Marinella Senatore and The School of Narrative Dance Performance
On November 16, Italian multidisciplinary artist Marinella Senatore engaged nearly 100 professional and amateur performers from throughout the Hudson Valley in a monumental procession and performative celebration of community. The performance began at 12:30 pm at the Veterans Monument on the lawn of St. Mary-in-the-Highlands, near the corner of Main Street and Route 9D, and moved down Main Street towards the waterfront, with a grand finale at the Cold Spring Bandstand.
Commissioned by Magazzino Italian Art Foundation, the performance brought Senatore’s The School of Narrative Dance to the streets of Cold Spring, New York, with two hours of curated performance sequences and spontaneous improvisation. As with Magazzino’s Walking Sculpture performance by Michelangelo Pistoletto in 2017, the performance affirmed the institution’s mission to engage the community in its program and provide a platform in the United States for Italian artists working today.
Curated by Ylinka Barotto, Senatore’s performance invited local performers across creative disciplines—from cheerleaders and marching bands, to classical musicians and choirs, to dancers, athletes, and community activists—to be part of the creation of this site-specific and community-led project. Beginning November 6, additional participants sourced via an open call convened at Magazzino for movement workshops, led by Senatore along with Nandhan Molinaro and Elisa Zucchetti from Berlin-based dance company Espz, who have worked with The School of Narrative Dance since 2013. The performance also encouraged active participation of its bystanders, who were invited to move along with the sounds and movements of the performers as the crowd wound through the streets.
Over the last 15 years, Senatore has focused her artistic practice on exploring the creative power of crowds. Her work has facilitated dynamic community collaborations, using models of social organization drawn from the concept of assembly, and has engaged over five million people across the world. The performance in Cold Spring built upon Senatore’s ongoing project The School of Narrative Dance, a multidisciplinary initiative developed by the artist and distinguished for its focus on emancipation and empowerment through collective and large-scale storytelling. Focused on creating choreography together with participants, The School of Narrative Dance fosters community through process-based and site-specific expression of participants’ narratives and vernacular gestures.
“We are delighted to work with Marinella Senatore, an artist renowned for her ability to foster new connections between people,” said Magazzino Italian Art Foundation Director Vittorio Calabrese. “Serving the people of Cold Spring and the Hudson Valley has always been at the core of our mission, and we are excited to invite the community to partake in a performance with one of the most important Italian figures in the contemporary art world.”
Following the performance, transportation was provided free of charge by the Cold Spring Trolley from the Village of Cold Spring (near the Bandstand where the performance ended) to Magazzino Italian Art for those wishing to visit the museum.
Presented by Magazzino in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, the performance was organized on the occasion of the group show Non-places and the Spaces in Between at the Italian Cultural Institute. The exhibition, on view from October 17 to December 6, 2019, and curated by Ylinka Barotto with Chiara Mannarino, features a new body of work by Senatore among works of other Italian artists to offer a timely and powerful look at participation and resistance in an era of seemingly fungible truths.
How to get there:
For people coming from New York City, the best way to enjoy and see the entirety of the performance was by taking the train which departed from Grand Central Terminal at 10:45 am and arrived at Cold Spring Station at 12:10 pm, giving guests ample time to make their way to the starting point of the performance.
For guests traveling by train on Metro-North, the Cold Spring Trolley and the Magazzino shuttle van ran between Magazzino and the Cold Spring train station parking lot from 3:00 - 6:00 pm.
Some of the performers included:
Ascend, Tableau Vivant
Edwin Torres, Poet
Emily Tung, Parkour
Gabriela Johnson, Opera Singer
High Definition Dance, Ballet-improvisation Dancers
Hudson Highlands Pipe Band, Bagpipes
Persisters, Women's Drumming Group
Philipstown Soccer Club, Soccer Players
R&D Music Group, Duo Trumpet and Guitar
Rachel Evans, Viola
Redhawk Native American Dancers, Dance and Music
Russell Cusick, Opera Singer
Souls United, Gospel Choir
Suzi Tortora's Dancing Dialogue Studio, Dance
Tavon McVey, Parkour
The Brasiles Ensemble, Choir
The Patriot Brass Ensemble, Marching Band
Titanium Twirlers, Baton Twirling
About Marinella Senatore
Marinella Senatore (b. 1977) is a multimedia artist currently based in Rome and Paris who creates projects with a strong collective and participatory dimension. Inspired by protest, public ceremonies, civic rituals, and mass public events, Senatore focuses on collective activities and the public forum. Trained in music, fine arts, and film, Senatore uses a broad spectrum of media to encourage exchange of individual stories and cultures across social divides.
In 2013, she founded The School of Narrative Dance, a nomadic, free school focused on non-hierarchical learning. The multidisciplinary school, conceived of as an alternative training ground, offers free workshops engaging local groups and public activations, where the artist and participants together orchestrate narratives, tracing new connections between contemporary relations.
Her work has been exhibited widely throughout Italy and abroad, including MANIFESTA 12, Palermo; Centre Pompidou, Paris; MAXXI Museum, Rome; Queens Museum, New York; Kunsthaus Zurich; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Kunsthalle, Sankt Gallen; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; High Line, New York; Madre Museum, Naples; Les Laboratories d’Aubervilliers, Paris; Faena Art Forum, Miami; Serpentine Gallery, London; Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA; Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid; Palazzo Grassi, Venice; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; amongst others.
Senatore has received numerous awards, including the 4th edition of Italian Council (2018) of the Directorate-General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries (DGAAP), International Art Grant in Dresden (2017), the MAXXI Prize (2014), and The New York Prize (2010).
About Ylinka Barotto
Ylinka Barotto is Associate Curator at the Moody Center for the Arts and is responsible for developing, organizing and executing visual art exhibitions that support the Moody’s mission of fostering interdisciplinary conversation. Barotto is also involved in the expansion of Rice Public Art through commissions of site-specific work. Before joining the Moody, Barotto served as Assistant Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum where she worked on major modern and postwar retrospectives and contemporary exhibitions. She contributed in shaping the Guggenheim’s permanent collection through acquisitions of emerging artists through the Young Collectors Council. In addition, for the Guggenheim Public Program she has hosted and moderated conversations between contemporary artists, activists, and journalists on topics such as feminism, activism, identity, and representation. Independently, she has served on national and international juries to identify and support young, innovative artists, including the Premio New York, organized by the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University, and the Italian Cultural Institute. Barotto received an MA in curatorial studies at Accademia delle Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, Italy.
About the Italian Cultural Institute of New York
Founded in 1961, the Italian Cultural Institute of New York is an office of the Italian government devoted to the promotion of Italian language and culture in the United States. As part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ global policy, the Institute is committed to the understanding and enjoyment of Italian culture through such initiatives as the organization of cultural events, the dissemination of Italian language and lifestyle, the development of relationships with American institutions, and the support of the Italian-American community. Not only an ideal meeting point for intellectual and artistic dialogue, the Institute has become an incomparable “open window” on the cultural and social aspects of past and current Italy for all those who are fond of the country.
Q&A with artist Marinella Senatore and curator Ylinka Barotto which took place on Instagram Live on March 28, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. EST.
Trailer for Marinella Senatore and The School of Narrative Dance, Cold Spring.
Magazzino Italian Art Foundation is currently looking for non-professional dance enthusiasts from the Middle and Lower Hudson Valley to participate in the Marinella Senatore and The School of Narrative Dance Performance on November 16, 2019.