Archivo de la etiqueta: Creativity

In Defense of the Catalonian Arts Council – CoNCA

The Councillors of the Catalonian Arts Council have resigned in block to protest by the threaten of the new Catalan government to eliminate their executives competences.

This is their letter: Seguir leyendo In Defense of the Catalonian Arts Council – CoNCA

Few days to start La Feria de Teatro y Danza de Huesca

In my third year of collaboration with the Feria de Huesca (Hueca international showcase for performing arts) I can’t but express satisfaction with the results obtained. The difficulty of pulling ahead in Spain a performing arts project which encourage innovation and contemporanity above populism, tradition and simple entertainment (I feel a deep sorrow for the case of Gijon’ La Laboral) can be optimistic about the strength of the Feria de Huesca and its position in the future.

Macarena Recuerda Shepherd

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KELarazq5w8]

The strong commitment of the patrons  for the contemporary performing arts and the debate in the context of professional meeting point has given the expected results and I am convinced this year will be definitively consolidated. Anyway, we must be careful since no one escapes the strong dependence  of the culture sector  on politics in Spain  and the approaching election times, and therefore possible changes in the political ecosystem.

Compañía La Tristura

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6TMoqJCux8]

I encourage you to continue the link of the Fair to look at the Artistic Programme and the Professional Conference. Concerning artistic programme I put some significant videos, although there is much more. The Conference is titled «Time for Revolution» (look at the introductory text) and no doubt will be a good place to reflect what changes are needed in the cultural sector to advance much further, with or without crisis.

Montreal Danse

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7PSEnjOdWI&NR=1]

Whoever approaches La Feria de Huesca , I am sure will have a few days of discovery and reflection necessary for the future of their professional activity.

The Popular Theatre has to be Contemporary. A good example

Rotterdam Community Theatre

A concern that always has accompanied to me has been to conciliate the contemporary art with the amateur activity. At the present time on the one hand we see the work of professional artists who offer new readings of the world that we live in, and on the other, an amateur practise who mainly repeats archaic models and stereotypes. In the theater this practise is more than evident  and the activity amateur remains in mere comedy; poorly interpreted in an attempt to emulate the recognized stars.
It makes little sense to consider the amateur or “community” artistic activity if the results do not offer anything new, if only offer cheap entertainment for families and friends; the justification of the “social cohesion” is not maintained by itself. NorI am happy to say that in «community practice» what matters is the process and not the result since if the process is good, the result should be  also good.

Eating and playing

My impression is that there is that we must change the culture of the  amateur practice adapting it to the new times and that we must demand an artistic ambition which in the majority of the cases it is lacked. Putting in the centre quality, contemporary and professionalism does not have to be contradictory with the work of people who feel the performing arts away from their habitual activity or as a vehicle to connect with the reality of the people of around them.

I explain this because a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to see the work of the Dutch theater group “Rotterdams Wijktheater – RWT” (the translation is more or less  “Community Theater of Rotterdam”). This group of theater is a good example of the effective way that is possible to work with people of the district and talk about the reality around them. In fact it is a professional group that makes all its productions with amateur people. During a period of time they carry out a work of dramaturgy and interpretation with the people of the district, so that in the end it leaves a spectacle interpreted by the own neighbors who speak of the everyday reality of  themselves.

Rotterdams_Wijktheater

The performance I could see in Rotterdam titled “Kaap Goede Hoop” (Cape of Good Hope)  made a route by a degraded district of the city where their inhabitants explained their experiences, memories and relationships. During four hours and in different spaces of the district, the neighbors relived their past and they faced the multi-ethnic and intergenerational present with total determination to overcome the differences that separate them.

The most interesting was that the players faced their characters quite naturally without wanting to express anything beyond what they are. It were used expressive resources  that each of them owns without wanting to obtain results of its natural deficiencies. In addition, the action was adapted to the spaces  and not the other way around (neighboring houses, bars, gyms, playgrounds, etc.) and, so that the story was perfectly coherent with the environment.

Multiethnic Meeting

In short, betting on a participatory theater as well as being absolutely necessary to expand the artistic activity in our society, should be done rigorously, based on quality, using natural scenic resources of the people and talk about the depth reality of these people and their communities.

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?