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Diego el Cigala
This annual celebration of local and international culture mixes theatre, music, dance and circus performances, ranging from experimental to traditional, set in a variety of locations around the city. The most visually impressive venue is the Teatre Grec de Montjuïc, an open-air theatre that was built in the style of Greek and Roman amphitheatres for the Exposición Universal of 1929.
The festival’s official mission is to showcase some of Catalunya’s best creative artists while also incorporating some of the most interesting international acts in a truly multicultural and multidisciplinary event. From new takes on Socrates to American Eighties pop icon Christopher Cross—yes, really—the Grec Festival offers a huge selection for the Barcelona public to choose from.
Notable musical events this year will include concerts by Cuban jazz veteran Paquito D’Rivera (Jamboree), Madrileño Flamenco cantaor Diego el Cigala (Teatre Grec) and the Mallorcan singer Buika, who will give a concert of songs by Argentine composer Piazzolla (Teatre Grec).
Interesting offerings in the realm of theatre include Tacet, a production by Cris Blanco, Ernesto Collado and Carme Torrent, which experiments with the concept of silence (L’Antic Teatre). In the Teatre Lliure de Gràcia, La Clausura del Amor by Pascal Rambert, examines the theme of love and has received nothing but hearty praise since its debut at the Festival d’Avignon in 2011. Also in the Antic Teatre, All things: Archeology of a Space Object by Norberto Llopis examines the human impulse to ‘territorialise time and space’, in this production originally by Het Veem Theater and Workspacebrussels.
Items on the dance menu tend towards the avant-garde rather than traditional. Cie Adrien M/Claire B’s Hakanaï describes itself as a ‘visual haiku’ and involves one dancer interacting with four projected videos (Teatre Lliure). Then there is the debut of Jordi Cortés and Associació Kiakahart’s F*ck-in-Progress in the Mercat de Flors. The show is based on the concept of incorporating the physicality of dance with fetishism and confession.
If circus is more your thing—and we’re not talking clowns and trained tigers—go check out the international debut of Pals, by Leandro Mendoza Artagaveitia, a performance based on the difficult and emotional reconstruction of a performance company after one of its members dies unexpectedly.
Other productions don’t fall clearly into any category: Federico Garcia by Pep Tosar in Sala Hiroshima, mixes music, theatre, dance and poetry in the recounting of the life of one of Spain’s best loved poets, whilst Cabaret Sensorial (Teatro de los Sentidos in Montjuïc) invites the public to enjoy a variety of music and sensory games.
For info on performances and locations, check here.