EUROPEADEALL OF EUROPE IN PADUA!
All of Europe in Padua in the middle of the summer. Music, dancing, traditional songs and artistic events from all over Europe will gather in the city of the Santo to celebrate the cultural unity of the Old Continent. A union which is actually defined by its differences, by the infinite variety of histories, traditions and pieces of wisdom from every part of Europe. The occasion is Europeade, a touring festival of folklore born nearly half a century ago from an idea of the Flemish Mon de Clopper, who organized the first date in Antwerp in 1964. In this first experiment took part Flemish, Dutch, and English people, Ukrainians, Yugoslavs, Germans and Poles, then, over the years participation has expanded so much that there is now at least one folk group for every European state, and often many more. The edition in Padua will boast over 4000 musicians, singers and dancers. A celebration of brotherhood, based on notes and colours, on ancient beliefs that are shown off to the world with the pride of tradition and awareness of history. Next summer, from July 11th to 15th, Padua will relive the usual atmosphere between the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Modern Age: just like in the days of the Republic of Venice, when Padua allied the prestige of one of the major universities in Europe to the commercial power of nearby Venice, becoming a crossroads of countless languages and cultures. Today the city of the Santo is ready to host the thousands of aspects of a new, united Europe again. Over 250 groups will be performing on the streets of Padua, bringing music and dances into the ancient medieval streets as well as into the new roads of the centre. The programme leaves no time to breathe and the town will be taken up by forums, exhibitions and debates as a backdrop to the non-stop dancing acts and concerts every single day, from the Trade Fair Centre to Prato della Valle, the two epicentres of the event. Padua will become as foreign as the foreigners will feel at home, in a continuous game of getting rid of boundaries. The European states’ borders, which were opened in a political and economic point of view, often still remained borders, not allowing any real exchange between peoples, and the recent events due to the financial crisis have shown strong barriers between the various members of the EU. Europeade wants to be a loud response, accompanied by the beating rhythms of traditional music, to these inequalities. With its load of knowledge handed down from generation to generation, the Festival hosted this year by Padua paves the way to another idea of Europe, in response to a standardized unity which is really only monetary and to globalization which smoothes out all particularities. Europe consists of many small worlds that should be proud of their uniqueness, and should constantly keep in touch with one another.
Exchanging and comparing are the main targets of Europeade, this five-day event whose programme is full of appointments and opportunities to meet: mornings and afternoons dedicated to dialogue and research, topped by evenings out in Prato della Valle lulled by the unusual rhythms of traditional instruments, played by bands coming from more than 20 European countries, while watching the steps and moves of unexpected choreographies well into the night. Europe of the peoples and their traditions, the Old Continent with a thousand geographies looks at itself in the mirror and finds itself again, in a single place, in the shade of Prato della Valle’s statues and under the arcades of Palazzo della Ragione.
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