The 25th edition of the International Festival of Contemporary Dance Masdanza celebrates its first quarter of a century of trajectory with the same desire to excel that drove it in its beginnings in 1996 in the Maspalomas enclave as an artistic window towards the rest of the world. The coincidence of this event with the restrictive barriers of the Covid-19 health crisis is being circumvented this year by reinventing a program divided into two blocks: a first section dedicated to the two competitions to competition and the extensions of the shows of the Festival on the islands, from October 15 to 31; and a second section based on complementary activities aimed at the general public, from November 16 to 21.
The artistic director of Masdanza, Natalia Medina, highlighted during the presentation of the sample yesterday, at the Guiniguada Theater, that in both competitions there are a dozen pieces by 27 professional dancers from Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands this year and Luxembourg, among which two Canarian artists, Javier Arozena and Carmen Fumero, parade. The solo and choreography contests will be held on October 15 and 16, respectively, and the awards ceremony will take place on October 17, since these events will be broadcast for the first time in streaming to all parts of the world. which “opens a new window” consistent with the international nature of Masdanza.
Starting on October 19, the festival opens its wings to line up an inter-island itinerary that runs through the islands of Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma, El Hierro, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, and returns to Gran Canaria with a special program on the 26th and October 31 at the Pérez Galdós and Guiniguada theaters.
The second part of the program includes a list of complementary activities that includes contemporary dance workshops for the elderly -in small groups-, Masdanza Cinema, Recreos Culturales and Masdanza Dunas, with the performance of four national companies in the viewpoint of this privileged environment.
The contests feature two Canarian dancers: Javier Arozena and Carmen Fumero
This last part captures the essence of Masdanza, which, in Medina’s words, lies in its “community character” and which reflects the 25th edition poster, with a miscellany of faces that reflects its horizontal, transversal and intergenerational vocation. “This year we present a very rich, diverse and inclusive program,” said Medina. “I highlight three words of the International Festival of Contemporary Dance Masdanza: festival, which is our identity stamp on the world map of contemporary dance; international, because Masdanza has been able to attract creators from different corners of the world to the Canary Islands and has served as a springboard for so many creators at the beginning of their artistic careers; and the Canary Islands, because Masdanza is a project of the Canarian community that represents all citizens ”.
Regarding the readjustments that the final design of the programming entailed due to the pandemic, Medina admitted that participation from countries such as China or Korea was ruled out. “We encourage them not to come this year and we guarantee their place for the next edition, although now they might have been able to come, but we have had to gradually modify the proposals based on the needs we identified day by day,” he explained. In addition, Medina thanked the sum of institutional efforts that have made it possible to materialize this edition, which he defines as “very special” in an exceptional setting, and underlined “the importance of cultural education”: “Although we do not have a Regulated dances, we have four Canarian artists who are National Prize winners and that is very important ”.
The presentation ceremony was attended yesterday by the General Director of Culture of the Government of the Canary Islands, Rubén Pérez; the councilor of the area in the Cabildo, Guacimara Medina; as well as the Deputy Mayor of San Bartolomé de Tirajana and the Councilor for Culture, Samuel Enrique and María Elena Espino. The latter stated that “the time has finally come to start developing cultural activities, because we cannot leave professionals who are directly or indirectly dedicated to the world of culture helpless.”