ACT Festival Bilbao is currently open for new applications. Do you want to know a bit more about ACT before you’ll apply? Assistant producer Jodie Ratcliffe of HOME Manchester visited the festival in June and wrote about her experience of the festival.
9 June, Jodie Ratcliffe:
Bilbao sits comfortably in the warm embrace of the surrounding mountains. Much like its landscape, the people of Bilbao open their arms and welcome you into their beautiful city with a hug and a continental kiss on either cheek. In a city where it is often extremely hard to find funding for culture, ACT Festival is thriving in its 14th year, celebrating short pieces from around the world. Its organisers have done an admirable job of inviting a diverse selection of performances as well as programmers and guests from all corners of the globe and I am lucky enough to be representing HOME’s theatre team.
The theme of this years festival is ‘Shock Therapy in the Arts’ and they claim that “this edition pretends to be an escape, not as an evasion from reality but as a door to another world”. If this is what they set out to achieve, they have gone above and beyond their expectations. In a world full of chaos and uncertainty, this festival feels not like a ‘pretend escape’ but like a much needed rehab session (one where wine and pintxos are compulsory). Each day we meet to diagnose ‘symptoms’ within the arts; lack of funding, accessibility, the introduction of technology, space, etc, and then in small groups we figure out a ‘treatment’. It seems like such a simple premise but sat amongst people who come from different cities and speak different languages it is quite a beautiful moment to be able to discuss and treat the issues which we are all facing and make steps to change the arts for the better.
ACT prides itself on creating a global artistic community and I truly feel like I have met long lost relatives here. We eat dinner together on the stage of Kafe Antzokia, an old cinema that has been taken over for the festival. The simple act of sharing the bread and the wine is one which instantly creates a safe atmosphere, to chat to your neighbours, learn about their hometowns and their work, hear about their thoughts on the shows we have seen and make connections both professional and personal.
It has been a true pleasure to be able to bask in the Basque Country, experiencing the city through art, dance, music, newly formed friendships and exchanges that we will all take back with us. To me, this festival is the treatment that the whole world needs.
For the new application, click here
This years Flare Festival will be held from 4-8 July. Different artists take the stage at different venues in Manchester. The program contains exiting new names and welcomes back some familiar faces that are not unknown to the different festivals of IYMA such as ACT and BE FESTIVAL.
Massive Owl made their Flare debut at the first Flare International Festival of New Theatre in 2011. Beaches is led by iara Solano of Sleepwalk Collective, the very first company who applied to be part of the same Flare festival and now she will return with a different company. New names like the Flemish Bosse Provoost en Kobe Chielens will take the stage as well. These artists won the Amsterdam ITs Festival with their physical performance Moore! Bacon and will be shown at the final night of Flare in a double bill. Be prepared to see a whole range of different and exciting performances from young artists from Spain, the UK, Swiss, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The Repertory Theatre in Birmingham will once again be the international centre of the city during BE Festival. from the 4th of July until the 8th, several artists from different European countries will take the stage to show the state of the art of young theatre makers in Europe.
You can figure out if you’re British enough with a site specific performance of artist Kristina Cranfeld and writer/director John Harrigan. During the performance you can explore the physical and imagined spaces conjured by Brexit in the borderlands of Britain’s future outside of the EU. In 2016 Marco D’Agostin performed at Short Theatre Festival in Rome, Italy. This year his performance ‘Everything is OK’ is also shown during BE Festival. The performance presents itself as an experiment on the tiredness of looking at something.
Furthermore performances can be seen of 10 different nationalities. Different workshops and meetings are planned during the day. On Saturday a big expert meeting is planned on the main stage of the Repertory Theatre. Open for all national and international performers, programmers, producers.
From June 7 & untill June 10 Bilbao will once again host a variety of international performing artists with their short pieces.The organization of ACT Festival created a beautifull programm with performances from Iran, North Korea, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Lithuania and of course from Spain!
Every night you can see different performances and starting in the early morning you can join one of the master classes. Please make sure to visit ACTMOSFERA where you can meet other visitors, the artists and discuss the performances and provide feedback.
For the full program, please visit the ACT Festival website.
Two deadlines are approaching, namely the call for applications of BE festival and ACT festival.
Today (15 December) is the last day you can apply for BE Festival. BE Festival takes place in July in Birmingham (UK). The Repertory Theatre is turned upside down to host a numerous amount of emerging artists from all over Europe. You can expect theatre and dance performances, but also circus performances. Thinking of applying to be part of BE 2017? Take a look through 7 year’s worth of the festival brochures and get some inspiration.
ACT Festival resides in Bilbao (Spain) and the deadline is pushed to 23 December. Always wanted to perform in Spain? This might be your chance. ACT programmes performances in different venues around the city of Bilbao
This week Best of BE starts its tour in Spain. Every year several performances from BE Festival are chosen to tour through Spain and the UK. This year all the selected performances are part of the IYMA network.
Three performances from Italy and Germany will visit several cities in Spain. Reload, the latest performance by Teatro Sotterraneo, which had its world premiere at BE Festival shows a series of stage interruptions. They will analyse the feeling triggered by something ending prematurely, inspired by Samuel Beckett’s philosophy of the benefits of failure.
Since a couple of years MESS Festival creates ‘ MESS TV’. In case you want to look back at where you have been, or maybe you couldn’t make it to the festival. Just sit down and MESS brings the theatre to you. Below you can see some of the reports young aspiring journalists have made of performances selected for IYMA.
At MESS Festival Jess Thom performed the performance ‘Backstage in Biscuitland’. She is a writer, artist and part time super hero. Jess Thom co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experience of having Tourette’s syndrome.
Jess has had tics since she was a child but wasn’t diagnosed until she was in her twenties. Touretteshero is about reclaiming the most frequently misunderstood condition on the planet, challenging people to think differently, and building a more inclusive society. For IYMA she created a workshop and together with young artists of MESS they encountered and tried to tackle the subject. Together they explored a wide range of issues on how to make theater more accessible. Not only about Tourettes, but also on the so-called ‘Relaxed Performance’, physical accessibility and the ‘ Social Model’ of disability. In the video you can see one of the IYMA bloggers interview her right after given the workshop.
This weekend the new project of Jimme Cloo and Marion Flament will premiere in Brussels during Nuit Blanche.
Cloo & Flament finished their studies in scenography at the institute ENSAD in Paris. They worked together for numerous times. In 2015 they performed for IYMA at the ITs Festival with their performance ‘Play House’. They are interested in finding ways to open a discussion about how spectacular an everyday life actually is; how common things can sometimes feel choreographed.
This September the eleventh edition of Short Theatre took place. There were several IYMA performances programmed at the festival of emerging choreographers. Although theatre is transient. The organization E-performance gave it an after life. So sit back and enjoy the performances of Marco Da Silva Ferreira, Marco D’Agostin and Radoan Mriziga via the links.