Univers Circular by Sílvia Pérez Cruz opens a Grec full of complicities

11/04/2024 - 12:30 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

Great international creators and local artists get together in a programme that showcases the best of the best of the stage scene while celebrating a history of long-standing friendships. Tickets on sale from 18 April!



Andrés Corchero i Oguri, Jan Lawers, Pepa Plana, William Forsythe, Lola Arias, AzkonaToloza… There are many guests of the Grec 2024 Festival de Barcelona who might make your ears prickle, they already performed here, and with flying colours, in previous editions of the Festival d’Estiu. They are friends and accomplices of a Grec that has followed their trajectories and that, in this edition, celebrates their successes and shows us the new ones. You will see them again, but you will also meet artists you have never seen before. They are waiting for you from 26th June to 4th August, but before you come, buy your tickets for the shows you are most interested in before they run out.

As the opening of this year’s edition, an artist who has performed eight times at the festival, alone, with other musicians or accompanied by great masters of 20th-century music. She made her debut at the festival in 2008 and her last appearance was in 2023, when she took to the stage of the Teatre Grec with Liliana Herrero and Maria Gadú. Now, as a representative of all those artists whom the Grec has accompanied and followed over the last few years, she offers a series of concerts at the Teatre Grec with exceptional guest musicians who carry the title of Circular. Pérez Cruz and her guests (top names on the music scene and in other arts) will give concerts on 26, 27 and 28 June. But what’s more, the artist herself is at the centre of a Sílvia Pérez Cruz Universe that is visible throughout the festival, as there are many artists programmed who have found their inspiration in the Catalan artist, who have performed with her or who have shared stage adventures with her.  This is the case of the three concerts of young jazz and song talents from the Jamboreee programmes which have been chosen by the artist herself, and the performance by Andrés Corchero (who returns to the festival, as he has done on previous occasions), with his friend Oguri in the choreography Body as evidence, at the Mercat de les Flors, the staging of Poeta en Nueva York, by Carlos Marquerie (also at the Mercat) or the Roda flamenca and the Roda de cantautors who take La Paloma as a stage.

This year’s event will therefore be a musical inauguration, a prelude to a Grec that is sounding very strong with concerts scheduled at the Teatre Grec de Montjuïc such as those of the singer-songwriter Pau Vallvé, the trumpeter Rita Payés, Antònia Font who will be debuting at the venue, family events such as that of El Pot Petit and special events such as a musical celebration of Barcelona Mestissa. A free musical performance by the kora player Momi Maiga (in the gardens of the TNC), concerts for children and performances by composers and privileged performers such as Ola Gjeilo (Palau de la Música) are also part of a musical programme that includes the Sant Andreu Jazz Band and young artists such as Sara Lilu at the Jamboree and two exciting double programmes at Paral-lel 62 with Kae Tempest and Claraguilar and Marcia Griffiths and Les Testarudes. The Sala Mointjuïc cinema sessions are also accompanied by concerts by essential Barcelona musicians such as Euripidis And His Tragedies. Don’t leave without having seen, at L’Auditori (Escenes cycle) the surprising proposal of Belén Barenys and Berta Prieto Ròmul and Rem. The musical.

Dance, theatre and more

But it’s not all about music. Among the theatrical proposals or those that use elements from different genres in their work (hybrid scene), updated classics such as El misantrop directed by David Selvas, the beginning of a withdrawal from the stage fifty years later in La gran nit de Dagoll Dagom, the poetic and musical recital proposed by the Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico (including a tribute to Guimerà) under the title Canciones de amor, de desamor y de piratas, or a new stage adventure by Baró d’Evel, magical creators of dreams who occupy the stage to ask themselves Who are we? You’ll find them all at the Teatre Grec, where one of the most highly reputed dance companies of the moment, La Veronal, brings to the stage an expanded version of Sonoma, one of its greatest hits, with all the performers who have given it to the stage in recent years, reunited.

Nearby, at the Teatre Lliure Montjuïc, Jan Lawers, one of the usual accomplices of the Grec, shows with Nao Albet and Gonzalo Cunill, among other Catalan friends, the double vision of the most violent Shakespeare (Billy’s Violence) and the comedian Shakespeare (Billy’s Joy). Attention, that on one of the days, both plays are performed back to back in a double show. On the same stage of the Teatre Lliure, heavyweights of the stage will appear throughout the month: from the marathon The Second Woman (local version of an Australian project in which an actress (you’ll find out who she is soon) plays a scene with a hundred different partners for twenty-four hours straight), to the musical and documentary theatre of the Argentinian Lola Arias (Los días afuera; there’s also a screening of Teatro de Guerra at the Filmoteca), through to the uncompromising theatre of Angélica Liddell who, in Dämon. El funeral de Bergman, recreates the filmmaker’s funeral, and ends with an international theatre great, Christiane Jatahy, who plays the leading role in a female Hamlet.

