Stanford Dance at the Spoleto Festival
July 2 and 3, 2011

The Spoleto Festival dei 2 Mondi (Festival of Two Worlds) in Spoleto, Italy is one of the world's major performing arts festivals.

2011 furthermore marks the 150th anniversary of Italy, unified in 1861.  The Sesquicentennial celebration at the Spoleto festival was organized by Rome's historical dance and music organization, Roma 800.  (In Italy, 800 refers to the 19th century, the 1800s.)


Even though the Festival of Two Worlds refers to the worlds of Italy and the United States, Richard Powers was the sole American invited to present at Roma 800's Italian Sesquicentennial activities.  Richard was invited to perform 19th century dances on the main Spoleto stage, present a lecture on historical dance forms and participate in a 19th century ball at Spoleto's castle.  Roma 800 also organized a fourth event, a ball for historical social dancers from four countries.

Richard then invited some of his former students to join him for the performance and balls.  Most of these dancers were members of the Stanford Vintage Dance Ensemble, the Academy of Danse Libre, or both.  21 Americans comprised this contingent representing Stanford University at Spoleto.  The Stanford Arts Initiative, SiCa, Dance Division and Department of Drama also supported this project.

Left to right: Kelly Troiano, Jonathan Troiano, Angela Elsey, Dave Hedges, Lily Kao, Mike Lin, Lee Bernhard, Tracey Powers, Richard Powers, Jeremy Sugerman, Angela Amarillas, Laura Hill, Rainbow Chen, James Mendoza, Julie Tsai, Jason Anderson, Jackie Pham, Jason Chuang, Carrie Cai and Wylie Pang. Not pictured: Darcy Gordon.


The five categories of the Spoleto Festival are Music, Dance, Theater, Opera and Events (Eventi).  The three historic dance events received top billing in the Eventi category.  UN VALZER CON LA STORIA translates as A WALTZ WITH HISTORY.

A billboard listing the participants was posted on Corso Mazzini, the main street into Spoleto.  Yvonne Vart and Donald Francis were the French and Italian dance historians.  The Spoleto Festival gave the Stanford Dance Division top billing among the participating organizations.

The festival guidebook added the contact Web page for the Stanford Dance Division and other participating organizations:

for the next page.

Photos of the performance.
Photos of the lecture.
Photos of the ball at the castle.
Photos of the private ball.

Photos by Jason Chuang and Richard Powers.