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Co-founder of Catalan theatre company ‘La Fura dels Baus’ exhibits his unique robotic dramaturgy

ACN / Pau Cortina / Paula Solanas

Marcel·lí Antúnez Roca, one of the founders of the Catalan theatrical group ‘La Fura dels Baus’ has presented an exhibition in Arts Santa Mònica, a cultural centre run by the Catalan Government in Barcelona's famous Les Rambles. The display showcases the artist’s unusual dramatic method, which he names ‘Sistematúrgia’. This concept conceives theatre as a combination of robotics, corporal interfaces and audiovisuals systems. Apart from the exhibition, which will be open to the public until April 4th, this initiative also includes live performances by Antúnez once a week. ‘La Fura dels Baus’ produced the opening ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

March 18, 2014 08:28 PM

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies to offer Catalan language and culture studies


From April 2014, thanks to an agreement signed with the Institut Ramon Llull (IRL), the public body in charge of promoting Catalan culture abroad, the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS) will offer a comprehensive course dedicated to the Catalan language and culture. The TUFS, one of the most prestigious institutions for language studies in Japan, will be the second university in the country to provide such training after the Hosei University - also in Tokyo - implemented a similar course in 2010. In the coming months, the TUFS will also host several events to strengthen the bonds between Catalonia and Japan, notably the symposium ‘Facts and fiction about independence, a plural view on Catalonia’.

March 18, 2014 12:47 AM

Sílvia Pérez Cruz and Raül Fernández Miró treat London audience to moving concert

ACN / Begoña Fuentes

With all tickets sold out months ahead, the audience which gathered Saturday in the Sadler 's Wells Theatre listened with much emotion to Barcelona Singer Sílvia Pérez Cruz and Guitarist Raül Fernández Miró, during the closing concert of the 11th Flamenco Festival London. The Catalan musicians have interpreted three Flamenco themes and performed songs from their latest album, still unnamed, which will also lead them to New York next week. The new album, the first common release after eight years of collaboration, includes songs in Catalan, French, English and German. The musicians will officially present it in a concert at the Tívoli theatre in Barcelona on the 25th of April.

March 18, 2014 12:33 AM

International Mecal Short-film Festival screens 350 works throughout Barcelona

ACN / Carolina Pons

The 16th International Festival of Short Films and Animation of Catalonia opened with a presentation led by director Roberto Barrueco. This year Barcelona’s festival received 5,300 projects from 110 different countries, of which 350 will be shown in 47 sessions and 80 hours of programming. Mecal is a festival held annually during the months of March or April in the Catalan capital. The festival is a review of short films and animations which takes place at different places in Barcelona, such as the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), the Institut Français, the Cinemes Girona movie theatre, l’Antic Teatre cafeteria, Arts Santa Monica cultural centre and the Fàbrica Moritz gastronomic space.

March 17, 2014 03:42 PM

Joining hands to name Lleida's 13th century cathedral UNESCO World Heritage

ACN / Emma Garzi

Some 250 people have joined hands around the old Cathedral of Lleida (Western Catalonia) for the third consecutive year, urging the monument and its surroundings to be declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the heart of the Catalan city, the tremendous ‘Turó de la Seu Vella’, literally the Hill of the Old See, is formed of several buildings, with the most significant being the 13th century cathedral, known as ‘La Seu Vella’. The hill also hosts the remains of La Suda or King's Castle (Castell del Rei o La Suda), well preserved military fortifications built from the 14th to the 18th century and other archaeological gems. An official nomination bid was eventually presented this January, setting up the first stage of a lengthy procedure.

