In Milan an improvised dance hall in Piazza Duomo. It is the post-Covid city

In Milan an improvised dance hall in Piazza Duomo. It is the post-Covid city
In Milan an improvised dance hall in Piazza Duomo. It is the post-Covid city

Barbara Stefanelli (photo by Carlo Furgeri Gilbert).

Milano, piazza del Duomo, end of October, 9.45pm on a Monday, returning home. Live accordion music is heard. The rest of the orchestra comes from an amplifier placed on a pedal cart.

The playlist does not seem to be generated by an algorithm that aggregates consonances and turns / turns in a bubble. Latin pieces, waltzes, then the rich and the poor, In the blue painted blue. And all, mixing generations and mother tongues, sing “to fly”.

You listen, you watch and you don’t understand what’s going on – other than that it’s a wonder. People dance, even if it were the navel of the world.

Imagine the most heterogeneous group of people that comes to your mind by juxtaposing the faces and legs of those you meet while navigating the city. And now go a little further.

The first thought – after the emotion that arrives like a wave and brings with it water of tears – is that this is a handful of people with mental discomfort. Did the educators bring them here for a night out?

All that remains is to ask one of the presumed madmen: “Do they all know each other or did they meet by chance?”. And the madman – long hair and grease, shoes like Vans on the market – responds with the look of someone who knows that we are crazy: “We were dancing in the halls that Covid has closed. We’ve been doing it on the street for months. Let’s find out where those who play go to put themselves and make an appointment».

Only that the people of the dance halls were joined by passers-by, dozens, perhaps a hundred. Three South American guys with beer in hand, some young and not so young Italian women with quilted jackets and stockings embroidered in their huggs, a trio of girls with masks (one with a bouquet of flowers in her hand and stiletto heels destined to get stuck in the pavement), Oriental-style dancers intertwined with companions with an Italic air who lead them in wild pirouettes.

More cautious couples who only enter the scene when a gentle rhythm piece starts. Lonely men, with mustaches and moccasins, suspended along the edge of that imaginary track. And around the cheerful circle of spectators: to make videos with mobile phones, to laugh, to leave a few coins in the accordion case.

If a great flight of brooms had taken off towards the Madonnina, no one would have thought of a twentieth-century film. We often ask ourselves what to hold back from these two difficult years. Walking, crossing the squares, experiencing the streets as rooms. It is an answer.

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All articles by Barbara Stefanelli


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