The performing arts launch a comprehensive development that includes an international festival

The performing arts launch a comprehensive development that includes an international festival

From left to right, Rubén Pérez, Juan Márquez and José Luis Rivero, yesterday, at the Guiniguada Theater in the capital of Gran Canaria. / EFE

Grants for production, programs with Education, initiatives for the gestation and development of projects are included, and the Maps Fest is launched

Victoriano Suarez Alamo

The Government of the Canary Islands has designed a broad and ambitious plan to modernize and adjust the performing arts in the archipelago to the industrial and creative needs of the 21st century. 'Canarias en Escena' is the name of this project that includes among its different sections the celebration of an international festival, called Maps Fest, whose first edition will take place between June 2 and July 30, with a program that will last for the eight islands.

With this plan, which has a total budget of 4 million euros, the aim is to generate "a strong ecosystem", which promotes access to culture through the performing arts and in turn "strengthens the local industry", he pointed out in the presentation yesterday Juan Márquez, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Government of the Canary Islands.

Specifically, he said at the Guiniguada Theater that 'Canarias en Escena' has seven branches, whose management falls to the Canarian Institute for Cultural Development (ICDC), and that in some sections it has the presence and financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the councils and some island municipalities, as well as funds from the European Union.

This year a call for aid for the production of performing arts projects is being activated again, which will involve a disbursement of 300,000 euros, clarified Rubén Pérez, general director of Culture of the regional Executive.

Under the heading of Mares, a specific contracting plan for stage shows is developed by town councils and councils, which replaces the extinct regional market.

A hand is extended to the educational centers of the islands through the Proa + program, where the performing arts have "a curricular anchor" and are not limited to the mere exhibition of professional productions to the students. Rubén Pérez explained that the representations are precisely the end point, since previously a team of teachers and the professionals themselves have worked with the young people. It also has a budget of 300,000 euros.

Another section of this regional plan consists of setting up a 'Hub' with the aim of strengthening ties between the audiovisual sector and the performing arts on the islands.

Added to this is a Project Acceleration program, which seeks to professionally guide the projects that emanate from the sector to promote their development, premiere and distribution within the sustainability criteria that appear in the 2030 agenda. Here we have the support of the European Union, which has recognized that the archipelago is the first enclave in which an initiative of this type is developed in the performing arts sector, assured the director general.

The South Atlantic Performing Arts Market (Mapas) joins 'Canarias en Escena' with the aim of promoting the internationalization of the sector and strengthening ties for future productions and scenic business niches, highlighted Juan Márquez. It will have a budget of 800,000 euros.

The Maps Fest, for its part, was born in this first installment with a budget of 1.5 million euros and will give space to local, national and international "scenic events", as defined by its director, José Luis Rivero, from Tenerife, former director artist of the Adán Martín Auditorium of Tenerife.

The dance, the theater, the circus and different parallel activities that will be announced in the coming months, said Rivero, will be extended with different proposals for "urban and non-urban spaces" and with traditional productions - Italian style - along with other less conventional and street.

With these ingredients, says Juan Márquez, "ecology of culture" is carried out and it is possible to develop a policy for the "long beam" sector and that will last when "the EU funds" that Spain receives due to the crisis generated due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The intention of listening to the sector was advanced yesterday, to achieve its "identification" with the new programs and objectives, to achieve greater "sustainability" and efficiency. Rubén Pérez said in this sense that "a survey" will be carried out to detect the main deficiencies and needs.

Under the auspices of the Project Accelerator, preparations have begun for a first production that will be exhibited at the Mapas Fest. This is 'Segis-Mundos', inspired by 'Life is a dream', by Calderón de la Barca, whose direction will be assumed by the Colombian Manuel Orjuela. The cast is currently being defined.

Theater, dance, circus, 'performances' in different formats and spaces

From the local to the universal, like a mirror where we reflect and reflect on the world around us, through a plurality of themes, disciplines and formats. Under these premises the Maps Fest was born, which between June 2 and July 30 will develop its programming in the eight islands, announced its artistic director, José Luis Rivero.

Dance, theater, circus, 'performance', street shows, those performed in specific and natural enclaves, as well as 360º will have space in a proposal that aspires to be "differentiated and differential", according to Rivero.

The Maps Fest is committed to "involving" society so as not to become "a showcase or a brand" of the political and business sector. "Culture is made by people and not by institutions," defended Rivero, who opts for a festival with "multiple visions of the world and with a critical attitude", in order to try, through art, "to be present" and understand a reality increasingly "alien and difficult".

He did not advance names of companies or local, national and international shows because the entire scenic panorama is changing due to logistical problems derived from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He gave as an example a montage that is scheduled to arrive from Australia and that "enters Europe through Bulgaria." He did reveal that connections and contacts have been established with other major festivals to promote co-productions, own production and the national and international distribution of Canarian creations.

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