Companhia Nacional de Bailado opens Festival ao Largo with three nights of dancing


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The National Ballet Company opens this year’s Largo Festival, with contemporary dance filling the first three nights of a “broader” program, which begins on July 6, at Largo de São Carlos, in Lisbon.

The 15th edition of the Festival ao Largo will extend until July 27, with 14 live performances that cross several artistic areas, especially dance and music, to liven up the summer nights in downtown Lisbon, according to the program released today by the Millennium BCP, main sponsor of the festival.

The National Ballet Company (CNB) will open the show, which over the course of three nights will take over the stage with the presentation of two contemporary pieces that “symbolically mark the end of the company’s current season.

The first show, “Symphony of Sorrows”, is by Miguel Ramalho, choreographer and first dancer of the CNB, followed by “Cantata”, by the Italian Mauro Bigonzetti, a creation that reflects Italian popular and musical traditions, “in a kind of community celebration”.

The festival continues on July 11, with a concert with a wide repertoire, from the most classical themes of Baroque music to the most well-known compositions of the cinematographic universe, which brings together students from seven specialized music schools, in singing, choir, and orchestra, from all over the country.

This performance is the first live presentation of the educational project “LABoratório ÓPERA 1 – Uma experiência em São Carlos”, which offered the opportunity for young musicians and singers to have a workshop with the main conductors of the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra and the Choir of the São Carlos National Theater, and with soprano Elisabete Matos.

The festival continues on July 12 with the presentation of the project “Lisbon-Kabul: Music Itineraries of Wonder”, composed of young Afghan musicians with the chamber group Ensemble Darcos, developed in partnership with the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIMP) which, since 2008, “has been noted for its continuous work in safeguarding and transmitting the Afghan musical heritage”, the programmers highlight.

The program highlights the presentation of “two premiere works”: a fado by Miguel Amaral, a young Portuguese guitar soloist, and a song by composer Nuno Côrte-Real, written at the age of 19, in a “punk troubadour moment”, according to his own words.

On the 14th and 15th, the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Antonio Pirolli, together with the Choir of the São Carlos National Theater, will take the stage for a concert dedicated to the work of American composer George Gershwin.

The same orchestra will be back on February 21 and 22, for a concert celebrating its 30 years of existence, in which it will perform Lukas Foss’ “Ode for Orchestra,” Sergei Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini, Op. 43, and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68, precisely the same program with which it debuted on February 5, 1993, at the Tivoli Cinema.

Before that, on the 17th, the string orchestra As Damas de São Carlos will present a program dedicated to tango, interpreting some of the most iconic compositions by the Argentine Astor Piazzolla, but also by his compatriot Carlos Gardel, or even the Uruguayan musician and composer Gerardo Matos Rodríguez, from whom they will play “La Cumparsita.

This concert of Latin rhythms will also count with the special participation of musician and accordion player João Gentil, responsible for the arrangements of the themes.

On July 18, the festival travels back to the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s, to take the audience to listen to themes consecrated by the “divas” Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich and by the composer Kurt Weil, in a concert presented by the Symphonic Orchestra of the Conservatório Regional de Artes do Montijo, conducted by Ceciliu Isfan and with the participation of the soloist Cátia Moreso.

This year’s edition of the Festival ao Largo will also include the participation of the National Republican Guard Band, which will present, on the 19th, a special concert conducted by Ensign Ricardo Torres, focusing on musical arrangements for wind instruments, beginning with the anthem by the American Aaron Copland “Fanfare for the Common Man”, continuing with “Pulse – Concerto for Euphonium”, by Thomas Doss, with a solo by João Carvalho, and ending with the Symphony No. 3, commissioned by the United States Air Force Band in 1994.It was commissioned by the United States Air Force Band in 1994.

The last days of the program are dedicated to the Territory platform, which presents the 6th edition of its program, produced by Victor Córdon Studios.

This platform, which has contributed to the start of young dancers’ careers all over the country, returns with two pieces: “Sad Case” (1998), a choreography by the duo Sol León & Paul Lightfoot, active since 1989 and who have created more than 60 performances for the Nederlands Dans Theater, and also a new creation by Douglas Lee, former principal dancer at the Stuttgart Ballet, who has been developing a career as a choreographer.

As a complement to the program, Territory VI will also feature Mário J. Negrão, winner of the Territory Award | Estúdios Victor Córdon in the category of Best Portuguese Director at InShadow – Lisbon ScreenDance Festival 2022, who will present a new short film.

With free admission and accessible to all audiences, the Festival ao Largo brings together all the artistic institutions of OPART – Organismo de Produção Artística, with artistic direction by Elisabete Matos (artistic director of Teatro Nacional de São Carlos), Carlos Prado (artistic director of CNB) and Rui Lopes Graça (coordinator of Estúdios Victor Córdon).

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