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Vivacious Tarantellas, jubilant music and cheerful dancing amidst picturesque scenes of Naples make up the carefree ballet “Napoli”, also known as “The Fisherman and his Bride.” Inspired by a trip to the southern city of Naples, Italy, legendary choreographer August Bournonville found the muse for his next ballet. Bournonville created his production for the Royal Danish Ballet, set to a collaboration of music by four composers. Premiering in 1842, Napoli captivated audiences. Masterful choreography and authentic settings captured the charming and spirited city, rich with tradition. Performed for over 150 years throughout the world, Napoli continues to entertain audiences worldwide.
Mixed with traditional Italian folk dancing, seafaring legends, rich costumes and multiple depictions of the seaside of Naples, Napoli manages to convey love, humor and celebration while capturing the flavor of Naples. The ballet tells the story of a young Italian couple, the lively Teresina and a handsome fisherman Gennaro. A violent storm captures Teresina and she is turned into a Naiad by a powerful sea-creature. Teresina escapes, and she and Gennaro are united with a joyous celebration. The ballet begins at a Saint Lucia port where a local market place buzzes with people. Teresina finds herself immersed in Italy’s Blue Grotto, one of Italy’s most famous sea caves, located by the Island of Capri. The legends of naiad’s and sea creatures creates an ideal underwater ballet sequence for Bournonville’s second act. Closing at the holy place of Monte Virgin, Teresina and Gennaro are joined together by local townsfolk in spectacular dancing inspired by traditional celebratory dances of Italy.
Absorb the festive themes of Napoli by trying customary Neapolitan ice cream, created by local ice cream makers of Naples. Also widely noted in the 19th century, Neapolitan ice cream is made of side-by-side layers of strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla. Frozen in a block mold and cut into square slices, Neapolitan ice cream has evolved into ice cream cakes, and sandwiches. Replacing flavors with cherry and pistachio, the popular idea of layered ice cream has faired well for many modern variations and updates. Take a spoonful of Neapolitan ice cream and you will taste delicious, refreshing and sweet flavors, much like the delightful ballet Napoli. Of course in Italy it is made with 3 flavors of gelato, if you are not anywhere near Naples or for that matter Italy, the American version will have to do!
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