Corinne Bailey Rae
The multi-faceted Festival de Barcelona, better known as the Grec, raises anticipation amongst some foreign residents of summer cultural events in their own language. Unfortunately, the 2010 festival is not full to brimming with special treats for the English speaker (the invited country is Japan); however, there are enough language-neutral items on the programme for most people to find something to get their teeth into.
For events in English, the musical section is your best bet, with UK singer Corinne Bailey Rae presenting her second album and US jazz musicians Joe Lavano, McCoy Tyner and Dee Dee Bridgewater all performing—all four can be seen in the splendid surrounds of the Teatre Grec.
In theatre, director Bijan Sheibani (last seen at the Grec in 2008 with his acclaimed The Brothers Size) returns this year with Eurydice, showing in English with Catalan subtitles at the Teatre Lliure, a neat inversion of what is generally on show the rest of the year at this venue. The new interpretation of Orpheus and Eurydice, combining elements of Greek mythology and Alice in Wonderland, is written by US dramaturge Sarah Ruhl.
The dance programme has various interesting propositions: Turkish contemporary choreographer Aydin Tekir presents harS, which creates a synergy between solo dancer Aysé Orhon and a harp; Orhon is adept at both dance and the instrument. Wild Cursive is a new production from Taiwanese group Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, based on Chinese caligraphy.
Other recommendations include: surreal Japanese musical project, Maywa Denki; El fil de Latung La La, which is officially in the theatre section, although there is no actual text in this piece that is dominated by the colour orange and the visual poetry of director David Ymbernon; and Öper Öpis, a circus act featuring acrobats and dancers performing on a continually tilting stage.
Grec 2010: Festival de Barcelona
June 13th to August 1st
Various venues; www.barcelonafestival.com