Archivo de la categoría: English / Inglés

Posts originally written in English

The Autocratic Morality of the Catalonian Arts Council

(originally written in Catalan)

Last week I learned from «leaks» in the press about the grave crisis that gripped CoNCA (Catalonian Arts Council). Just a few months after its birth and after so much efforts and confrontations to renew the management model of the culture of Catalonia that seems shaken, and precisely because of internal issues. Seguir leyendo The Autocratic Morality of the Catalonian Arts Council

Theaters of London. Handbook for Cultural Managers

Continuing the series of handbooks that emerged from educational trips of Red de Teatros Públicos de España I will introduce today the London theatres. The manual (in Spanish) can be downloaded from this address http://www.redescena.net/descargas/proyectos/londresfinal.pdf

Teatro Roundhouse de Londre
Teatro Roundhouse de Londres

The report is divided into two parts. The first defines exhaustively the British model of management of nonprofit performing arts venues and cultural policy of the British government regarding the performing arts. In the second part, provides very detailed information of the artistic policies, audience development, education and outreach. Besides, the concepts described are accompanied by the essential information relating to the budget, audiences, technical details, etc.

Theaters described in the report are divided into three groups. On one hand, those who make London one of the capitals of theater worldwide. Of these we chose the National Theater, the Southbank Center, the Royal Court Theater and the Sadler’s Well . A second group is made up of mostly performing arts centres related to the social reality of different neighborhoods or social groups in the city. These are the Roundouse, Theater Royal Stratford East, Battersea Arts Center – BAC and Unicorn. Finally, we move out of London to enter into the reality of a regional theater. Here is chosen the Oxford Playhouse in Oxford City .

I hope this manual, along with the one of Berlin, and with the others that later on will be published, may be helpful to understand the different models on Europe to manage preforming arts venues.

The Theatres of Berlin. Handbook for Cultural Managers

Following the trip I organized last year in Berlin for the Spanish Red de Teatros Públicos (Spanish Network of Public Theatres), this manual has been edited from the  theatres visited on the occasion. The report can be downloaded at http://www.redescena.net/descargas/proyectos/berlinfinal.pdf (only in Spanish). Seguir leyendo The Theatres of Berlin. Handbook for Cultural Managers

Reasons for Dance and Theatre Programming in Times of Crisis

Originaly published in La Coctelera on May the 5th-2009

Introductory text of the international Conference of performing arts that will takes place in Huesca (Spain) from September 30 to October 2 in 2009

It is too often a fact that the most innovative and avant-garde theatre and dance rarely form part of theatre programmes. The reasons that are put forward to explain this absence are highly diverse, although most of them are to do with their low level of acceptance by a general public that, in general, is more accustomed to viewing the performing arts as pure entertainment or as the reflection of education based on heritage and history rather than a processes of contemporary creation. Another factor is that in times of crisis, the public authorities cut down on the budget assigned to those areas of culture that are considered to be less popular.

Whatever the reasons may be, in this congress we are going to take a positive attitude and not merely describe the difficult reality faced by contemporary performing arts. We have invited nine relevant figures in different fields of the performing arts at international level and will ask them to explain why they consider that today’s performing spaces should find a place in their programmes for contemporary creations. Each of the speakers will bear witness to a situation in which they have stood out and together they will present a detailed set of arguments in favour of the appropriateness of programming innovative, audacious productions in theatres.

Using a more current expression: in the conferences we hope to shed light on the reasons for an I+D+i of the performing arts at this particular moment in time. In the “European Year of Creativity and Innovation” and immersed, as we are, in a global crisis of yet unknown proportions, resorting to the most innovative artistic creations is considered as a detonator for new social, economic and personal development. This detonator is, in the performing arts, the contemporary nature of the artistic proposals and their accessibility for most of society.

Wednesday 30 September

Table 1 – Artistic reasons

Committing ourselves to art and making it accessible to the general public should not need any justification. “Art for art’s sake” has been one of the main philosophical arguments since ancient times: “the need for art is self-justified”. In this context “What place do contemporary performing arts occupy?”, “Do they have intrinsic worth?” and if so, “What defines them and what differentiates them to other performing disciplines?”

Thursday 1st October

Table 2 – Socio-economic reasons

Lately the argument of economic progress is that which has most frequently been bandied about in Spain by politicians and administrations to justify their support of the arts. However the question is, are contemporary arts capable of reactivating an economy in crisis? Can a society in need of innovation help artists’ creativity? Are creative minds necessary for a new type of society? Is this perhaps the first step towards educating in creativity?

Friday 2nd October

Table 3 – Social and personal reasons

Contemporary creation feeds off the reality of the society in which it is developed once again returning said creativity to it. Its receivers, be they individuals or groups, become more aware, transform and develop their own creativity, strengthening their capacity to co-exist and overcoming the barriers of exclusion. Is the population receptive to contemporary creation? Does its transforming capacity affect those that practice it? Is there creation beyond the Academy?

