan War.

Try and get tickets for the world première of Spettri, the classic Ibsen play Ghosts reinterpreted by Leonardo Lidi, winner of the first prize awarded to Italian directors under the age of 30. Among the performers presenting their productions, show-stoppers are bound to include Clément Layes, whose works explore the humour in everyday life. You will also be pleasantly surprised by the puppeteer Gisèle Vienne who focuses on the interaction between the immobility of the artificial body and the dynamic nature of the natural body. And last but not least, do not miss Thomas Luz, a Swiss artist who experiments with a personal form of musical theatre. You will love this very exciting programme.

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The curtain rises on the Venice Biennale Theatre Festival

Theatres by the Arsenal

These shows will be performed in several prestigious venues, such as the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale, a former renovated cinema, and the Teatro alle Tese, both locations situated in the monumental Arsenal district. In between two plays, explore this former military stronghold which was at the heart of Venice's naval power. At its zenith, there were 16,000 workers at the Arsenal, building one ship after another. As you take the pedestrian entrance to the site, stop and admire the gateway dating from 1460, the first Renaissance monument in Venice, decorated with statues of lions brought back from the East from the city's many wars. For something more romantic, a trip on a vaporetto takes you to another entrance to the district, on the canal side, which is flanked by two majestic towers dating from the 16th century. Attending the festival is the perfect excuse to lose yourself in the double labyrinth of land and water, light and shade at the heart of this legendary city.

International Theatre Biennale
From 20 July to 5 August 2018
Teatro Piccolo Arsenale / Teatro alle Tese
Sestiere Castello
Campiello Tana 2169/F
30122 Venice
+39 041 521 87 11
www.labiennale.org/en/theatre/2018

Arsenal district
Venice