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Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogota: the world's biggest showcase

Von: Marcela Colombia Travel Blog (colombia.travel.marcela@gmail.com) [Profil]
Datum: 17.03.2010 20:20
Message-ID: <f5a88ccc-5272-4f3e-8ea4-5a11e4b9acec@g11g2000yqe.googlegroups.com>
Newsgroup: alt.travel
For a ful version http://colombia-travel-marcela.blogspot.com/

Don't think for even a second that I'm a theater expert, nope. But now
that I'm spending a few days in Buenos Aires with my loved one
( Argentina's capital city is filled with theaters and a very active
cultural life), I realize the importance of our Theater Festival in
Bogota. Its funny, because Bogota's  XII Iberoamerican Theater
Festival, today's post topic, was actually an initiative started by an
Argentinean actress who lived in Colombia.

No wonder that not many people around the world outside theater
connoisseurs  really know about the extent of  this fantastic event,
in which for about 2 weeks theater companies, circuses and performers
from all continents take Bogota's street by storm, because, to be
honest event most of us, the common non-theater-related people in
Bogota are not aware that this is, in fact, the biggest theater
showcase in the world.

So let me tell you what is hapening from 19th of March and during the
following 17 days in Bogota.... gosh! is amazing how  much our
cultural scene has grown over the past 22 years and that I'm only
realizing it while I think how to write the rest of this post.

The festival as we know it today was created in 1988  by Fanny Mickey,
the Argentinean actress, and Ramiro Osorio,  a local artist,  to
commemorate Bogota's 450th fundation aniversary. Its first edition was
born under the slogan "un acto de fe por colombia", "an act of faith
for Colombia". And it really was, during the nineties Colombia
suffered one of the most violent decades in its history with important
events like in December 1993 when Pablo Escobar finally got caught and
killed... just to name the one I remember the most.  During this time
it was unthinkable to have such a huge event specially because not
even ourselves believed the situation could ever change and the world
was scared of Colombia.

It took the strengh of a redhead argentinian entrepreneur who left her
home country at 16 (1958) because her family would not support her
desire to be and artist, so she came to Colombia believing that here
she could have more opportunities to reach her dream . It was then
when she decided to start the Theater School in Cali with Enrique
Buenaventura,  a well known Colombian dramatist, 8 years later she
left her beloved Cali to live in Bogota and to stablished what was
going to be the renaissance of theater in Colombia and one of the most
important cultural proyects for us, La Fundación del Teatro
Nacional.

Eight years of cultural production and promotion by the Fundacion
evolved into what is now, as I said before,  one of the biggest scenic
arts  festivals of the world. It started with 49 theater companies
from 21 countries with very special guests like Stary Teatr à
Cracovie, with "Crime and punishement", y Carbone 14 from Canada, with
"Hamlet Machine". For its 10th aniversary version, which transcended
iberoamerica,  the Fundacion Teatro Libre with Fanny Mickey as
Director, managed to bring to Colombia some of the most important
theater companies of the world like the Royal Shakespeare Company from
England, Piccolo Theater of Milan, the Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT)
from Japan, the ZKM Theare Zagreb of Croatia, the Theater an der Ruhr
from germany amongst others. We are talking about bringing hundreds of
foreign artists to a place that was known as one of the most dangerous
in the world.... that must have been hard work and stubbornness... and
all thanks to Fanny! As you can see in the picture below Fanny was a
VERY energetic woman , even when she was in her 70s she was considered
to have "the best legs in Colombia" and , if you pay attention to this
year's festival logo, you'll see how well represented she is :)

This year in its XII version the FITB and Colombia will honor Fanny
Mikey's life (she sadly passed away in August 2008) and will have more
than 2000 artists from all over the world in more  than 15 categories
like circus, clown, monologue, poetry and sooooo much more.

Having lived away for so long makes you much more sensible to whats
going on in the cultural scene of a city.  Two years ago, when I came
back from my 11 years trip,  I bought myself as many tickets as I
could, but the funny thing is that  I didn't find many people to go
with to all the plays, thats what I was saying earlier  that I'm not
sure if Colombians realize how big and important this festival is.
Anyway, I can't even start to describe how much the whole atmosphere
changes in Bogota when the festival is on and one of the greatest
things it has is that lots of the events are free to the public. So
you just basically walk to the supermarket and will breathe theater.
There are hundreds of plays in all parks and big stages are built all
around the city.

This year is the fifth edition of <ahref="http://
www.festivaldeteatro.com.co/festival/compensar/compensar-ciudad-teatro.html
/">
"Ciudad Teatro" </a> - Theater City which is a basically a huge city
within the city. In 2008 the Theater City was visited by over 600.000
people in 16 days. This year is held in Compensar which is an
enourmous venue  that I could easily say is twice as big as a 70.000
people stadium.  We will have so much going on that I'm just going to
list it because I want you to know EVERYTHING about it. So, in 16 days
we could see

128 Childrens theater acts
321 street theater acts (local and international)
45 circus acts
66 story tellers
32 children' story readings
36 comedy acts
7 match improvisations
42 musical acts
35 bands (Including <ahref="http://colombia-travel-
marcela.blogspot.com/2010/01/bomba-estereo-electro-vacilon-form.html">
Bomba Estereo</a>!)
Muppets for grown-ups
Stand up comedy
and more, and more and moooore!

Not to mention all other plays that will be held in the stadium, the
coliseo cubierto, la plaza de toros and all three branches of the
Fundacion Teatro Nacional with a very modern version of the classics
like Eurípides, Shakespeare or  Dostoyevski and a fantastic variety of
circus from France, Spain, Italy and Canada.  There is also a very
special space for scenic art students during the festival. They,
toguether with actors, dancers, directors and tecnitians have the
chance to meet and interact with some of the most important
professionals through FREE talks, simposiums and so much more that if
I told you all about it this entry would be huge!

Here are some tips in case you're lucky enough to be around Bogota
during the festival

Prices can vary from US$8 ($15.000) to US$50 ($100.000)
Buy your tickets from <ahref="http://www.tuboleta.com/index_area.asp?
id=2"> tuboleta.com</a> but they only take local credit cards
Also in any of Juan Valdes' branches
You can fill in a <ahref="http://www.festivaldeteatro.com.co/archivos/
CambioAbonoPorBoletas.pdf"> form</a>, take it to the La Casa del
Festival Carrera 19 No 37-53 and get special prices
You can also buy tickets at each venue
Leonardus: Cra. 21 No. 127-05
Auditorio León de Greiff: Cra. 30 No. 45-03
Palacio de los Deportes: Calle 63 No. 42-00
Coliseo El Campín: Diagonal 57 con carrera 30
Plaza de Toros: Cra. 6 No. 26-50
Teatro R101: Calle 70A No.11-29
PRD: Cra. 60 No.63-65
Casa Ensamble: Av. 24 No. 41-69
Here is the link to the programe in <ahref="http://
www.festivaldeteatro.com.co/archivos/ProgramacionSalaGrande.pdf">
closed venues</a>
Here the one for the <ahref="http://www.festivaldeteatro.com.co/
archivos/ProgramacionCalle.pdf"> free stuff</a>
And this is the link for the  <ahref="http://
www.festivaldeteatro.com.co/archivos/ProgramacionCiudadTeatro.pdf">
Theater City</a> programe

I hope you get the chance to enjoy the this spectacular event.
Unfortunatelly none of the information available is in english so as
always if you have any questions just e-mail me!

Abrazos

Marcela

Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro,  colombia travel blog, colombia
travel, colombia tours, travel blog, Colombia destinations,  bogota,
bomba estereo, Pablo Escobar, undiscovered colombia.

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