Imagine a world where all kinds of theatre from all over the world comes together. Look no further because the Iberoamerican Theatre Festival brings together that and more!
What is the Iberoamerican Theatre Festival?
The Iberoamerican Theatre Festival is an international theatre festival that originated in Bogotá which is the capital of the Republic of Columbia. It was founded by Fanny Mikey and Ramiro Osorio in 1988. The first festival was held from March 25th to April 3rd , 1988. The festival always has a slogan and their first slogan was, “An act of faith in Colombia”.
The festival is held every two years and started on the 450th anniversary of the founding of Bogotá. It is said that the festival is the largest theatre festival in the world. It brings theatre companies and performers from all over the world, creating a hub of talented entertainers. In 2006, the festival brought in 2,400 artists from theatre companies all over the world. There were 5 continents that took part in the festival and there were around 700 performances. The festival took place over 17 days and around 2,800 people attended. The festival provides all kinds of theatre performances such as classical works, dance, circus performances, pantomime, concerts, documentary theatre, object theatre, cabarets, aerial theatre and more. The performances are set in theatre halls as well as on the streets providing some free performances for the public. Each year, the festival hosts a country and highlights theatre from that place. For example, past countries that have been highlighted are Spain, Argentina, Romania, Russia, Brazil, Australia and more! This festival has grown immensely over the years and each year it brings something new and exciting. The Iberoamerican Festival has become an important part of Colombian arts and culture.
Why is the Iberoamerican Theatre Festival important?
The Iberoamerican Theatre Festival is very important to Colombian Culture as it solidified arts for the country. Before this festival, there was a lack of arts within the community. This festival has grown to great heights and it has been named the most famous theatre festival in the world. It brings together people from all over and encourages a hub of revolutionary artists. The festivals goal is to show the diversity of artistry and performing arts around the world. It wants to inspire and teach people about all kinds of art.
Who is Fanny Mikey you may be wondering? Fanny Mikey was born on December 26th, 1930 in Argentina. She is a multidisciplinary artist. She was known to work as an actor, director and theatre entrepreneur. Since the founding of Iberoamerican Theatre Festival in 1988, she worked as the promoter and director of the festival. Fanny Mikey passed away in August 2008 but, worked closely with the festival all of the years prior.
Ramiro Osorio is the other founding member of the Iberoamerican Theatre Festival. He is known as a Colombian cultural leader and was the Minister of Culture of Colombia. He was a theatre teacher at the Sena School of Graphic Arts. Ramiro has directed more than 30 plays, both classical and contemporary. He has been working in this field for over 40 years, known for combining artistic and cultural works together.
Tomaz Pendur is a Slovenian theatre director whose works were widely recognized in the Iberoamerican festival. From his debut in 1990 to his death in 2016, he became a well-known figure of the festival. He created seven productions that became and are still crowd favourites. The 2018 Ibero-american festival paid tribute to his incredible works over the years. Some of his works include: Symphony of Sorrowful Songs and Immaculata.
Julio Mario Santo Domingo Theatre
The Julio Mario Santo Domingo Theatre is an example of one of the theatres that hosts performances during the festival. Bogotá has opened its doors to the Iberoamerican Festival and performances have been held at this theatre. The theatre started as a public library and through construction, ended up turning into a much bigger project. It became a theatre because of support for the arts from the Ministry of Culture in Colombia and Bogota. This theatre opened its doors on May 26th, 2010 and has become a popular stage for incredible theatre performances. Julio Mario Santo Domingo Theatre is widely attended to because of the subsided prices. It is working towards making theatre desirable and accessible for the population.
There have been theatre companies that have returned to the festival over the years. Some of those companies include Stary Teatr of Krakow performing Crime and Punishment, The Moscow Satyric Theatre performing The Maids, The Peking Opera performing The King Momo, an Australian company called Handspan Theatre performing the play Four Little Girls. There is also the African Ballets of Guinea, the Vertigo Theatre of Brazil, the Royal Shakespeare Company of England, the Dutch company called Close-Act Theatre, a Swiss contemporary circus company that goes by the name of Finzi Pasca and their production Per Te, a Dutch company called The Ulrike Quade Company and their production called Coco Chanel which includes puppetry and visual art through movement and the jester Paolo Nani with Kristjan Ingimarsson who performed their piece Art of Dying. The list could go on but, this list can give you an idea of what the Iberoamerican Festival has to offer!
Feel free to watch these snippets of performances that can be seen at the festival!
Per Te – Finza Pasca
Ballets Africains de Guinee
Coco Chanel – Ulrike Quade Company