Music: Ballet by Boccaccio

Published 500 years ago "as an aid and comfort to women in love," Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron reputedly contains every basic plot ever written. It has provided aid and comfort for novelists, short story writers, dramatists, Hollywood and TV hacks. Now Boccaccio has been set to the dance. At Italy's Nervi Festival, Russian-born Choreographer Leonide Massine last week presented the premiere of his Human Comedy, a three-hour interpretation of nine of Boccaccio's lustiest tales.

Set to 14th century melodies orchestrated by Composer Claude Arrieu, Comedy combined humor, poetry, drama and sex in lurid mixture. Some of the sequences were unabashedly bawdy: an aged...

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