Santiago a Mil: Women, protagonists of the South American theater festival in Chile | Culture

Santiago a Mil: Women, protagonists of the South American theater festival in Chile | Culture

The 26th version of International Festival Santiago a Mil, one of the main festivals of Latin American performing arts, has started this Wednesday in Chile with a fundamental premise: it's women's time. Some ninety shows of theater, dance, music, performances and visual arts will be presented until January 20 in the capital and in cities in the north and south of the country in traditional halls and on the streets, in rich and humble neighborhoods, with the great creators as protagonists. Since the first version of this festival was held in 1994, which attracts around 300,000 spectators every year, never before have there been so many invited women, both Chilean and foreign.

In the year of the demands of the feminist movement in the world, which in Chile exploded in May at universities, the festival has opted to make visible the work of the artists and highlight their peculiar looks on diverse subjects. "The theater reflects on all the major themes and, in this edition of the festival, we wanted to listen to what the creators of the arts are observing about the fundamental issues of humanity. What is the female perspective on intolerance or immigration? ", Explains Carmen Romero, executive and programming director of the International Festival Santiago a Mil, a strong woman of this event that is closely linked to the beginning of summer and the holiday season in the South American country.

One of the stars of the festival is Sophie Calle, French artist, writer, photographer and director, fundamental character of contemporary art. The artist arrives in Santiago de Chile with one of her most symbolic works: Take care of yourself (Prenez soin de vous), where he explores again the relationship between art and intimate life. Representative of France in the Venice Biennale in 2007, the exhibition has traveled around the world and, in Chile, its inauguration at the Museum of Contemporary Art marked the beginning of Santiago a Mil.

It all started with an email of a boyfriend breaking up and one of his last phrases: "Take care of yourself". Calle took her ex-wife's request seriously and asked 107 women to interpret the letter from a professional perspective. The summonses – a criminologist, a judge, a psychoanalyst, a seer, sexologists, dancers, writers, actresses like Victoria Abril, singers like Christina Rosenvinge – formed a polyphonic show together. "A sort of chorus of female voices that made their pain something of their own," says the catalog of the show. For the French artist, "participating in a theater festival is stepping on new ground," he explained at a press conference on Wednesday.

From Germany and Argentina arrive two recognized female theatrical groups: She she pop and Skin of lava. The Germans will present two of his works, applauded and transgressors: Schubladen (Drawers) -a performance in real time where the traces of West Germany and the GDR reflect on the lives of their inhabitants- and Oratorium, where the cast and audience are put on the same level to review together the limits of private property. The Argentineans of Lava Skin, meanwhile, return to the Chilean tables with Petroleum, a comedy in which four actresses reflect on the fictions between genders, the body at work and the demands of men seen from the feminine.

At the South American theater festival you can see the work of key directors, such as that of the German Verena Regensburger and her work Luegen (Lies). The Latin American scene, however, always has a central space in the festival. The Peruvian director Chela de Ferrari will present Much noise for nothing, a version of Shakespeare's play in which the roles of women are interpreted by men, but without special characterizations or make-up. The Ferrari is a defense of love, but apart from genders and sexual stereotypes. A festive montage in which the audience is integrated into the stage and where the actors form a band of musicians who perform Beatles songs, but with Salsa rhythms.

In Swan Lake (Swan Lake), the South African choreographer and dancer Dada Masilo disrupts the original story with a Prince Siegfried who dies of love for a man. The song also does not remain outside the festival and the queen of Haitian music, Emeline Michel, will offer a concert in Quilicura, one of the municipalities of Santiago de Chile where her immigrant compatriots are concentrated. The Chilean scene will have representatives of the likes of Chilean director Manuela Infante, who puts on stage Idomeneo, of the German Roland Schimmelpfenning, through a montage halfway between a theatrical story and an electronic concert.

The 26th version of the festival has a provocative motto: Santiago rebel a thousand, because in Chile say a thousand means to go to the maximum, with everything, until the end. Along with proclaiming that it is women's time, other topics that will cross the event are immigration and sexual diversity.

There will be great names on the scene: the Italian writer Alessandro Baricco will present Mantova lectures -Alejandro Magno, on the narration, your session storytelling where he reflects on the millenary art of telling. Renowned American director and actor Tim Robbins will present The New Colossus, a piece inspired by the humanitarian crisis in Syria. The Catalan company Antigua i Barbuda, meanwhile, will take its show to the public spaces of a dozen Chilean municipalities The dancer: they look for to celebrate in the streets the greatness of the woman through an acrobat doll of five meters that transits through the streets. It is one of the many free shows offered by Santiago a Mil.


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