ConTempo festival gathers legendary performers from Catalonia

2023 07 17

ConTempo – the largest international performing arts festival in central Lithuania is returning on July 29th. For the fifth time, the most exciting and significant contemporary dance, theatre and circus performances from all over Europe will be presented in Kaunas and the Kaunas district. This year’s program pays special attention to Catalan artists, who are bringing both legendary and new performances to the festival, with the support of the Institut Ramon Llull. ConTempo is one of the most unique festivals in Lithuania, inviting public spaces to open up to experimental arts and their contemporary forms. The Catalan program, bringing key European theatre artists, is no exception. 

Among the most anticipated guests – artist Joan Català. With a lifelong passion for sport, he specializes in fine arts, circus, contemporary dance and physical theatre. For Joan Català, the stage is a space where human objects and the environment interact, and work and play come together through craft, ideas and experiences. During the ConTempo festival, he will present two performances – the legendary “Pelat”, which has been shown for ten years, and one of his latest works – the street theatre installation “Idiofona”. “Pelat” is an impressive one-person production that subtly engages the audience – here, personal memories and collective action intertwine, while the performance changes through interaction with its spectators.

The performance “Symphonic Flock” will not allow spectators to become passive observers either. “Symphonic Flock” is an outdoor show that invites the audience to graze with Moon Ribas (cyborg artist) and Quim Girón (acrobat), who are shepherds and performers of the piece. During the performance, half of the 100 participants have a loudspeaker hung around their necks, which alludes to the sheep and the shepherds who tend them. Adapted to specific locations, the show, which combines circus, technology and dance, invites you to look at the surrounding environment in a new way, to experience the feeling of community and the animal instinct hidden in a human being.

Topics of public space, its freedom and limitations will be continued by the show “Nest” created by the director Marie Gyselbrecht. Three people, a car and a secluded urban space – this is the central axis of the performance, which unravels the story between humour and tragedy. According to the artists, “Nest” invites the spectators to walk on the dangerous edge, where the system and the marginalised collide. 

For those longing for soft, sensual experiences, the performance “Cossoc” by two acrobats and dance professionals – Anamaria Klajnšček and Magí Serra is worth seeing. Poetic, sensitive, experiential performance talks about the complexity and simplicity of relationships and explores what two bodies balancing in constant equilibrium are capable of. 

The presentation of the Catalan performances at ConTempo Festival is supported by Institut Ramon Llull.