La “Venere” fascista dimenticata


Rhythmic gymnastics
classical dances
Foro Mussolini

How to Cite

Teja, A., & Veroli, P. (2023). La “Venere” fascista dimenticata: Una ricerca tra lo sport e la danza. Storia Dello Sport. Rivista Di Studi Contemporanei, 4(1). Retrieved from


In Italy in the 1920s, rhythmic gymnastics and ‘classical’ dances complemented
each other in proposing dynamic female bodies that, within a socially subordinate gender
role, fulfilled the aesthetic and eugenic aims that the fascist regime prioritised for women.
When Luigi Moretti designed a theatre for ‘classical dances’ to be set up in the Foro Mussolini,
what role was to be assigned to female dances within a space that celebrated the
mystique of masculinity? Could Bernardo Morescalchi’s “Nudo di donna”, the only statue
of a woman in these predominantly male-dominated spaces, correspond to this desire by
highlighting an openness to feminine aesthetics and the memory of the classical world?
Through the study of the early spread of rhythmic gymnastics and ‘classical’ dances, Luigi
Moretti’s intervention in the original plan of the Forum by Enrico Del Debbio will be investigated.
Not least with the placement of a classically inspired female statue among the
other 93 all-male ones, probable evidence of an abstract and sublime vision of women, to
be admired to the full in their rhythmic, harmonious and dancing movements.

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Copyright (c) 2023 Angela Teja, Patrizia Veroli