Dance and Ballet in Naples: a Dialogue with Europe (1806-1861)

The Italian Association for Research in Dance (AIRDanza,, in collaboration with the Pietà de’ Turchini/Centro di Musica Antica Foundation, is organizing the International Conference:

Dance and Ballet in Naples: a Dialogue with Europe (1806-1861)

The conference will take place in Naples from 9 through 11 November, 2017, at the following locations: Archivio di Stato, Biblioteca Nazionale “Vittorio Emanuele III”, MeMus (museum and historical archives of the Teatro di San Carlo), Università degli Studi Suor Orsola Benincasa, Pietà dei Turchini/Centro di Musica Antica Foundation.

With regards to that, the organizers issue this

Call for Papers

As the capital city of Italy’s largest kingdom and for centuries a crucial crossroads for theatre and ballet culture, Naples has been one of the most important centres, both in Italy and Europe, for dance education, ballet production and circulation all along the 19th century and until the Unification of Italy (1860). Naples could provide to many famous dancers precious opportunities to develop their career: the glory of its theatres depended however also from many dancers whose work still awaits exploration and celebration.

This call offers scholars a plurality of objects for researching, analysing and explaining issues that until now have been seldom approached. Properly developed, they will significantly contribute to enlighten the role played by dance in Naples within Italian and European dance culture.

Among the conference aims are the advancement of research on dance and the promotion of the Italian and international dance heritage and culture. AIRDanza invites applications from both young researchers and scholars already active in the fields of dance and theatre studies. It encourages approaches based on interdisciplinary and/or transdisciplinary methodologies with the aim to discover, analyse and study primary sources (relating to theatres, ballets, private and public dance schools, dancers, choreographers, theatre papers, music scores and publications). Moreover, it invites contributions that critically engage ballet and dance practices with reference to dynamics of national identity (also in consideration of the Risorgimento process), and to the need for self-promotion and propaganda felt both by the French Kingdom and the subsequent Bourbon Kingdom.

As to the several possible research objects, we recommend the following key issues:

  • Dancing as a performing art and as a profession;
  • Court theatres and public theatres;
  • Social and popular dances (also adapted for the stage);
  • Dance education as offered by the Ballet School of the Teatro di San Carlo;
  • The transformation of ballet typologies as bound to changes in aesthetics, taste, entertainment, and the fashion of the age;
  • Ballet subjects and librettos: their contamination and migration between various performance fields (ballet, opera, drama);
  • Specific developments of Romantic dance subjects and styles;
  • Circulation of dancers and choreographers between Naples and Europe, and in particular between Naples, Milan, Paris and Vienna;
  • The impresarios’ management and its strategies;
  • Stage and costume design for ballet;
  • Music publishing.

The conference languages are: Italian, French, and English

Contributions may consist in individual papers, panels, performances, and workshops.

Abstracts may be submitted in one of the conference languages. They should be no longer than 1500 characters, include archival and/or bibliographic reference sources related to the chosen research object. Together with the abstract, the candidates will also send a biography no longer than 800 characters.

Papers must be submitted to by 31 March, 2017.

The organizers will communicate the names of the final panellists by 30 April 2017.

The conference proceedings will be published by the Pietà de’ Turchini/Centro di Musica Antica Foundation.

Scientific Committee: Roberta Albano, Rosa Cafiero, Elena Cervellati, Arianna Fabbricatore, Francesca Falcone, Paologiovanni Maione, José Sasportes, Francesca Seller.

Organizing Committee: Roberta Albano, Francesca Falcone, Paologiovanni Maione, Letizia Gioia Monda, Maria Venuso, Patrizia Veroli.