March 11, 2014 08:53 PM

Entrance to Montjuïc Castle and exhibitions now costs €5


From this Monday onwards, visiting the fortress at the top of Barcelona’s Montjuïc hill will cost €5. Special discounts will be available as well as free admissions on special days, like the other museums in the city. Within Montjuïc Castle, history-related exhibitions will be held. Visitors can currently discover the exhibition ‘Postwar Barcelona’, organised by the City Council’s Archives with the collaboration of the Carles Pi i Sunyer Foundation. The exhibition starts with Franco’s troops entering the city on the 26th of January 1939 and finishes with the end of term of Fascist Mayor Miquel Mateu i Pla in 1945. In fact, it is a time travel back to post Civil War Barcelona, displaying more than 250 documents, including illustrations and photos, as well as historical texts and articles.

March 3, 2014 08:49 PM

Keith Haring mural calling to fight AIDS recreated in its original Barcelona neighbourhood


Urban artist Keith Haring chose the Raval neighbourhood in Barcelona to execute his mural painting Together We Can Stop AIDS in 1989. Diagnosed with HIV a year before, the American artist drew this iconic line in Spanish (Todos juntos podemos parar el SIDA) in blood-red letters and next to some of his characteristic figures, as a call to fight the disease. On Thursday, exactly 25 years later, a reproduction of his famous mural was unveiled in another location of the Raval neighbourhood, sponsored by the Ciutat Vella District (Old City Centre) and by the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA). This initiative acknowledges Keith Haring as one of the most emblematic street artists of his time, recalling his stay in Barcelona and highlighting his courage to address a taboo subject that personally affected him.

February 28, 2014 04:47 PM

Asian artists sweep up at the 2014 Figueres International Circus Festival

Carolina Pons

The third Festival Internacional del Circ de Figueres held its final gala on Monday evening with 13 performances on show. The winners of the Golden Elephant were a Chinese juggler, Kai Cao, and two more Asian groups, the Chinese Flag Circus and the North Korean National Circus of Pyongyang. The Critics Jury and a Jury dedicated to the image of the performances awarded prizes to two Chilean artists, the contortionist Catalina Pala and the clown Pastelito. This year, more than 28,000 spectators attended the festival, double the attendance of the first year.

February 26, 2014 05:55 PM

Animac makes Lleida animation capital of the world

ACN /Guillem Jané Casals

The International Film Festival of Animation in Catalonia has celebrated its 18th birthday by presenting 235 pieces under the leitmotif of 'hybrid’. The mix of real images and animation has been the main theme in the 2014 edition. The presence of special guests Czech director Ji?í Barta and British BAFTA nominated Chris Shepherd, Walt Disney’s Alices Wonderland, Michel Gondry’s Lécume des jours and a conference by The Amazing World of Gumball's creators have been the main components of this year’s festival, which was organised by Lleida City Council.

February 24, 2014 08:06 PM

Kazushi Ono will be the main conductor of the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra

ACN / Pau Cortina / Rurika Hashimoto

Japanese conductor Kazushi Ono was appointed the next main conductor of the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra (OBC) taking over from the current conductor Pablo Gonzalez in September 2015. The decision to appoint Ono has received the consent of "all parties". The Director of the L’Auditori concert hall, where the OBC is based, hopes that Ono will lead the ensemble to be a worldwide fame orchestra from Catalonia. Ono is currently the main conductor of the orchestra of the Opera National de Lyon and will also be the head of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra in Spring 2015.

February 19, 2014 10:55 AM

El Taller de Músics school celebrates its 35th anniversary at the Palau de la Música


One of Barcelona’s main cultural institutions celebrated its 35th anniversary last weekend. Barcelona’s contemporary music scene of the last 3 decades cannot be understood without El Taller de Músics school. For this reason, Santiago Auserón, la Mala Rodríguez & Refree, Cris Juanico, Miqui Puig, Andrea Motis & Joan Chamorro or the guitarist Biel Ballester are some the most prestigious artists who participated  in a tribute concert at the ‘Palau de la Música’ on Sunday. The famous Original Jazz Orquestra played throughout the evening, in an event that was also a vindication of a cultural project in times of economic crisis. Founded in 1979, El Taller de Músics is Barcelona’s most prestigious school for jazz, flamenco and fusion music. The school gives significant style freedom to its students and also organises numerous concerts.

