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Friday, 12 March 2021

FiraTàrrega faces 2021, stepping up its role of support for performing arts creation and the professional sector

The Nomadic Circuit - which, March through October, will bring 30 shows to 36 locations across the Spanish state and host 10 professional gatherings - is just getting started.

The 2021 Support for Creation Programme includes guidance for 14 newly created shows.

Llotja Online is growing as an open and ongoing platform for professional encounters, with an extensive catalogue of performing arts creations and regular activities, not discounting the possibility of in-person gatherings.

The leitmotif of the 2021 season is "inhabiting space", reflected in an image created by Sopa Graphics.

FiraTàrrega is back, with its energy refreshed and loaded with projects in a season bound to represent the start of the performing-arts revival after over a year of pandemic. Covid-19 not only significantly altered the Fair's 2020 edition: it has also dealt a serious blow to the entire sector, with artists and companies forced to abandon their activity and an affectation in audience dynamics which, quite likely, will entail certain lasting effects. A panorama which, with total certainty, will represent a change to many of the until now familiar dynamics in performing arts, both in terms of the processes of creation and production as well as distribution and diffusion among audiences and professionals.

This situation has served to provoke an exercise of deep reflection on what the Fair's role ought to be in the years to come, both as a regional public service and within the logic of the sector's structures. All in all, it is headed for a transformation, going beyond the notion of FiraTàrrega as an isolated annual September event and beginning to prioritise and maximise a permanent form of activity which, as the Fair has always done, encourages and guides processes of artistic creation, strengthens the sector through physical and virtual professional gatherings, nourishes the market in creative talent and strives to bring performing arts to the citizenry and territory.

The Nomadic Circuit

As an important new feature in 2021, there is, first of all, the materialisation of the Nomadic Circuit, essentially the equivalent of what would have been the programming of September 2020 and which, thanks to a broad network of partnering organisations and venues, will bring 30 shows to a total of 36 locations across the Iberian peninsula, with a total of 60 performances. A programming which aims to lend the artists a bit of a hand, helping them publicise and reintroduce their creations to the market after the pause.

The 30 shows on tour have been selected by FiraTàrrega's artistic direction, placing particular emphasis on the presence of street arts, but with representation from a whole range of performing arts. The companies selected are: Ada Vilaró (360 Grams, theatre), Aina Tur (A Galaxy of Fireflies, theatre), Àngel Duran (The Beauty of It, dance), Campi Qui Pugui (Going to School, theatre), Carla Farreny (Tour, circus), Co. Alta Gama (Lie as Little as Possible, circus), Co. Anna Confetti (a la Fresca, theatre), Co. Madame Gaüc (Thread, circus), Co. Moveo (Echoes, dance), Circ Bover (Àvol, circus), Circ Vermut (Absurd, circus), El Pájaro Carpintero (Little Dreams, game installation), Eléctrico 28 ([ The frame ], theatre), Enmedio and Andrea Paz (Fancy Fence, theatre), Grandia / Martorell / Vilajuana (Act of Faith, music - theatre), Iluya (Jet Lag, theatre), Valencian Institute for Culture ((R)Minds, dance), Íntims Produccions (Èter Brota, theatre), Kolektivo Konika (The Tip of My Nose, circus), La Industrial Teatrera (Inheritance, theatre), Laia Santanach (Àer, dance), Lali Ayguadé (Underneath, dance), Magí Serra and Anamaria Klajnšček (COSSOC, dance), Markeliñe (Psike, theatre), Marlia Produccions (Infanticide, theatre), Métrica bárbara (One by One, dance), Rawscenography (Space Reserved, installation), Titoyaya Dansa (Social Animal, dance), Vaivén Circo (Essential, circus) and Wonderground (Rise, dance).

