Introduction

‘Did you know that Vernon Lee had written a text for a ballet?’

‘But do not joke, Stefano…’

‘Yes, I assure you, there is a copy for sale online, it is called The Ballet of The Nations, it is a first edition, and also seems in good condition: I’ll buy it for your birthday!’

And so this beautiful book published in 1915 by G.P. Putnam’s and Sons in New York and illustrated by the Pre-Raphaelite painter Maxwell Armfield, becomes part of our collection. The book remained closed in a display case in the family home, a display case coincidentally built by the writer who has written the work a hundred years ago, waiting for the moment …

The moment being that of it’s realisation of being brought to light as a theatrical and dance performance. I was thrilled to be able to imagine in the walls of this house Palmerino – her house – in and around the garden, a total work that could bring Vernon Lee back to the limelight. And for me to join once agin the theatrical world I had prematurely abandoned for the events of life: to think to dance, not only in dreams.

Now we are ready to start a new phase in the production project. We have identified the first dates for the first rehearsals at the end of January, during which the whole crew will be at Palmerino to develop the performance. What an incredible feeling to see the body of the big puzzle taking form, what until now has only been imagined in front of a glass of wine! Federica