ArtsNaples World Festival capped off its previous year and began this week with a stirring tango performance at the Sugden Community Theatre. With dancers led by Pablo Rapun and lively traditional accompaniment, the mostly full house was treated to a dazzling display of footwork and passion.
Passion from those in attendance is what Trey Farmer, William Noll and the rest of the group behind ArtsNaples are hoping for as they go into their third year. After a grand opening with the culture of Mother Russia and a few stirring performances, most notably from pianist Nachito Herrera, in a scaled-down salute to Latin America, this year's tribute to all things buon Italia is sort of a make-or-break year for the annual event.
Succeed and you've set yourself up as a legitimate annual endeavor. Muddle about and there will always be questions about how long you can keep pulling this off.
We're definitely rooting for them. It's great to see both an attempt to lengthen the programming season—though the “Stay in May” slogan seems a bit silly since 80 percent of people in Collier county do just that every year—and to bring cultural diversity to the area.
We do hope they continue to look for more ways to add to their own idea of what cultural programming is as the festival continues. Right now, the festival is heavy on the classics—opera, piano concertos, and the like. The photography exhibit at The von Liebig is an excellent twist. Here's hoping next year they'll add another more modern component to whatever culture they choose to celebrate.
Until then viva Italia.