The Nomadic Circuit will mainly travel Catalonia, but it will also appear throughout the Iberian Peninsula. It plans to stop in: Agramunt, Alcover, Alpicat, Andalusia (Festival Anfitrión), Balaguer, Barcelona (CCCB and CaixaFòrum), Berga, Celrà, Cervera, Corbera d'Ebre, El Prat de Llobregat, Natural Spaces of Ponent (Lands of Lleida cultural tour), Esterri d'Àneu (Esbaiola't and Dansàneu), Figueres (Figueres es Mou), Granollers, Balearic Islands (Fira B!), Juneda, L'Espluga de Francolí (Projecte EVArt and Rusc Festival de Poesia), La Bisbal d'Empordà (Fira del Circ), Les Piles de Gaià (Danseu Festival), Leioa (Umore Azoka), Lleida, Lloret de Mar, Madrid (CaixaFòrum), Olot, Prats de Lluçanès (Itineràncies), Tàrrega (Teatre Ateneu programming, Embarrat, Festa Major and FiraTàrrega's special tour-start seminar), Torelló (Festus), Tortosa (2021 Catalan Cultural Capital and Eufònic), Tremp, València (Dansa València), Vic, Vila-real (FIT), Viladecans (Al Carrer), Vilanova de Bellpuig and Vitoria-Gasteiz (Kaldearte).

Meanwhile, as a strategic market and an organisation designed to facilitate professional encounters, all shows on the Nomadic Circuit will reserve several seats for programmers who wish to attend. In addition, in a dozen or so towns across Catalonia and also in the Basque Country, the Balearic Islands, Valencia, Andalusia and Madrid, in-person professional gatherings (Pop-Up-Pros) will be hosted in collaboration with partnering venues and participating associations and companies.

12 March is the Tour's start date, with a seminar in Tàrrega where four shows (Àngel Duran, Co. Anna Confetti, Circ Bover and El Pájaro Carpintero) will be performed, starting at 17:00 h. There will also be a professional work meeting with companies, exhibitions, associations and institutions promoting the Tour. It'll be the first of several Pop-Up-Pros to be held, throughout the programme, to share knowledge, debate and reflect.

2021 Guidance Programmes for Dramaturgical and Performing Arts Creation

FiraTàrrega's guidance processes include two lines of action, one related to dramaturgical writing for street arts (Hivernam) and another related to the shows' creative process (Support for Creation).

Hivernem (co-organised by FiraTàrrega and the Ramon Llull Institute) is the programme which annually selects two writing projects with the aim of contributing to the development of dramaturgies linked to the public space in the best conditions, through research, knowledge sharing, and mentoring from selected experts who will guarantee the excellence of the writing, research and creation. The 2020 programme call selected the projects of Ada Vilaró and Jordi Aspa, currently engaged in the residence process, whose research results will be presented in September 2021 in the context of the Fair. A new programme call is expected to open in the second half of 2021.

Support for Creation. Through this programme, FiraTàrrega intends to activate and guide artistic creation processes that involve some element of research and innovation. The organisation's structure is designed to serve the needs of the creators, who will complete a working stay in Tàrrega, or other partnering municipalities, to give shape and trajectory to their shows, viewed through a schedule of public open rehearsals. It encompasses all possible relationships between artists, professionals, the market, the city and its residents. It also includes specialised orientation workshops for the companies on behalf of the FiraTàrrega organisation, as well as the exploration of possible sustainable distribution tours to expand the shows' trajectories.

14 performing arts projects have been selected for the 2021 edition: Àngel Duran (Papillon, dance), Co. 104º (Rubble, circus), Co. Maduixa (Migrare, dance), Collective Que No Salga De Aquí (Hermaphrodites on Horseback or the Rebellion of Desire, theatre), Emilia Gargot (Container, theatre), Glòria Ribera, (Parné, theatre), Haa Collective (Picaderø, circus), Hermanas Picohueso (P-Idiot Act, theatre), Kamchàtka (Alter, theatre), Kernel Dance Theatre (LÓNG, dance), Les Cícliques (Tabula, dance theatre), Pau Palaus and Les Kariàtides (Zloty, circus), Projecte Ingenu (The Day the Last Panda Died, theatre) and Tombs Creatius (Secrets, game installation).