February 17, 2014 10:01 PM

Electronic music Sónar Reykjavik and Stockholm welcome over 12,000 visitors


The international expansion of Barcelona-based festival of electronic music, Sónar, continues. The first edition of Sónar Stockholm and the second edition of Sónar Reykjavik have attracted more than 12,000 attendees between them this past weekend. Both festivals have welcomed Nordic and international artists who performed in over 100 concerts on eight different stages. In the Icelandic capital, the festival was held in the Harpa Auditorium, at the very centre of the city. A total number of 8,900 visitors attended at least one of the 70 concerts spread over five stages. On the other hand, 40 concerts were scheduled on three different stages during Sónar Stockholm, which attracted 3,600 people, with several concerts sold out weeks ahead.

February 17, 2014 07:45 PM

British critics praise Catalan contemporary writers Marc Pastor and Jordi Puntí

ACN / Paula Solanas

Contemporary Catalan literature is being well received amongst British critics. The BBC recently interviewed Catalan writer Marc Pastor on the hit show ‘Meet the Author’ to introduce the English translation of his novel ‘La Mala Dona’ (known as ‘Barcelona Shadows’ for UK readers), which was published by Pushkin Press in January 2nd. Critics have also praised ‘Maletes perdudes’ (‘Lost Luggage’), a novel by Catalan writer Jordi Puntí, who took part in the British Library’s European Literature Night last May. Another English publishing house has bought the rights of ‘Jo confesso’ (‘I confess’), a Catalan best-seller by author Jaume Cabré, and plans to publish it on 2015.

February 12, 2014 10:09 AM

Jaume Cabré’s novel ‘I confess’ to be translated into 20 languages

ACN / Emma Garzi

Jaume Cabré’s latest novel, Jo confesso (‘I confess’), which was recently awarded the Courrier International Prize for ‘Best foreign book’, will be translated into 20 languages. The work has already been published in 9 languages ??and will be available in English in 2015. The Catalan writer has been praised internationally for his novels delving into the human condition and reflecting on mankind’s propensity towards evil. In Jo confesso, a multi-layered novel starting in Barcelona in the 1950s, the main character investigates his family’s past and wealth, going all the way back to the very origins of evil, notably Spanish Inquisition, Franco dictatorship and Nazi Germany. Cabré’s contribution to the projection of Catalan culture abroad will be rewarded this Tuesday by Barcelona’s City Council.  

February 11, 2014 06:57 PM

Catalan co-production 'Aloft' by Claudia Llosa and film on the Roca Chefs, at the 2014 Berlinale

ACN / Pere Francesch

Catalan cinema will once again play a significant part in this year’s prestigious Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), with the presentation of two feature films and one short-film. The Catalan co-production Aloft ('No ploris, vola'), by Claudia Llosa, who also directed the 2009 Golden Bear winner The Milk of Sorrow, will compete in the official section of the festival, held between the 6th and the 16th of February. ‘El somni’ (The Dream) directed by Franc Aleu and centred on the creative dishes of the Roca brothers, universally acclaimed Catalan Chefs, will be screened during the ‘Culinary session’ of the festival. Finally, short-film lovers will discover ‘TABA, El Juego En La Mesa’ (TABA, Table Games), directed by Pep Gatell and Eloi Colom, and produced by the ‘Fura dels Baus’ a Barcelona theatrical group famous for its innovative performances.

February 6, 2014 03:32 PM

Read the latest updates and breaking news on culture and cultural topics from Barcelona and Catalonia. Keep up to date with the city’s museums dedicated to some of the biggest artists in the world such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Antoni Tàpies, as well as other institutions such as the National Art Museum (MNAC), the Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona (MACBA), and exhibition spaces like the Contemporary Culture Center of Barcelona (CCCB), CiaxaForum, and CosmoCaixa.