Thanks to a great list of What is Happening in Venice on http://www.carnivalofvenice.com
2014 Carnival highlights:
Friday 14th February: Prologue, Valentine’s Day
Saturday 15th February: Opening of the Venetian Festival with a show, Cannaregio
Sunday 16th February: Boat pageant – Grand Canal – Cannaregio
Sunday 23rd February: Flight of the Angel
Saturday 1st March: Float parade, Marghera
Sunday 2nd March: Flight of the Eagle and Flight of the Donkey, Mestre
Monday 3rd March: Carnival Culture Night
Tuesday 4th March: Flight of the Lion, Silent Water Parade, the Great Fire
From 22nd February to 4th March: Best Masked Costume contest and musical evenings
SAINT MARK’S SQUARE
Every day a company of multilingual comedians will liven up the two morning and afternoon parades, where the best masked costumes will defy each other to win the traditional Best Masked Costume contest. Contestants will be selected by spectators who will then vote and may take their favourites to victory. Every day two winners will be selected to go straight to the Sunday finale. The winning style will clearly be the one that pays homage to Fantasy Nature, a recurring theme in the comedians costumes which will be inspired by the animal and vegetable fantasy world.
Entertainment, Clowning and Street Theatre
During each parade up to three entertainment companies will perform in street theatre shows, clowning, music and dancing. The shows will be selected according to their consistence with the theme and their purpose will be to liven up the square and involve the spectators. The selected shows will target all audiences and they will also be viewable from afar.
Lunch-Time Music Entertainment
Between 1pm and 3pm the square will be animated by a music and dance performance inspired by the world of nature and fantasy tradition.
Each evening will focus on a fantasy animal or a mythological creature from the natural world. The selected artist shall perform a show that is a metaphor of the theme or a symbolic-ritual homage. The Art Director will evaluate the proposals for each evening by theme as well as by artist. The show themes will include fantasy metamorphoses like the Phoenix, Leda’s Swan, Daphne’s Laurel Tree; or fantasy animals like the White Lion, the Werewolf Night, the Red Dragon; or more ironic and snarky representations of Donkeys, Rabbits, Foxes, Roosters and any other animals which are featured in international popular culture anthropomorphic irony.
Literature, Image and Myth of fantasy nature: animals, monsters and metamorphoses.
The theme of fantasy nature, metamorphosis, fantasy creatures mixing human and animal features has always excited human imagination and has been narrated in poetry, prose and drama in countless shapes, by many authors. This year the cultural projects that will be developed and selected will be based on works focusing on these themes, whether in musical, staging, reading, dance, or film format. The theme of fantasy nature unites these shows and events which at the end of the festival will be published as texts in one book.
THE FOREST IN THE CAMPI
This year the main city campi, traditional settings of entertainment and performance projects, will be coordinated on the metaphor of Fantasy Nature, in music and design, creating a Forest Living in a city of Stone. The idea is to prepare actual plant/flower arrangements with the (temporary) planting of trees and other plants to decorate the traditional stages and recreational facilities.
A musical programme will be developed for a young audience and it will be possible to dress up as, put make up on or simply wear the mask of the symbolic animal that the campo will be named after: Campo of the Grouse, of the Donkey, of the Wolf and of the Fox. Each campo will feature an animal inhabiting the fantasy Carnival Forest.