• Mon. Oct 25th, 2021

Dance, Academy Foundation: Jia Ruskaja Documentation Center is born

Byeditorial

May 23, 2021

Workshops and laboratory experiences, masterclasses, collaborations with illustrious art institutes and universities, international conferences, creative residences and the birth of the Jia Ruskaja Documentation Center. These are some of the initiatives implemented by the new president of the National Academy of Dance Foundation, Chiara Zoppolato at the helm of the Fand, created in 1963 by Jia Ruskaja, Russian origin, a native of Kerch, in Crimea, founder of the only existing National Dance Academy in Italy. A new restyling for the Foundation which has among its aims that of “promoting the development of dance disciplines by contributing to the promotion and dissemination of Italian dance, to the conservation of its cultural heritage and its historical memory”, also through multimedia, projects radio, television and cinema. But above all with the aim of starting to talk to young people again with an eye to the contemporary world in continuous change and evolution. “The Foundation – underlined in an interview with Adnkronos Chiara Zoppolato, former pupil and heir of the great Russian teacher, for 36 years teacher of the National Academy of Dance – work in ideal continuity and in strict compliance with the provisions of the founder Eugenia Borissenko, aka Ruskaja, as signed in her will published on April 20, 1970. At the beginning the Foundation was a non-profit organization whose the statutory purpose was to support students with scholarships and subsidies – added Chiara Zoppolato – alongside the promotion of artistic activities that could benefit the students themselves and the National Dance Academy. Jia Ruskaja, for this reason, left to the Foundation the inheritance of all his personal assets “. “It had specific objectives that it has pursued throughout its long existence – added the new president – Unfortunately we have not been able to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his death, due to covid, we hope in 2020 to be able to remember it in the 120 years since its birth”. Accademia di Danza Foundation, therefore between present and past, between history and a more contemporary breath. And it is for this reason that among the projects of the current president there is that of reviving the Orchestica, dusting it from oblivion, a choreutic poetic developed by Ruskaja herself who went back to the past without betraying the contribution of masters. and choreographers, of the various international currents of modern dance. “The project entitled ‘Orchestica Variation for Students – anticipated Chiara Zoppolato – will involve young artists and choreographers, not only Italians, to give life to new productions and plays, starting from the very rich archive and from the documentary heritage of the Fand, but also from the direct relationship and from the testimonies of the latest dancers who danced the Orchestica, revisited, reinterpreted in the contents and in the dynamics of composition achieved thanks, also, to live and digital performance actions “. A very rich heritage, that of the Foundation, consisting of the private archive of Ruskaja (many books especially in Russian and French), but also of stage costumes, original historical costumes. “It is a dream, but I hope it will soon become reality – announced Chiara Zoppolato – Remove the dust from the old clothes, they will be restored and ready for a museum exhibition. The whole dance, but above all the Italian one, owes a lot to Jia Ruskaja. A woman of amazing charm and undoubted charisma – recalled her former student – A majestic woman with a regal bearing, just look at her portraits and photos, they reconstruct a climate and an environment made of art, culture, convivial atmospheres ” . “Jia Ruskaja loved living rooms and conversation, but above all having dinner with friends. Her predilection? – he continued – For a small restaurant in the Trastevere district that remained open until late in the evening for her and her guests”. A story, that of Evgenija Fedorovna Borisenko which has a lot of the accompanying novel and the feuilletons of the time. The escape from Russia, very young, after the October Revolution in the company of her father, an officer of the Russian imperial army, a first marriage with an English soldier, Evans Daniel Pole and then the arrival in Italy where she marries Aldo Borelli, director Corriere della Sera, worked in the cinema (‘Giuditta e Oloferne’ by Baldassare Negroni) and in the theater (‘Sumitra’ by Carlo Clausetti) alongside Anton Giulio Bragaglia at the Teatro Sperimentale degli Indipendenti, highly sought after by writers, intellectuals, poets, painters such as Pirandello , Marinetti, Soffici, Bontempelli, Prampolini, De Chirico, Malaparte, Trilussa, collaborated, as a choreographer, with the Institute of Ancient Drama and Classical Representations of Syracuse. In the 1930s he opened a dance school in Milan which won the ‘golden laurel’ at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, while two of his students, Giuliana Penzi and Avia De Luca, obtained the gold medal as soloists. It was only in 1940 that he founded, in the capital, the Royal School of Dance (at the time reserved only for women ‘), initially annexed to the Academy of Dramatic Art and became autonomous in 1948 with the name of the National Academy of Dance, which he will direct until to 1969. A forced removal for serious health reasons. In fact, Jia Ruskaja died a few months later, on April 19, 1970.

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