Today, for those of you who don’t know is International Dance Day, a day when the world sees bodies literally come out of the woodwork (or in my case the lavatory – more about that later). Sprightly young things around our globe were moving to the beat of the drum, twisting to their emotions and breathing on alternate pulses, so that we the unrelenting public could simply stand and stare. For some, today was an experience that they will never forget, a way of working in dance that in years to come they will appreciate the interruptions and endless streams of children, and in the Museum Civico Bassano, the two hour sessions of improvisation repeated.
However today for me, was a serendipity. Hiding behind high walls separating courtyard from the busy town square, the Civic Museum of Bassano played host to 12 sets of dancers working at the same time all through the day. Those that have never entered the museum did and those that have never seen dance… did.. it was a fabulous clash of what you might think to be similar cultures. The town of Bassano filled the rooms, filled with artefacts, some being 300 years old. Children were allowed to draw, amateur and professional painters were invited in for the day to paint in oils and watercolour. Those with cameras printed off one or two photos and all the artworks were placed on specially allocated walls, intermingling with the permanent collection.
Dance-works were choreographed with the artwork of the museum in mind, and some even brought in their own props i.e toilet (all good museums ought to have their own Duchamp). The day reached over 900 visitors to the museum. Until next year then for International Dance Day.
The second treat of the day was a visit to my favourite Trattoria in the hills of Bassano. My Smythson ‘places to remember’ notebook has this restaurant firmly written in. ‘Da Doro’ di Scapin Giovanni in Solagna has to be one of Italy’s finest hidden treasures. The food is sourced locally and these days means organically around here. All home made and all with the most gorgeous flavours to your taste buds, this family run business is booked well in advance. Somehow, my friends and I always seem to get a table at a day’s notice and when we enter, it is like we have never been away.
Tonight’s delights were: Local cheese, Trout Mousse, warm Spinach soup with cold potato roulade followed by grilled trout with local vegetables and sun-blissed cherry tomatoes. The dessert was eaten before I could remember what it was called, but that’s easy, it was cream caramel and the best cream caramel ever made. All the food, wine and water is served in locally hand made Murano glass plates, bowls and glasses, often the glasses have those fabulous melted colour glass balls on the base so the glass wobbles… do you know the sort I mean? (do comment back if you need me to describe them further… I could and do often go on about them for hours).
What a perfect Sunday, to be in the town certainly not hiding between Venice and the Austrian Alps.