We have traveled to Opening Doors!

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The tenth edition of this festival hosted us from March 12th to 16th.

Last week, from March 12th to 16th, Àngela Jaume and Jaume Gomila, the artistic direction team of the FIET or Fira de Teatre Infantil i Juvenil de les Illes Balears (promoted by Sa Xerxa de Teatre), went to Aberystwyth, Wales, for the biennial festival Opening Doors. Although it had not been able to be celebrated since 2019 due to the Covid pandemic, this year’s festival was more interesting than ever, coinciding with its tenth edition.

Sa Xerxa Last week, from March 12th to 16th, Àngela Jaume and Jaume Gomila, the artistic direction team of the FIET or Fira de Teatre Infantil i Juvenil de les Illes Balears (promoted by Sa Xerxa de Teatre), went to Aberystwyth, Wales, for the biennial festival Opening Doors. Although it had not been able to be celebrated since 2019 due to the Covid pandemic, this year's festival was more interesting than ever, coinciding with its tenth edition.

The city

Opening Doors is a festival in a seaside town-city with special characteristics because among its 15,000 inhabitants, 9,000 are university students. It’s curious how, in such a small municipality, there is a university. Aberystwyth University was initiated from a popular initiative at the end of the 19th century. In fact, a benefactor of Aberystwyth believed that the youth of his town and region had the right to access higher education, and with his support and a popular subscription of 70,000 people in all the parishes of the area, they achieved this university, which is still in operation and provides training in many university degrees. This makes Aberystwyth a town-city with a lot of cultural ambiance.

The association that promotes the festival

The non-profit association Arad Goch promotes performing arts among children and young people and works on the production of shows, has its own center and organizes Opening Doors. he head of all this is Jeremy Turner, with whom we have a strong friendship of more than ten years. Our team has visited their festival several times and we have been able to bring some of their shows to Vilafranca, such as Where the Leaves Blow, of which we saw a new version at this year’s festival in Wales, thanks to the support in mobility from the Institut d’Estudi Baleàrics. Arad Goch is very similar to Sa Xerxa, as it is a non-profit entity, produces performing arts activities for children and young people, and organizes, as a key piece of its machinery, a festival. In addition, they perform theater in a minority language: they work in Welsh, just as we do in Catalan.

Sa Xerxa Last week, from March 12th to 16th, Àngela Jaume and Jaume Gomila, the artistic direction team of the FIET or Fira de Teatre Infantil i Juvenil de les Illes Balears (promoted by Sa Xerxa de Teatre), went to Aberystwyth, Wales, for the biennial festival Opening Doors. Although it had not been able to be celebrated since 2019 due to the Covid pandemic, this year's festival was more interesting than ever, coinciding with its tenth edition.
Where the Leaves Blow

The festival

The Opening Doors festival is a space for contact with people from very diverse countries. Playwrights, creators, festival directors… attend, but they all have very different sensitivities. They come from Pakistan, Brazil, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, India, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania… All these people enrich the festival thanks to their differences and, therefore, Opening Doors becomes a context for talking about different stories, different ways of working…

This year, up to 17 varied shows from different backgrounds have been celebrated, such as from Australia, Italy, Ireland, England…, but especially from Wales and, for that reason, we have been able to enjoy shows in their own language. We have also taken advantage of making many contacts within the theater circuit. For example, we have met interesting programmers who will probably come to the next edition of the FIET. Going out to other festivals is always nourishing because we learn things and think about what we can apply to our project or what actions we could take to improve the FIET year after year.

From this edition of Opening Doors, LOVNI can be highlighted, a theatrical experience by the Belgian company La Casquette that consists of making everyone lie on the ground with a veil over them amid lights and sounds produced live, creating a fantastic atmosphere of scenic enjoyment. We Touch, We Play, We Dance, a contemporary dance show for ages 0 to 3, was also interesting. The English show stood out from the programming for the sensitivity and respect with which children are treated until they are seduced and participate in the show, playing and dancing. Finally, a surprising show from the same town, Aberystwyth, was QWERIN, featuring traditional Welsh dances. Interestingly, they are very similar to the traditional dances of figures from the Balearic Islands, such as the cossiers or the cavallets. With this production, the company has managed to link tradition with contemporaneity, and we liked it so much that we will try to invite their choreographer, Osian Meilir, to the professional sessions of our Vilafranca Fira.

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