At the same Teatre Lliure, projects by new stage artists such as Fundación Mis Bragas (Extinction Rave) or the theatre inside a box proposed by La calidesa will be joined by the new creation of El Conde de Torrefiel, La luz de un lago and, at the Lliure de Gràcia, the new play in which the members of José y Sus Hermanas will die of fright: Morir lo hace todo el mundo (Dying is what everyone does).

The Mercat de les Flors will also host some of the most outstanding proposals of the festival. Guy Nader and Maria Campos will be there with this year’s new choreography, but there will also be William Forsythe and Rauf “Rubberlegz” Yasit in Friends for Forsythe (a must for mythical people), two pieces by the Brazilian Alice Ripoll (aCORdo and Zona Franca), the high-impact dance of Betti Tchomanga (Mascarades), the show by the British dance reference Hofesh Shechter Company – Shechter II From England with Love or a choreography (Mont Ventoux, by Kor’Sia) inspired by Petrarch. At the same venue you will see Oguri and Andrés Corchero, but also Ágape, a new creation by Patricia Caballero, the dance of Ester Guntín in Quiso negro, or hybrid proposals such as the one presented by Monte Isla (Un cos sense talent) and a Poeta en Nova York that combines puppets, theatre and many other languages by Carlos Marquerie. Don’t miss Euripides Laskaridis, a Greek creator who is unclassifiable and difficult to explain, an artist with his own world who presents Lapis Lazuli.

Now at the CCCB, Cuerpos celestes, a colonial and futuristic fantasy in equal parts by AzconaToloza and the happy meeting of the different dancer Israel Galvan and the performer Marlene Monteiro Freitas at RI TE.

The pearls of Grec Ciutat 

From here on, the proposals of the Grec Ciutat, which are taking the festival all over Barcelona. Among the great shows in this section, the vision of the work of a South African writer brought to the stage by Krzysztof Warlikowski, a leading Polish and international playwright who presents J. M. Coetzee, ‘Elizabeth Costello: Seven Readings and Five Moral Tales’, at the festival. On the same stage, the artists from Brussels Gerardo Salinas and Junior Mthombeni, who were at the Grec last year, play, find and explain the thousand and one stories of Barcelona’s Africa in What The Foc?!

Small-scale operas distributed around the Gran Teatre del Liceu make up the proposal dedicated to highlighting new values OH!ÒPERA, while at the Teatre de la Biblioteca de Catalunya, Oriol Broggi returns to give us a Wajdi Mouawad performance with the staging of Tots ocells.

Catalan classics such as Tirant lo Blanc updated by Màrius Serra (Teatre Romea), new works born from Lorca’s classics such as Poncia, a play by Luis Luque (Teatre Goya), reflections on masculinity by Alberto San Juan in Macho Grita (Teatre Condal) and the musical Artemis, by Mireia Morera (Teatre Condal) are part of the programme of the Grec Ciutat.

In addition, there are proposals such as Pequeño cúmulo de abismos, by Cris Blanco or the new creation by Guillem Albà Tota aquesta por que tinc ara, which are part of the programme at the Centre de les Arts Lliures de la Fundació Joan Brossa. At the Heartbreak Hotel, Aina Tur presents last year’s Quim Masó award-winning play, Sis hectàrees d’oliveres.At the Teatre Akadèmia we can see L’últim dia, one of the new texts by Lluïsa Cunillé, directed by Xavier Albertí. And finally, if you like dance and the beauty of human body, try Æffective Choreography, by André Uerba, at La Caldera.

Not my monkeys, a modern version of Les Miserables, or the always rabidly current proposals of Antic Teatre (Alusinasons, Don’t look me in the eyes and Cain (Loops I Did It Again) are more proposals of a festival that also goes to the museums.

Go to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and you’ll find an installation (pay attention, it’s activated from time to time and is quite a surprise) by the ever-innovative Candela Capitán, a Moloko Vellocet that recreates the bar where the protagonists of Mechanic Orange used to go. There is also action at MACBA with a film installation by the artist Wu Tsang on the myth of Carmen that, on a specific day, invites the British and Jamaican dancer with African roots, Yinka Esi Graves, to perform live.

And finally, at Fundació Tàpies, you will find an installation on the façade of Carrer d’Aragó titled Més enllà de la pell. It is signed by the Ghanaian creator Serge Attukwei Clottey and is presented in the form of an urban walk through Barcelona’s colonial buildings and ends at the TNC. If you want to get to know the artist as a performer, don’t miss Els homes de carbó at the Sala Periferia Cimarronas.

Buy your tickets to see the shows you don’t want to miss before they’re over, but first check out the full programme on the Grec Festival de Barcelona website.