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Monday, 17 June 2019

FiraTàrrega 2019 launches new management and asserts itself as an international hub for street arts

· FiraTàrrega 2019 will take place from 5th to 8th September

· La Llotja of FiraTàrrega is renovated and transformed into a meeting point within the sector, fostering professional knowledge, encounters and exchange.

· Territory, identity, commitment and reflection are the four lines intersecting the artistic programme.

· The opening act will be a conversation on public space and artistic creation led by Àngels Margarit, director of the Mercat de les Flors and the philosopher Xavier Antich. Moderated by Judit Carrera, the event is meant to serve as a mission statement from the new artistic director, Anna Giribet.

The 39th edition of FiraTàrrega will have a new director and take place from 5th to 8th September 2019. This will be the first edition under the artistic direction of Anna Giribet who, in close collaboration with the rest of the FiraTàrrega team, is kicking off a new phase. Over the next five years, FiraTàrrega will be embarking not only on a new artistic project, but on a new managerial project as well. The recent changes in the two Fira directorships have necessitated a reflection on what its role should be, both within the context of the sector as well as in the cultural strategic market of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

Towards a new paradigm

In general terms, the new team embodies the essence of the previous era it is heir to and reconfirms the Fira's purpose. First of all, the Fira represents a dual space for contemporary performing arts creativity and exhibition, highlighting street art and public space and representing a point of meeting, contact, hiring and exchange for all who participate in this cultural market. Secondly, we reaffirm our role as a guiding structure in the processes of show production and entrance into the distribution networks. Finally, we aim to maintain our role as a space for specialised training, in the field of creation as well as in the management and programming of street art and art in public spaces.

For the next few years, the FiraTàrrega project will be evolving towards a new paradigm, a model that reinforces the purpose of this event in two directions: as a generator of distribution spaces and audiences for stage productions and as a reference in the field, gathering experience and knowledge and making it available to institutions, creators and professionals. In short, we would like this project to take on an essential role in tackling the challenges which are sure to face our sector in the coming years.

Artistic lines

When it comes, more specifically, to the project's artistic scope, FiraTàrrega hopes to offer a multifaceted view based on four axes: territory, identity, commitment and reflection. The values it intends to bring into play have to do with transversality, ascription to the social reality and research, in the sense that street art in particular, and performing arts in general, are no longer imagined as merely a cultural expression, but rather as a catalyst which, through artistic approaches and creativity, must offer new perspectives on the needs, concerns and social challenges of the 21st century. The project seeks to encompass contemporary, inclusive, universal, cohesive and critical discourses. And include, as well, the most festive works of quality entertainment.

Professional and commercial sphere

The Fira welcomes around 800 professionals from all 5 continents. In this edition, FiraTàrrega has decided to qualify the professional experience even further, renovating the physical space of La Llotja to provide and facilitate meeting points, presenting a new model of professional activities to help propel all projects presented, and creating new measures for emerging and debuting artists through a new series of afternoon activities at La Llotja. With the new edition of FiraTàrrega, the configuration and activities of La Llotja will be rethought, in dialogue with the sector, in order to re-launch it as a true hub of professional knowledge, meeting and exchange, a place where professionals, audiences and artists can meet up to take stock of the street performance world. The role of production accompaniment for the companies co-produced by FiraTàrrega will also be reinforced, with close collaboration between the Artistic Area and the Professional Area, with the creators. Another important focus is working with distributors, companies and associations to stimulate the mobility of the creations. The scope of the action will also be broadened to professionals outside of the sector. Activities that have had significant professional impacts, such as the Lunch Meeting organized in cooperation with the ICEC, will be continued. As for international delegations, this year, the Fira will enjoy the presence of promoters from the Italian region of Lombardy, as part of the programme Enforce Entertainment led by the association APS Residenza IDra. In addition, the Fira will embrace the presence of programmers from the United States with the support of CEF Travel Funding of APAP, members of the InSitu network, which the Fira has joined in 2019.

Support for Creation

The 2019 Support for Creation programme, which was presented in early May, includes 14 artistic projects and is characterized by renovation and the desire to provide companies with extensive guidance, where all possible relationships between artists, professional, the market, city and citizenry are included. The updated programme establishes different typologies of projects according to the degree of guidance each one needs: Nursery, Margins, Seedlings, Migrations and, finally, Fallow: slow-cooked initiatives that escape from the logic of immediacy and rapid consumption and undergo a process of creation that lasts two years. Companies have time to carry out research, reflection and rehearsal processes.

The 14 projects are: Livalone (Francesc Cuéllar/Fundación Agrupación Colectiva), Teia (Júlia Farrero), La Festa (Mambo Project), Peix (Hotel Iocandi), Frame (Eléctrico 28), The Half (Foradelugar), La caixeta (Holoqué), 1+1+1 (Laurie Bérubé, Xavier Laliberté & Elwin Roland), [kórps] (Miquel Barcelona), Paparazzi (Paral·lel Ensamble), Els despoblats (Projecte In-Situ), La llista (Quim Bigas), La crisi de la imaginació (Rauxa) and Possê (Sound de Secà).

