23 March 2010
I was writing just a quick entry to give you a glance of what has been going on in the Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogota. And I was planning to tell you that thousands of people wearing red wigs stood on the Carrera 7 (7th Street) to watch one of the most impressive parades the city has ever seen, the oppenig parade. And that I was so happy because Colombians behaved in such a respectful and caring way that you could feel an atmosphere of peace, love and belonging.
And also, that this year the Festival has used all technology available. Apart from their web page they also have a youtube, twitter, flickr and facebook account where you can follow and keep informed with what's going on. But what is most impressive (well, for me it is =)) is their livestream channel which means that all Colombians living abroad and all of you - kindly reading this post - will have the chance to see live most of the shows and performances.
Ok, I'm soooo proud of what Colombia and de Festival have achieved that I could just keep writing. But I’m going to stop now and leave you with a beautiful post that a friend from New York who has fallen in love with Bogota - and now lives here - wrote for us.
So thank you very much T&T and here you go.... enjoy!
Theatrics in Bogota
On March 19, the curtain rose on the world’s largest international theatre festival, the XII Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogota (12th Iberoamerican Theatre Festival of Bogota) in Bogota, Colombia. The launch was particularly significant as it also inaugurated the re-opening of the newly renovated Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Theatre with a special performance of Pedro Calderon de la Barca’s La vida es sueño (Life is a Dream), performed by the Teatro Academico Estatal Tartar, and directed by Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez Puche.
The second grand opening event was the traditional inauguration parade on March 20, which was led by a 20-foot marionette (the largest in the world) of Fanny Mikey, the festival’s spirited co-founder who died in 2008. Fanny became the face and soul of the festival, and her wild mane of red hair was an icon unto itself, symbolizing Fanny’s whirlwind outlook and hurricane-like approach to getting things done. Following the expertly maneuvered puppet along the parade route from the Santamaria bullring to the historical Plaza de Bolivar, and delighting nearly a million spectators, were over 2,000 performers including clowns, dragons, demons, bird-people, animated cubes, African dancers, Trojan women, Peruvian lions and a Dixie-land jazz quintet, along with representatives of regional Colombian carnivals.
The night brought live music and dance performances, and a special presentation of photos recounting the rich artistic life of Fanny that were projected on to the Palace of Justice.
The festival programming offers an impressive scope of carefully selected performances of over 100 performing arts companies from 80 countries, spanning 5 continents, including a full-scale Chinese opera, Colombian adaptations of the film Trainspotting and August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, U.S. theatre master Bob Wilson’s acclaimed Krapp’s Last Tape, three unique interpretations of Medea from Germany, Japan and France/Africa, innovative renderings of the Homer’s Odyssey from Peru, Italy and Israel, and an exploration of transexual identity and politics as told through the use of 5 kilos of ice by French artist Non Nova.
Dance performance, an important part of the festival, brings the Serbian electric modern ballet inspired by Romeo and Juliet, titled Radio & Juliet, set to the music of Radiohead, the gravity-defying Condición Aérea and a French-Colombian co-production of The Rights of Spring. Aerial acrobatics will be blended with fireworks and music as Grupo F from France closes the festival on April 4 with what promises to be a thrilling performance at the Parque Simon Bolivar.
Theatre will also be taken to the streets with many thrilling productions. A cornerstone feature of the festival is the Ciudad Teatro (Theatre City), home to over 700 events, including children’s theatre, musical performances, improvisation competitions, and a theatre-centric market. Special concerts by the haunting Mallorcan chanteuse Concha Buika and Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand (performing in Colombia for the first time) are expected to be highlights. A schedule of master classes and training workshops have been planned for aspiring thespians. Additionally, the Ventana Internacional de Artes (VIA) provides international performing arts professionals with the opportunity to attend seminars, network and conduct a bit of business.
Whether dramatic or fantastical, a clown spectacle or a musical extravaganza, the comedic and the harrowing, intellectually challenging or farce, the festival has a something for everyone.
I hope you have the chance to check it out and now I should go, we have tickets for tonights show!
**Some pictures on this post have been taken from various sources. Credits to Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogota -FITB, T&T www.bogotabrilliance.com.