Reconstruction of early 20th century Italian Polka Chinata presented at the Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House hosted on Sunday 20 March 2021 an unusual performance and dance workshop on the Bolognese dance step known as ‘Polka Chinata’. Alessandro Sciarroni has been working with dancers Gianmaria Borzillo and Giovanfrancesco Giannini to recreate a courtship dance dating back to the early twentieth century. The dance was originally performed only by men: physically demanding, even acrobatic, it involves dancers whirling around in a crouching position, facing each other with arms interlocked.

The work was created in collaboration with Giancarlo Stagni, a Filuzzi dance master who brought this age-old tradition back to life by studying unearthed documentary videos from the 1960s. Sciarroni discovered this dance in December 2018. At that time, it was practiced by no more than five dancers in all of Italy. The project was thus designed to include a performance by two of these dancers, as well as a series of workshops intended to promote and revive this endangered popular tradition.

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