Starting this year, the process of getting plays on the market and guaranteeing their survival and viability, beyond their FiraTàrrega premiers, will be a major focus. To this end, great care has been taken in weaving a network of mutual understanding between different parties who want to accompany artistic projects throughout the territory. In 2019, this network includes, so far, El Graner, Roca Umbert, Teatre de l'Escorxador in Lleida, L'Estruch of the Ajuntament of Sabadell, Festival Escena Poblenou, Festival Trapezi, Sant Andreu Teatre (SAT), Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera, Festival Pauperres, Teatre Artesà in Prat de Llobregat, WeAct Assoc and the Montréal Complètement Cirque.

2019 programme

In this edition, the opening of the Fira will constitute a mission statement on this new way of understanding street art and art in public space, the transversality of performing arts, citizen involvement and commitment to the social reality. It will take the form of a conversation on public space in the Plaça Major of Tàrrega, Thursday 5th September, between Àngels Margarit and the philosopher Xavier Antich, moderated by Judit Carrera. The act is made possible by the collaboration of the CCCB and will end with a short artistic action of vertical dance by the company DelRevés.

As previously mentioned, this year's programme has been shaped around four axes. The shows on Territory include the one by Júlia Farrero with her circus solo, Teia, evoking the Pyreneen falles tradition; there is also A Vore, a dialogue between dance and traditional and contemporary music that treats the concept of "party" from an intergenerational perspective and ends up being a profound reflection on identity. A piece that adapts to the street format thanks to the collaboration of Festival Eufònic. Trópico de Covadonga, by Rodrigo Cuevas, is a play constructed as a contemporary song book, using electronica, humour, performance and musical codes to narrate the stories of folklore. Peix, by Hotel Iocandi, is a solo which, from the poetics of the absurd, reflects on the impact of tourism, power struggles, emptiness, silence and solitude in the face of immensity.

Linked to identity and its multiple faces, there will be shows like Give me protein, by Kernel Dance Theatre, a reflection on gym stereotypes, our obsession with image, the idealization of aesthetics and the enslavement of the body. Also Así balian las putas, by Sixto Paz, a show that brings a number of issues to the stage: the acceptation of vulnerability, contradictions, uncertainty and the female empowerment discussed by Júlia Bertran in her book M'estimes i em times.

As for reflection and thought, the Fira will feature, in addition to the opening event, shows like C'est pas là, c'est par là, by the Korean Galmae, an installation on community and individuality, Mission Roosevelt, by the British Tony Clifton Circus, a collective action on capacities and urban barriers, and Suite TOC núm 6, the latest show by Les Impuxibles on the stigma and conventions of a healthy society.

Finally, the themes of commitment and social responsibility will be addressed in shows like Excalibur by Hermanas Picohueso, a satire on society that sheds a light on power structures and the politics of fear and control. Borders and the refugee crisis are very present in a Basque Country project called Bidaia, by the company Hortzmuga, a street show with theatre, dance, music and images that makes a critique of the hypocrisy of European immigration policy.

Young audiences

The youngest and littlest will also have something to see at FiraTàrrega 2019. La Caixeta, by Holoqué, immerses us in a story of forbidden love between music and dance. Horta, by L'Horta Teatre, is a family show that restores the values rooted in the land and the most genuine and ancestral customs. La lluna en un pot (un espectacle incomprès), by La Petita Malumaluga, will treat Tàrrega to a critical reflection on the programmes typically directed toward young children. Young people will have shows like La Festa, by Mambo Project, an immersive choreographic experience that explores the various stages of a techno party. Also CALMA!, by Guillem Albà, which reflects on hurry, hyper-connection and over-information using multiple scenic languages; or Livalone by Francesc Cuéllar, which tells a story, with lucidity and humour, about the multiple roads toward self-sufficiency before age thirty.

Rounding off the programme are the shows Cafuné (Du'K'tO), Garden Party (Compagnie Nº8), Full House (Eléctrico 28), Versiones parciales y erróneas de mi vida y mi gloria (Glòria Ribera), Paseos urbanos (Itsaso Iribarren & Germán de la Riva), Pig (Kaleider), Ovvio (Kolektiv Lapso Cirk), Bye bye, Confetti (La Baldufa), Pareidolia. Juegos para activar la imaginación (La Llave Maestra), Out Of The Blue II (Larutan), The good place (Marcel et ses Drôles de Femmes), Mirabal, Hand to hand (Roser López Espinosa), Toc de fusta, Diòptries (Toti Toronell) and Áureo (Uparte).

FiraTàrrega presents a total of 42 shows, 24 of which are Catalan, 9 are from the rest of the state, 6 are internationals and 3 are of mixed origin. 30% of this year's offer belongs to the Support for Creation programme. 19 proposals are premiering in the Spanish state.