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Sismògraf Dance Festival breaks new ground with sold-out performances

The eighth edition of the Sismògraf Olot Dance Festival, held in the Girona region, ended this this Sunday with a record-breaking 150,000 attendees, marking a 25% increase from 2015. The festival was made up of approximately thirty performances, most of them free and performed outdoors; of the eleven shows that were not free of charge, however, all were sold out. Entertaining the audience were 200 professionals, the number of which has also grown by 33% since last year. A quarter of these performers came from outside Catalonia, predominantly from England and Holland. Not only was there a first-time high in terms of attendance and performers, but the festival has also implemented an award, and is for the first time seeing a carry-over of shows related to the festival for the rest of the year.  


04 April 2016 06:40 PM



Barcelona (CNA).- A record 150,000 people attended the eighth edition of Sismògraf Olot Dance Festival, 25% more than in the 2015 edition. Sismògraf festival, so named because, like a seismograph, it ‘detects movement’, took place during over four hectic days in Olot, a small town 100 kilometres north from Barcelona. Around 200 professionals performed at the festival, 33% more than in the last edition, and 25% of them came from countries around the world, with a noticeable English and Dutch presence. For the first time, an award was given out based on public choice, and the festival will also experience the novelty of having residual performances tied to the show performed all throughout this summer. Tena Busquet, director of the festival, confirmed that all the paying shows were sold out. Although according to Busquet this figure “is really important”,she finds audiences’comments and congratulations “even more valuable”.

The four-day-long festival was made up of approximately thirty performances, the majority of which were open-air and free of charge. However, the eleven which did charge for admission were all sold out. What´s more, more than 200 professionals, 33% more than 2015, participated in the Sismógraf festival. Of these participants, a quarter were of international origin, predominantly from England and Holland. In fact, the organisers of the dance festival noted that they enjoyed the presence of producers from practically every European country. 

“Many contacts were made; I’ve received a lot of feedback from artists who had requests and producers who were interested in our offered proposals”, detailed the artistic director. However, Busquet notes that more than the numbers themselves, what really holds value for her is the recognition and gratitude of the people of Olot. “It´s priceless when people stop you in the street to tell you that you´ve done a great festival and that they loved it because they were able to participate. For us, this is much more exciting than the quantitative aspect”, she explained. 

Novelties and internationalisation of the festival

The festival welcomed five never-seen-before performances, event co-productions that became a crowd favourite. One of these was ‘Siena’from the Veronal troupe, which took place on Saturday afternoon. “The ‘El Clásico’football match was at the same time, and we had a full house”Busquet commented with a laugh. In fact, this year´s programme has been quite varied, from street performances to ones in venues, like halls and theatres. “This edition has stood out thanks to the large number of participation-based performances that were scheduled, and that we succeeded in getting the audience dancing a lot”, added Busquets. The artistic director was perhaps referring to shows like ‘Molar’ by dance troupe Quim Bigasan acclaimed act during this edition of the festival –and ‘Life in the Universe’from the troupe Hello!Earth, which took place in the middle of a green field.

The organisation also noted that they have seen an increase in the number of people from outside of Olot’s region, which is around 100 kilometres north from Barcelona. “We have yet to tally the surveys that we took but have the feeling that more people have come and, especially, more people from outside”insisted the artistic director. 

Busquet commented that the organisation plans to “improve”and expand activities in the next four years without, however, losing the essence of the festival. Regardless of its four days of hectic and incessant movement, the festival did not completely end on Sunday. Now comes the ‘aftershock’performances: for the first time, shows related to the original dance festival will carry on all throughout the year, primarily in the month of April. The smaller performances will take place up until the summer, with acts such as ‘Oskara’by the Kukai Dantza troupe and Marcos Morau, which can also be seen next August at the ÉsDansa festival in the village of Les Preses, also in the Girona region. 


  • An aerial performance at the 2016 8th edition of Sismògraf Olot Dance Festival (by ACN)

  • An aerial performance at the 2016 8th edition of Sismògraf Olot Dance Festival (by ACN)