EU Day

EU Day is one of the European Union Center's most high-profile annual events. We are honored to have used support from grants such as from the Erasmus+ program to regularly host ambassadors and diplomats, as well as journalists, former Members of the European Parliament, and scholars who have also contributed to conversations on campus and in the community about issues and events in Europe and the European Union. The 20th Annual EU Day keynote, "Academic Freedom in Europe: Threats Within and Without," was presented by Michael Ignatieff, Professor of History and Rector Emeritus at Central European University, on Thursday, November 18, and it was followed by a EU Day of Art on Thursday, December 2, which featured a performance by the Italian contemporary dance company Artemis Danza. 

EU Day 2021

EU Day of the Arts

2021 saw the return of EU Day of the Arts, an event featuring Compagnia Artemis Danza based in Parma, Italy, who performed "Dante Solo Inferno" on Thursday, December 2 at Lincoln Hall Theater.

Conceptualized and directed by Monica Casadei, "Dante Solo Inferno" (Dante's Hell) was a reinterpretation of select passages from the Divine Comedy commemorating the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri. Set to original music scored by Luca Vianini, a composer with the company, as well as pieces from Giuseppe Verdi's sacred music. Each visually stirring scene was introduced with Dante's most famous verses, beginning with, "In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself within a dark woods where the straightway was lost."

Prior to the performance, Casadei took a moment to speak with the audience explaining as a company of performance artists, how difficult the past year had been and their decision to continue working, despite the isolation. The close-knit group who had been separated from each other and separated from the stage since early 2020 began initial production and choreography for "Dante" via video calls. In early 2021, Casadei brought the dancers together for an emotional first time since quarantine to a secluded home in the woods outside Parma. Using the bleak, late winter, Italian countryside as a backdrop for the opening video sequence, the dancers imbued their personal pandemic emotions into the faceless characters who wandered lost in the forest before cutting to the live performance in Hell which follows their progression of torments and punishments before finally reaching paradise.

Compagnia Artemis Danza performing on December 2nd.

A full schedule of performance dates in Europe began in September 2021.  The European Union Center, through support from the Italian Cultural Center in Chicago, was extremely fortunate to see UIUC's Lincoln Hall as the Company's 2nd stop in their North American tour. Compagnia Artemis Danza included Director and Choreographer Monica Casadei, videographer Fabio Fiandrini, and dancers Samuele Arisci, Michelle Atoe, Silvia Di Stazio, Mattia Molini, Teresa Morisano, Christian Pellino, and Salvatore Sciancalepore.

To learn more about past EU Day events, please see below.

  EU Day Spring 2021 (PDF)
EU Day 2020 (PDF) EU Day 2018 (PDF)
EU Day Fall 2017 (PDF) EU Day Spring 2017 (PDF)
EU Day 2016 (PDF) EU Day 2015 (PDF)
EU Day 2013 (PDF) EU Day 2012 (PDF)
EU Day 2011 (PDF) EU Day 2009 (PDF)