Due to the restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic containment measures, the schedule of open rehearsals associated with the 2021 Support for Creation Programme will be announced through the website and social networks on an ongoing basis.

European project (Un)Common Spaces of the InSitu network

In March 2018, FiraTàrrega joined InSitu1, a European platform and think tank for artistic creation in the public space. In the framework of this network, a cooperative project called (Un)Common Spaces was presented to the 2020-2024 Creative Europe programme, intending to support street arts as an artistic discipline which makes it possible to reinvent the relationship between the cultural sector and the citizenry. The project was approved by the European Commission and now moves forward thanks to the impetus of 16 members (including FiraTàrrega) from 13 countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, the United States, France, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic) to work collaboratively between the members, a selection of 16 artists, and a circle of 16 citizen experts, from various fields, to foster artistic creations and explore new forms of audience participation in street art and to inhabit and regenerate the public space. All in all, to support emerging creators working outside conventional spaces and contribute to the transformation of our territories.

FiraTàrrega's participation in this project is made possible by the support of Catalan Arts - Catalan Institute of Cultural Companies in the strategic markets of Catalonia.

From 12 to 17 April 2021, one online meeting of the project is expected to take place, to put the members, selected artists and citizen experts in contact with each other to help them share knowledge and begin to give shape to the proposal's general goals. FiraTàrrega, for its part, has proposed Alina Stockinger as an artist specialised in street arts and Íngrid Guardiola as a citizen expert in digital public space, technology and society.

La Llotja Online

The platform La Llotja Online2, with the support of the international Catalan Arts brand created by the Catalan Institute of Cultural Companies (ICEC), emerged in the summer of 2020 as a meeting-and-exchange tool for the performing arts sector designed to supplement FiraTàrrega's in-person professional activity. In this digital space, professionals can access, all year round, a catalogue of artistic or management projects, artistic selections classified by market criteria or sphere of projection, a directory of contacts and tools for interacting with registered organisations, as well as a personalised agenda where site users can keep track of the market activities scheduled in relation to the Support for Creation programme, the Nomadic Tour and other events. Llotja Online organises virtual gatherings for professionals, like the ones held in September 2020 and January 2021, centred on themes of interest to the sector, and with an excellent response from qualified professionals.

The platform encompasses 995 professionals from 517 organisations and 267 projects. The renovated version of the platform - projected to be launched in June 2021 - is currently being designed, based on the feedback provided by site users, to improve the knowledge, meeting and exchange between members of the performing arts field and to contribute to the maximum diffusion of artistic projects.

2021 edition

The Fair's organisers are also working to prepare the event, from 9 to 12 September, in Tàrrega. A festival which, at the moment, is still expected to be conditioned by pandemic-linked restrictions, especially in terms of audience capacity and flow. In this sense, the strategy revolves around making it possible to identify the audience members in attendance and limit the presence of free activity on city streets.

The Fair's 40th-anniversary celebration, unable to be held in 2020, will also be made up at this edition, with self-contained activities of an artistic and communicative nature.

Finally, the leitmotif of the edition will be Inhabiting Space, a concept which synthesizes the desire to make the public space a place of gathering and celebration, the common space which confronts us with the other, with different realities from our own, which transforms us and removes us from our comfort zone and the ideological bubbles represented by social networks. A concept that makes total sense after the odyssey which all the pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions have amounted to. The visual embodiment of this concept is the work of the studio Sopa Graphics.


1IN-SITU is the European platform for artistic creation in the public space led by Lieux Publics, France. Since 2003, it has given support to over 250 artists who work in unconventional artistic spaces. It is an ecosystem that connects a new generation of artists with audiences, programmers and key players from the economic, political and social reality around Europe. More information at

2Accessible through