The Grec Festival of Barcelona 2013 is about to begin! The Grec Festival of Barcelona is an international theatre, dance, music and circus festival. Over the course of its history, this long-standing event, which will take place for the thirty-seven time in 2013, has become not only the major summer attraction in Barcelona, but also a reference on the European performing arts calendar.
The festival takes its name from its main venue: an open-air theatre (the Teatre Grec) built on Mount Montjuïc for the 1929 Universal Exhibition. At first, this “Greek Theatre” was the only venue used for festival productions, but, today, the Grec programme embraces many other theatres, cultural facilities and public spaces all over the city of Barcelona.
The festival, which will take place from July 1 to 31, will include several new initiatives, including a season aimed specifically at family audiences: this MiniGrec, as it is known, will feature thirteen productions at seven Barcelona theatres, including such shows as “El petit Dalí” and “Perduts a la Viquipèdia”.
A circus show with music by Shostakovich? That is what we can look forward to in “Opus”, by Circa, a company that our city has taken to its heart and which will open the festival at the Teatre Grec on July 1 and 2 this year. In this show, the Australian company explore the language of the circus, their breath-taking acrobatic skills accompanied by the Russian composer’s string quartets, performed live by Quatuor Debussy.
But “Opus” is just one of the shows on the Grec 2013 programme revealed in the first advance preview. Audiences at the Teatre Grec will enjoy a choral show starring one hundred anonymous Barcelona women (“100Femmes”, July 19); whilst Marc Rosich and Josep M. Pou will take them on a journey into the intimate world of Marguerite Yourcenar in “Fuegos” (July 26-28); and the venue will also host a show created by theatre schools from three major European cities (“Utopies”, July 9).
The festival dance programme sees the return of one of the international choreographers most acclaimed by Barcelona audiences: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, whose “Puz/zle” (Teatre Grec, July 15 and 16) speaks to us, through dance, about the beauty of fusion. In another outstanding choreography, “L’ADN de l’ànima”, the Catalan dancers Mudit Grau and Ramón Giménez will explore the world of feelings (Teatre Grec, July 6 and 7).
Turning now to music, the Municipal Band of Barcelona will team up with the Catalan actress Lloll Bertran in a truly unusual concert entitled “Bandalismes” (Teatre Grec, July 12). The festival programme also features such renowned artists as: Diego “El Cigala” (Teatre Grec, July 10); Jorge Pardo (Teatre Grec, July 22), Kiko Veneno (Teatre Grec, July 31); Buika (Teatre Grec, July 21); and Wynton Marsalis with The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, celebrating the band’s twenty-fifth anniversary at the Teatre Grec on July 17. Catalan music will be represented by Blaumut (Teatre Grec, July 30) and Ja t’ho diré (Teatre Grec, July 3), a band returning to Barcelona as part of a short one-off tour.
The Grec 2013 programme will also include activities aimed at professionals in the theatre world, including the International Performing Arts Meeting, whose purpose is to boost the Catalan theatre internationally. Amongst educational events, we can highlight the Sala Beckett’s summer workshop, held at a new venue in Poblenou this year, and taking anger as its theme; as well as activities aimed directly at audiences, such as the “Spectator Workshop”, which offers fresh insight for theatre-goers; and “Explica dansa” (“Modern Dance Speaks!”), presented by the choreographer Toni Jodar.
Festival-goers are reminded that tickets for shows at the Teatre Grec will be available online and at Tiquet de Rambles box offices in the Palau de la Virreina from May 2. The full festival programme will be revealed in late-May, when tickets for all other productions will also go on sale, at www.bcn.cat/grec.
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