March 4, 2021

Olite Theater Festival: the road to the contemporary

The first thing was to eliminate the word "classic" in the headings of an event that happened last year to be called, more generically, "theater festival", thus opening the door of its programming to proposals from all eras. The second, and most recent, has been to emphasize the broadest sense of the word "theater" to encompass with it all the performing arts, paying special attention in this 20th edition that concluded last night to the dance. These two lines of action have defined the work of Luis Jiménez this year at the helm of the Olite Festival, as it has been found these days in the Navarre town, where the rooms and recesses of his imposing castle or royal palace have been used to form some truly unique theater spaces. "We have opened the festival so that there is more programming, more spaces, more trends, more music and more dance ”. This is how the director summarizes this edition, in which the proposals for children and family audiences have also played an important role, as he explains, “of some pieces of the Golden Age, Lorca, Valle-Inclán or others authors, in informal and simple formats, that can help us find new audiences and so that the kids, who will be the spectators of tomorrow, approach the theater ”. In addition to these “theatrical Poetics”, which is what this cycle developed by Navarre companies in unconventional spaces has been called, the “main” programming on the stage called La Cava has allowed us to see, with a huge influx of people, the last works of some leading companies from other places in our geography.

The railway, which was born in Barcelona 20 years ago closely linked to contemporary dance, has brought Olite its particular approach to Antigone' in a very symbolic proposal in which plastic and body language are as important or more important than the text. There is also something symbolic – at least in the movement and in the use of the scenographic elements – in Atalaya's latest work; the Andalusian formation directed by Ricardo Iniesta has raised a grim and disturbing table ‘King Lear’, with actress Carmen Gallardo in the skin of the complex protagonist created by William Shakespeare. And, in a year in which the Community of Madrid celebrates the centenary of the arrival of Lorca to the capital, the figure of the poet from Granada has also been very present at the Navarrese festival: on the one hand, the Histrión company, directed at this occasion by Juan Carlos Rubio, has represented Lorca, personal correspondence ’, an original and poetic look at the writer through his own texts that demands a first-class interpretive work, such as that carried out by Gema Matarranz and Alejandro Vera; on the other hand, as a successful culmination of the festival last night in La Cava, Pep Tosar has also entered, but from another place, in the inner world and in the biography of the author of ‘Yerma’ conceiving a function, titled ‘Federico García’, that draws on narration, music, singing and dancing, and has been as applauded as the previous one, wherever it has gone.

And no less interest and enthusiasm has aroused the new work of Sara Cano, whose absolute premiere has taken place here, at the festival. 'I come' It is a tribute to the folkloric roots of dance in which, nevertheless, the whole tradition appears covered in contemporary times in which the acclaimed dancer and choreographer also drinks. Another very prominent montage in the field of dance has been ‘Erritu’, a hypnotic and beautiful proposal that has been represented in a magical place, as it is one of the terraces of the castle just at sunset, and in which Jon Maya – guest director of this edition – pays tribute to the rites that guide the I find the human being, as an individual entity, with the community to which he will inevitably belong.

On the international level, Portugal, a guest country on this occasion, has been represented by the ineffable and hopeless Companhia do Chapitô, who has directed a workshop for actors and fans within the framework of the festival and has also staged its great version of ‘Electra’. In it, faithful to that simple and imaginative style that characterizes them, the actors recreate with great humor the myth that Sophocles turned into high dramatic literature using, as the only scenographic and daring elements, of 200 spoons.

Also the new director of the National Dramatic Center, Alfredo Sanzol, whose assembly ‘The Courage’, according to the new ovation he received here, he continues to give him satisfactions. In addition, the playwright was the protagonist of a meeting with the public, along with the popular journalist Rosana Torres, in which he revealed some of his intentions in his new career at the head of the CDN: “I have not come to invent anything,” he said; My intention is to try to add to what is already there; continue along the path that Ernesto Caballero has been working on (current director until the end of the year). Yes I would like to open more the institution to shelter some projects that are being carried out in alternative rooms ”.

Patxo Tellería, author of ‘Last train to Treblinka’, the veteran company Morboria, with ‘The imaginary patient’, or the French of La Comédie de Caen (National Dramatic Center of Normandy), with their musical ‘Portrait of Ludmilla in Nina Simone ’, they have been other of the numerous protagonists of a festival that, according to its director, “is of summer, but not of summer; to the extent that it tries to offer diverse, and also risky, proposals that not only seek entertainment, but also, on many occasions, make us reflect on ourselves. ”

. (tagsToTranslate) raúl losánez

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