Temporada Alta is Girona's annual arts festival, which this year runs from September 30 to December 4, and sees the city fill with performances of theatre, circus, music and dance. In the latter category, here are our recommendations for the shows you shouldn't miss.
A world of coloured lights, mirror balls and music by the Bee Gees. This is 'Saturday Night Fever'. Choreographer and dancer Pere Faura has been inspired by the John Travolta movie to re-create the famous moves seen on-screen but in a live context, celebrating the freeing pleasure of dancing, whether it be in a disco or on stage. Faura, as he proved in 'Sin baile no hay paraíso' (a work presented at Temporada Alta two years ago; the name means 'Without dance there's no heaven'), likes exploring dance that's contained in the popular memory. Here he reflects on the glorious decade of disco music, repeating almost ad infinitum the steps of his icon.
A restless 'bailaora' (flamenco dancer) and iconoclastic choreographer: Rocío Molina (winner of the National Dance Prize in 2010) has developed her own flamenco language that both respects traditions and embraces the avant-garde. Following 'Afectos', her popular performance shown at last year's Temporada Alta, the young bailaora returns to the festival to present a dialogue between the two, apparently opposing, sides of flamenco: force and fragility, light and dark. In the first part, Molina takes up all the space; in the second, she's accompanied by a group of musicians who deconstruct the structure of flamenco. This is a show about the beauty of light and shade, the paradoxical juxtaposition of our contradictions.
Israel Galván has been renowned as a revolutionary of contemporary flamenco since the premiere in 1998 of 'Mira/Los zapatos rojos'. He's a flamenco dancer who mixes the essence of his art with the purest avant-garde. Galván (winner of the National Dance Prize 2005) has already demonstrated at Temporada Alta in 'FlaCoMen' (2014) and 'La Curva' (2011) that, both with and without a melody, he can fill the stage. In 'Solo', he invites us to see him dance, rehearse and break away from tradition. It's a show without music or ornamentation, where Galván creates a soundtrack using the rhythms of his body, the clicking of his fingers and the timbre of his voice.
It's the most important and at the same time most irrelevant event in the world of science. The first declarations of the Afasians, a tribe that has discovered the destruction of the 'I' and has opened the box with Schrödinger's cat, the only cat according to quantum physics that is alive and dead at the same time. After the wild 'Es Perimental' (2012), the unclassifiable loscorderos.sc ('La banda de la fi del món' from Temporada Alta 2015) and the innovative Za! (winners of the City of Barcelona Prize for 'Loloismo') once more join forces to create a theatrical experience in the form of a conference. In fact, it's no conference and the Afasians are no tribe and neither have they made any discovery, but laughter is assured. Experimentation, craziness and lucidity at Temporada Alta.
Catalan dance company La Veronal, founded by Marcos Morau, goes back a long way with Temporada Alta. This year they present here a short piece that was created for Madrid's Museu Reina Sofía. It features a conversation with the sculpture by artist Richard Serra, 'Equal-Parallel: Guernica-Bengasi', a work about the bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War and the 1986 attack on the Libyan town of Benghazi by the US air force. It's a performance of dance, sculpture, movement and weight with music by Steve Reich, a personal friend of Serra.