Archivo de la etiqueta: street arts

«mov-s/madrid 2010» – The Active Spectator

Presentation of «mov-s/madrid 2010 to be held at the «Centro de Arte Reina Sofia» in Madrid and performing arts venues of the city from 10 to 13 June. Information www.move-s.org

Under the generic title of “The Active Spectator”, the third edition of mov-s aims to delve into the reality of today’s audience. The relationship between performer and spectator can be enriched through the transformation from a passive spectator to an active spectator, who is the protagonist in their relationship with the artist. Considering the spectator as being intimately involved with the artist’s work is a path relatively little explored by the arts, in particular the dance and movement arts, and is a way for a large number of people to be involved in artistic creation. Seguir leyendo «mov-s/madrid 2010» – The Active Spectator

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.

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.