500 Years of Italian Dance: Treasures from the Cia Fornaroli Collection pays tribute both to the rich history of Italian dance and to the remarkable Cia Fornaroli Collection, a jewel of the Library's Jerome Robbins Dance Division. Assembled by Walter Toscanini, son of the famed Italian conductor, and his wife the La Scala ballerina Cia Fornaroli, the Collection documents the full sweep of Italian dance history from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century. The Collection is huge and multifaceted. It encompasses some of the earliest writings on dance, including one of the very first Renaissance dance manuals, scores of books, letters, programs, and libretti, and literally hundreds of designs, photographs, lithographs, and ephemera. It also includes Toscanini's personal research materials and manuscripts, as well as an important collection of memorabilia documenting the career of his ballerina-wife.
Five Hundred Years of Italian Dance: Treasures from the Cia Fornaroli Collection is curated by writer and Barnard College dance historian Lynn Garafola, with Italian dance scholar Patrizia Veroli, after a project conceived by Jose Sasportes and Patrizia Veroli.