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Images courtesy Sara Caiazza© and Fausto Paparozzi© 2020

Reinvention, Reinterpretation, Reenergising, Recreation… This is what Enrica Palmieri, the artistic director of the Accademia Nazionale Danza managed to achieve with the Premio Roma Danza 2020 event. The 18th edition of the international dance competition, usually held at the Academies’ amphitheatre in Rome, was forced to reinvent itself this year due to the global pandemic and the government lockdown restrictions. At the height of the self-isolating lockdown Enrica Palmieri unlocked the potential of dancers everywhere, by giving them a platform to express and to share their unique talents and creativity and to reinvent themselves and their bodies inhabiting an alternative medium to the traditional theatrical stage venue.

The entire selection process and Grand Gala Finals was conducted on line through their Facebook and You Tube streaming platforms. With a total of 60 short films entered and competing in 5 separate categories the challenges of succeeding were enormous.

This challenge was met with supreme success by its director Enrica Palmieri, her dedicated and talented Academy team and the diverse and multi -talented artistic international members of the jury. The judges hailed from Senegal, India, Australia, Lebanon, Italy and Scotland and their enthusiasm, vast professional knowledge and sensitivity to the dancers and choreographers performances on film was invigorating to witness. The logistics of connecting everyone despite the world time differences was a hurdle that everyone overcame with smiles and extra commitment.

The enthusiastic dedication of Enrica Palmieri and her evolving energy and commitment to a project is what attracted and interested Maria Elena Cuomo and is why the Cuomo Foundation agreed to support this annual event. All of the financial prizes awarded at the 12th July Grand Gala Finale were sponsored by the Cuomo Foundation.

A decision was also made to create an additional prize to support gifted young dance students with bursaries to continue studies. Named in honour of the late founder of the Foundation ‘The Alfredo and Maria Elena Cuomo Special Prize’ was presented by the Foundations advisor in Rome, Nina Orenga de Gaffory, from the empty stage of the Academies Ruskaja Theatre in Rome. The winners of this inaugural new prize were Sara Caiazza and Fausto Paparozzi .Both young dancers submitted video entries in the Dance Animation and the Smartphone categories, respectively.

The entire 5 day event from the 8th -12th July was vibrant and captivating, fuelled by the energy and commitment of all those involved.

The Foundation is proud to be supporting such an innovative uplifting and inspiringly creative cultural event which is wholly in line with its own philosophy of commitment, enabling, supporting and evolving in this ever changing world !

“How the Foundation has metamorphosed since its inception is not too dissimilar to the actions of a chrysalis transforming itself into a butterfly-from one beginning, life changes!” – Maria Elena Cuomo

– Sarah Lieberson, July 13, 2020, London

Premio Roma Danza


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