The Doge’s Ball:when the enchantment takes place in the lagoon
Once upon a time there was a city called Venice; a magical land suspended between earth and sea, a reverie of the Orient, right in the heart of Europe. The city, known as La Serenissima, has always been the pride of its citizens and a marvel to those who visit it. For centuries it has enjoyed a well-deserved fame exerting a mysterious and enigmatic attraction, thus making it all the more fascinating.
Thanks to sceneries of almost mythical beauty, the wonder-struck descriptions, made by those who had been able to actually visit it, rapidly spread from mouth to mouth, throughout the whole world. It was described as a mirage, a real city with the contours of a dream, a precious jewel set in the lagoon, a place where the magnificence of each nobleman was comparable to that of the greatest princes of the time. Days would flow by with joy, between balls, reception parties and gallant adventures that would take place in palaces, which could, for their luxury, rival with Versailles and the other great European courts. In the background, the Grand Canal and the voluptuous and slightly decadent atmosphere was made even more enthralling, by the incomparable eighteenth century Venetian style, featuring flirtatious Rococo interns and Byzantine style facades.
At the end of a century-long age of memorable deeds, the cultural heritage of the city was partly lost and the Venetian grandeur was for long time but a melancholic memory of a golden era which was never to return.
And yet the city itself, by holding on to its memories, has avoided losing its past for ever; there is no other place as Venice to have maintained such an intact allure of remote ages, remaining suspended in time where the atmosphere is dense of the essence of the radiant ages. Walking along the calli you have the feeling of following in the footsteps of Canova, of the Vernier, Foscari and Cornaro families, while the soft tones of the lagoon landscape project you right into a painting by Giorgione or Tiepolo, leaving you prostrated in a melancholy of the “spleen”.
Venice however, is a rainbow of impressions, a palette of emotions that are ready to burst into a blaze of colours capable of driving back the cold winter chills, and so comes Carnival, a time of the year when, more than ever, it is possible to surrender to the frenzy, and indulge in fantastic reveries, dreaming of abandoning oneself to the luxurious pleasures of the Venetian patricians, not missing to show off some exuberance in the name of the carnival motto “all is permitted”.
This is Carnival in Venice, and not only this. It is much more. If you are looking for something extra – the revival of the splendours of the past, with a nod to today’s modern glamour – nothing more extraordinary could have been conceived than the “Doge’s Ball” – a revival, with a contemporary touch, of the masquerade balls so very fashionable in eighteenth century Venice – held at Palazzo Pisani Moretta.
Launched in 1993, on the initiative of reputed stylist, Antonia Sautter, it has universally been considered an appointment not to be missed by those who enjoy the worldliness of one of the most exclusive events in the world (only 400 guest can attend ball, every year!).
The 2012 ball anticipates offering unusual marvels, starting from its main theme, Queenessence, the enhancement of passionate and brilliant femininity; the recognition of the alluring perfection of a woman, which will be designated in a tribute to great queens of history, myth and fiction.
For the sake of researching utmost beauty, the event includes something for all five senses: a careful gastronomic selection offers the guests the flavours of the ancient traditional Venetian cuisine with a very scrupulous presentation of the dishes – thanks to the collaboration of the I Do Forni prestigious restaurant, and the accompaniment of the highly celebrated Veuve Clicquot champagne, while the maîtres parfumeurs of Nobile 1942 have dedicated three new perfumes to the Ball.
The evening will flow smoothly with performances that include dance, music, theatre and poetry in a spectacular escalation of celebration with a background of elegant imaginative scenery.
Every year a different concept – represented by sophisticated symbolism – enlightens the attendees (all rigorously wearing period attires, which often are designed and made by the masterly tailor skills of the Maison Sautter atelier) in the exhilaration of the pure cult of beauty, guiding the noble exuberance towards an ideal of perfection.
All this would not have been possible without the tireless commitment of Antonia Sautter, inventor and artistic director, whose ability to follow her passion combing it with experience in the realm of haute couture and cinema (her costumes where used in some scenes of Stanley Kubrick’s last masterpiece, Eyes Wide Shut) decidedly is to be recognised. An experience that year after year, has allowed her to recreate an enchanted universe, able to perfectly incarnate the spirit of a thrilling epoch, and so, while the briefness of the night makes the pleasure more intense, each one of the guests is free to rediscover their true self by wearing a mask.
Reaching the 19th edition this year, the Doge’s Ball has since long time captured the attention of both the national and international media (the Sunday Times, Abc, Cnn, to name but a the best known); the allure of the event could not be overlooked, if not simply for the number of illustrious guests coming the world of show business, politics and finance.
Many acclaims and recognitions have been given to this must-attend appointment described as “One of the first 10 of the 100 things to do in life” and “the masquerade ball the most sought after by the international jet-set”.
However, to summarize the Doge’s Ball into one definition is reductive: as everything that derives from imagination and creativity, this event too, is surrounded by a special aura, which confers it a somewhat magic, creating intoxicating sensations so that, when the first gleam of dawn appears, the magic enchantment delicately dissolves as upon awakening after a dream and what remains, is sublime feeling that is difficult to clearly explain in words.
Yes, because the Doge’s Ball is not a mere social occasion, it is rather a pervading adventure that can only be totally enjoyed with an aesthetic mind. It is an experience made of an entire plethora of suggestions that grasps the guests in a sublime embrace, involving them in a fairy tale experience.