The independent Argentine theater triumphed for years on the Catalan stages when three friends proposed to make the trip back. The High Season festival, celebrated in Girona, disembarked with that idea in Buenos Aires in 2013 and since then it has not stopped growing, with ramifications in Montevideo and Lima. In its seventh edition, which starts on Thursday, the core of the theatrical event is Catalan, but around it orbit works from Uruguay, Peru, Chile and Switzerland.
"He was born by dreaming together, in one of those talks in which they start throwing ideas," recalls Maxime Seugé, one of the artistic producers of Timbre4, the Argentinean theater company. Claudio Tolcachir who is the host of the festival. Narcís Puig, assistant artistic director of the Girona festival, and Jonathan Zak, also of Timbre4, complete the founding trio.
In 2013, the year in which High Season crossed the Atlantic, migratory flows had also been reversed. Many Argentines who found refuge in Europe after the corralito of 2001 they returned home due to the lack of opportunities caused by the global economic crisis, which hit Latin America with less intensity; for the same reason, thousands of Spaniards decided to try their luck on earth that had received millions of immigrants a century before. The independent Argentine theater, accustomed to having few resources, became a reference for Spanish companies during the lean times.
Timbre4, the headquarters of High Season Buenos Aires (TABA), takes its name from the place where this company was born. Tolcachir lived at the bottom of a PH, a traditional Buenosairean construction that consists of a land in which several departments coexist. In 2001, plays began to take place in his house. To enter you had to ring the bell 4 and cross a long shared hallway. There was never a sign on the door, but people kept coming. The complaints of a neighbor forced them to move to the back, where they have become one of the most transgressive temples of the theater circuit.
"I think it's quite a training for independent companies to come and see the way they work, the creative process, how is this system of so many programmed works, it has changed the operation of some Catalan companies", said Puig to the newspaper Page 12.
Seugé emphasizes that between Argentine and Catalan theater there is a mutual attraction and more points in common than differences. "We share all the energy to do theater and there are works that were born in this festival and were a kick to then be released elsewhere," he says.
This year the TABA opens with Terra baixa (Lowland), the masterpiece of Catalan playwright Àngel Guimerà directed and interpreted by Lluís Homar. Calm!, from the clown Guillem Albà; Lifetime, of the tirititero Javier Aranda; Y Houses, with Jorge Gallardo and Guillem Serrrabasa are other works programmed. From Peru arrives Prehistory of happiness, of the Physical Theater Company; From Uruguay, Cheta, from Florencia Caballero Bianchi; from Colombia The tiger is not as they paint it, a unipersonal of Alfonso Ortiz; and in a co-production from Switzerland, Germany and Finland can be seen Mondkind. The works will also circulate through Lima and Montevideo.
As a game, both theatrical universes confront each other in a dramaturgy tournament. The Catalan Cristina Clemente and Marta Arán, winners in the last edition held in Girona, will compete against the Argentinian Andrea Marrazzi and Facundo Zilberberg on February 14. Each one has four hours to rehearse the received text and present it to the public, which is voted by the couple that passes to the final and the winner. "There were years in which the final was Catalonia against Catalonia, another that Argentina against Argentina, between the two, one year we opened it to Peruvians …", replies Seugé. With the coronation of the new champion the festival will be closed.