Street Arts in Spain Between Tradition and Innovation

Originaly published in La Coctelera, July 23rd-2006

I published this text in the book «Street Theatre: Impressions and Images» (Internationaal Straattheaterfestival VZW – Gent – Belgium)

A history of authoritarianisms

Situated in the South of Europe Spain is well known by its climatology, sunny days, beaches and Fiestas. Also the tradition, shared by the Mediterranean countries and others in the world that enjoy a warm weather, to establish relationships among people in the public spaces, streets, squares, bars, etc. In Spain the strong historic influence of the Catholic religion fostered the religious rituals in the streets, processions, ceremonial dances and annuals popular gatherings in the streets such as the patron saint Fiestas Mayores. Moreover, because an history of authoritarianisms and hierarchies the society reacted using the public space for the rebellion introducing new forms of artistic expressions in the public spaces in order to communicate the necessary ideas of social changes. Seguir leyendo Street Arts in Spain Between Tradition and Innovation

Street Arts in Spain Between Tradition and Innovation

Portada del libro
Portada del libro»Street Theatre: Impressions and Images».

Originaly published in La Coctelera, July 23rd-2006

I published this text in the book «Street Theatre: Impressions and Images» (Internationaal Straattheaterfestival VZW – Gent – Belgium)

A history of authoritarianisms

Situated in the South of Europe Spain is well known by its climatology, sunny days, beaches and Fiestas. Also the tradition, shared by the Mediterranean countries and others in the world that enjoy a warm weather, to establish relationships among people in the public spaces, streets, squares, bars, etc. In Spain the strong historic influence of the Catholic religion fostered the religious rituals in the streets, processions, ceremonial dances and annuals popular gatherings in the streets such as the patron saint Fiestas Mayores. Moreover, because an history of authoritarianisms and hierarchies the society reacted using the public space for the rebellion introducing new forms of artistic expressions in the public spaces in order to communicate the necessary ideas of social changes.

With the streets and the public space as a central point of the social relationships, the contributions of the artists were strong enough to develop styles and specific artistic languages different and indicatives of a social and political reality. These traditional artistic manifestations were developing for years and are basic components of the Spanish singularity.

The popular artistic styles and languages developed in Spain had to deal with a festive explosion of enjoyment resulted of a daily life of oppression and lack of democracy. Dances, comedy, clowns, physical and theatrical manifestations are related to the happiness of living and the pleasures of the body more than intellectual or abstract ideas. The artistic Spanish popular expressions have to deal more in living the moment than in any consideration about the way of living and feel.

Democracy and expressing freedom

Democracy and European integration arrived at the last quarter of the last century and new possibilities to open the artistic expression were developed. Spaces in the street were liberated and the more compromised artist decided to work in the streets directly to the audiences.

The remains of the Catholic culture were disappearing and the public space was opened and secularized. New street arts companies and festivals appeared and parallel to the traditional artistic manifestation new contemporary visions of the arts were created in public spaces. The theatre company Comediants could be the paradigm of the renovated tradition as La Fura dels Baus the archetype of a new way of expression. Festivals as Tàrrega were born as an evolution of the old traditional Fiestas Mayores.

New trends in Street Arts in Spain

After 25 years of democracy innovation and risk are not big issues in the landscape of the street arts in Spain. As before, entertainment and tradition are the main focus for the artistic creation in the street. Few are the groups or artists that remains searching new ways for the artistic expression in the public space and few the festivals that understand that they should be a showcase of the news and young energetic artist who arrive with the idea to shake the bases of the cultural Spanish order.

There are still companies looking for new ways to develop Spanish traditions in a more contemporary way. All of them with the distinctive stroke of joyful and the pleasure for life. Xarxa Teatre (the only big scale producers), Comediants (still on) or El Espejo Negro (that satirize with puppets the stereotypes of the Andalusian life and their characters) are some good examples.

The last years renovation have come from contemporary dancers and choreographers; an strong a creative group in Spain that realising the lack of attention of institutions and public in indoor theatres decided to show their works directly to the public in the street. Senza Tempo, Sol Pico, Provisional Danza are examples of these indoor dance group that not only moved their choreographies to the streets but investigate the space and the proximity with the public.

New and atypical spaces are developed by the Sevillian company la Imperdible, machines and peculiar mobile elements are made by Discipulos de Morales, Sarruga or Hortzmuga, and new applications of common tools are developed by the La Viuda – Sol Picó.

Playing with fire and fireworks has been and will be one of the main constituents of the Spanish spectacular shows. Groups from Valencia region are specialist and developers of these techniques that in its pyrotechnic aspects has developed considerably but the dramaturgy and theatricality has remained the same for years; the same myths and archetypes.

The unknown Latin America

This description could be also made when talking about the Latin America reality of the street arts. They are very strong and alive but so different in aesthetics and style from the European that there is no sense to make any comparison. In Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina or Chilli exists a similar history than in Spain about social relationships and artistic creation in the streets. Traditions developed to street arts in the 60s and 70s and exist from then with not many changes but with a colourful power totally unknown in Europe and worthy to be discovered.