Cuma ©Alessandra Stanghini

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Gender Bender in Bologna

Updated on 24 October 2023 From Gender Bender

Gender Bender is a twenty-year old multidisciplinary festival dedicated to the imagery produced by contemporary culture related to new representations of the body, gender identities and sexual orientation.

It marks a one-off moment in the city's cultural calendar, offering an articulated cross-section of the various disciplines of cultural production, from dance to cinema, visual arts and publishing

Moreover, Gender Bender draws an ever new outline within the city, connecting institutional and associative spaces, both historical and new, in the centre and in the suburbs.

Check out the venues of the Gender Bender Festival in Bologna

The 21st edition of the festival will be held in 13 venues around the city from 31 October to 11 November 2023.

The Festival will be kicking off with a Halloween classic at Cinema Lumière, in Piazzetta Pasolini: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Just a stone's throw from the Lumière is DAS, the artistic research and production centre in Via del Porto, the festival centre and home to numerous events, including Hunter Filmed, the oneiric audiovisual installation with which Oona Doherty, Silver Lion winner at the Dance Biennial, translates her show Hope Hunt and the ascension into Lazarus, staged by Sati Veyrunes, into video. The event is scheduled at TPO, a self-managed space just outside the city walls, heir to the season of Bologna's social centres.

Lampyris Noctiluca - Aristide Rontini ©Francesco Mazzola and Aristide Rontini

Spazio Labo' is located under the Towers, on Strada Maggiore, and from 26 October for the entire duration of the festival will be hosting I want you to know my story, the first solo exhibition in Italy by the American artist Jess T. Dugan: self-portraits, portraits of people and couples, still lifes, and a series of diary writings to meditate on the transformations that define our existences. 

In nearby Via San Vitale is Atelier Sì, a place of theatrical performance and exchange, which opens its doors to Nulle part est un endroit, a dance lecture by the performer Nach showing the history and movements of krumping, a disruptive urban dance born in the suburbs of Los Angeles as a form of protest by the Afro-American community.

Crowded Bodies-Daniele Ninarello ©Margherita Caprilli 

From the Towers to the outskirts, we head towards the Pilastro, where DOM is based: there Dewey Dell's show I'll do, I'll do, I'll do will be staged, with the dancer's body incarnating the archetype of the goddess-witch and guiding us on a journey of transfiguration.

In the northern outskirts of the city, in the heart of the Navile district, the Sala Centofiori will be hosting IDA don't cry me love, a performance by the Belgian choreographer Lara Barsacq, a singular feminist manifesto celebrating the revolutionary figure of Ida Rubinstein, Sergei Diaghilev's muse and legendary dancer of the Russian Ballets, through ironic and playful dance.

Cuma ©Alessandra Stanghini

Read the full programme on the official website

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