I wouldn’t say that the performing arts sector in Spain was strong and highly creative, but in 30 years it developed substantially. Regular framework funds for artists and companies were implemented and new venues and creation centres were opened. All of this at a local, regional and national level. A broad array of public institutions covered different aspects of the development of the performing arts. However, the modernization process was not finished yet, there were still reforms to do: the high political dependence, lack of democracy in cultural institutions and some new expensive buildings without artistic projects, only built to feed the real state bubble and increase the public debt. Besides, the presence and support to contemporary innovative performing arts was not guaranteed in local public venues, in fact the vast majority of the performing spaces. Seguir leyendo THE SITUATION OF THE PERFORMING ARTS SECTOR IN SPAIN AFTER THE CRISIS
Just published the third volume devoted to the Netherlands in the collection «La Red Travel Notebooks». This collection began with London and Berlin, is the result of the training trips I’ve been designing annually for the Spanish Network of Public Theatres. Its aim is to present models and best practices in managing theatres and concert halls in Europe. In addition, in each of the volumes is an immersion in systems of cultural policies that give its support to public and subsidized theatres.
The three volumes have been reissued in a new design and published bilingual, Spanish and English. With this step the activities of the Network of Spanish Theatres goes beyond, starting as an international research centre specializing in management of performing arts venues. The new publications can be downloaded at the following links:
The new volume includes a first part of cultural policy and the Dutch system of performing arts exhibition. The second section describes the most innovative venues of Holland from the point of view of management, the artistic project and its architecture. Among others presents the Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam Zuidplein Theater, Theaters Tilburg, Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam and Het Muziektheater aan’tlj Muziekgebouw, these last two important concert halls in Amsterdam. All theaters show the main figures for its operation: budgets, audiences, number of representations, etc.
The three volumes are an indispensable collection if you want to learn the differences between the various management models of subsidized European theatres. Also provide a perfect tool for catching up on trends and innovations that pioneered performance spaces of Europe are currently developing.
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
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
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.
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.
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
Again the «Feria Internacional de Teatro y Danza de Huesca» has met the challenge of being the showcase of contemporary dance and theatre, and with this, to foster their touring extensively by the theatres and arts centres. Seguir leyendo Texts of the Lectures «Reasons for Programming Contemporary Performing Arts in Time of Crises» – Feria de Huesca 2009
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.
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.
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.
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.