History of the Theatre and Entertainment II - LM [Sede VR] (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Nicola Pasqualicchio, Simona Brunetti
Nicola Pasqualicchio
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
CuCi IB dal Nov 9, 2020 al Jan 9, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing the tools for a critical analysis of the dramatic text and of its specific features, in the light of its performative destination and of its relationship with other literary genres.


First part: The theatrical poetics of Symbolism among literature, dance, and figurative arts.
Through the analysis of two exemplary representations – Le martyre de San Sébastien (1911), a mystery by Gabriele D'Annunzio, and the ballet L'après-midi d'un faune (1912) with the choreography of Vaclav Nižinskij – we intend to highlight how the Wagnerian synthesis of the arts (Gesamtkunstwerk) shows new aspects in the contamination proposed by Sergej Diaghilev with the artistic entourage of the Ballets Russes.
Second part: The modern myth of Salome between performative and visual arts.
Starting from Gustave Moreau paintings, the biblical character of the daughter of Herodias, who seduces Herod with her dance and asks him for the head of John the Baptist, stands out as one of the decadent myths par excellence. Dance is at the core of the myth, and its icon spreads at first mainly through painting; but the most memorable incarnation of the figure is mainly due to two theatrical masterpieces: the drama of Oscar Wilde (1891) and the opera by Richard Strauss (1905). The analysis, while focusing in particular on these works, will expand the investigation to the engravings of Aubrey Beardsley, the music of Florent Schmitt, the dance of Ida Rubinstein and the Ballets Russes, and the cinema of Carmelo Bene and Al Pacino.
Testi di riferimento / References
Prima parte
1. Appunti dalle lezioni.
2. Analisi critica di passi scelti da: Stéphane Mallarmé, Il pomeriggio di un fauno (1876); Gabriele D’Annunzio, Il martirio di San Sebastiano (1911).
3. Rossella Palmieri, Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien nella traduzione di Ettore Janni, in Gli scrittori d’Italia. Il patrimonio e la memoria della tradizione letteraria come risorsa primaria, Atti del XI Congresso AdI, Napoli, 26-29 settembre 2007.
4. Elena Randi, Fokine, Nižinskij, Nižinskaja: tra evento scenico e Weltanschauung, in «Il Castello di Elsinore», n. 77, 2017, pp. 51-93; Elena Randi, Protagonisti della danza del XX secolo, Roma, Carocci, 2014, pp. 19-79.
5. Umberto Artioli, Teorie della scena dal Naturalismo al Surrealismo, Firenze, Sansoni, 1972, pp. 65-82; pp. 157-179; pp. 193-205; pp. 224-241.
Seconda parte
1. Appunti delle lezioni
2. Oscar Wilde, Salomè, traduzione di G. Servadio e R. Montanari, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2019.
3. Mireille Dottin, Salomé, in P. Brunel (a cura di), Dizionario dei miti letterari, Milano, Bompiani, 1996, pp. 544-553.
4. Petra Dierkes-Thrun , Salome's Modernity. Oscar Wilde and the Aesthetics of Transgression, Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 2011, pp.
5. Bram Dijkstra, Idoli di perversità, Milano, Garzanti, 1988, pp. 552-590.
6. Mario Praz, La carne, la morte e il diavolo nella letteratura romantica, Firenze, Sansoni, 1976, pp. 213-228.
7. Salome, in Piero Gelli (a cura di), Dizionario dell’opera, Milano, Baldini & Castoldi, 1996, pp. 1137-1140.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Pierre Brunel (curatore) Dizionario dei miti letterari  
Piero Gelli (curatore) Dizionario dell'opera  
aa. vv. Gli scrittori d'Italia. Il patrimonio e la memoria della tradizione letteraria come risorsa priimaria  
Bram Dijkstra Idoli di perversità  
aa.vv. "Il Castello di Elsinore", n. 77, 2017  
Mario Praz La carne, la morte e il diavolo nella letteratura romantica  
Elena Randi Protagonisti della danza del XX secolo  
Oscar Wilde Salomè Feltrinelli   traduzione di G. Servadio e R. Montanari
Petra Dierkes-Thrun Salome's Modernity. Oscar Wilde and the Aesthetics of Transgression  
Umberto Artioli Teorie della scena dal naturalismo al surrealismo  

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam with final evaluation expressed by a mark out of thirty. The questions proposed to the candidates will aim on the one hand to verify their learning of specific theoretical and methodological questions on History of theatre, on the other hand, to test their ability to analyze examples of contemporary performances.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and in accordance with the University of Verona guidelines, the assessment modality may be modified as follows: online oral exam.