Visit the Venice Biennale, and then on to Croatia!
If you’ve never been to Venice before, you may not know that the city plays host to a series of fantastic arts festivals known collectively as the Biennale. Whether you’re a passionate music lover or avid theatre-goer, you’re sure to find an event to inspire you in one of Venice’s rich programmes of cultural events. In this post, we’re looking at what you can look forward to if you’re paying a visit to some Biennale events before hopping on a ferry from Venice to Croatia.
What is the Biennale?
Founded in 1895, the Venice Biennale is a prestigious organisation dedicated to promoting the visual and performing arts. Arguably the most famous event organised by the Biennale is the Venice Film Festival, which we’ve already told you all about in a previous post, but there are also separate festivals dedicated to art, music, theatre, architecture and contemporary dance.
Held every other year in odd-numbered years, the Art Biennale has celebrated contemporary visual art since 1895, and it’s the original festival on which the other events have since been modelled. While the next Art Biennale isn’t until next year, there are several other Biennale festivals taking place this year if you fancy soaking up even more culture on your trip to Venice.
The Architecture Biennale 2018 – or the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, to give it its official title – runs from 26 May to 25 November, and this year’s theme is ‘FREESPACE’ – which, in the organisers’ words, “describes a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda”. Curated by renowned Irish architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, it will see architects from around the world submitting their ideas and work for public viewing in venues including the Giardini and Arsenale.
The Dance Biennale 2018, or 12th International Festival of Contemporary Dance, starts on 22 June and ends on 1 July 2018, and will see exciting events each day featuring performances from dancers and choreographers from around the world. As with the Venice Film Festival, Gold and Silver Lion awards are presented – this year to the American dancer and choreographer Meg Stuart and to Cape Verde’s Marlene Monteiro Freitas respectively.
The Theatre Biennale, or 46th International Theatre Festival, runs from 20 July to 5 August with an exciting programme of shows to captivate you. A particular focus this year is the work of Italian directors under 30, whose projects will be part of the festival’s programme for you to go and watch. The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement will this year be awarded to avant-garde contemporary theatre duo Antonio Rezza and Flavia Mastrella, who famously unite visual performance with art installations to create their own unique brand of theatre. The Silver Lion will go to the Anagoor company, a collective theatre group who’ve gained a big following in recent years.
The Music Biennale, or 62nd International Festival of Contemporary Music, takes place from 28 September to 7 October and there will be several musical events to look forward to each day. In the spotlight this year are submissions from around the world in the field of micro-budget chamber musical theatre. This year, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement will be awarded to the celebrated American jazz pianist and composer Keith Jarrett, with the Silver Lion going to Sebastian Rivas, the Franco-Argentinian composer.
And of course there’s also the Venice Film Festival, which you can find out more about in our previous post here. Once you’ve had your fill of the Venetian cultural scene, why not hop on a ferry from Venice to Croatia and enjoy some Croatian culture for the remainder of your holiday? Book your crossing here.