The Loja International Festival of the Live Arts began its 10-day run Thursday night with its headliner event, a world premier performance by Els Comediants, one of Europe’s most celebrated theater troupes.
Els Comediants performed its new production, Zibaldone, at Benjamín Carrión. The group performed again Friday in the Plaza de Las Culturas, when it presents El Señor Fideo y Señor Chaparrito España.
Els Comediants has performed theater its own way since since it was formed in 1971 in Catalonia, without scripts or directors. During its history, the group has worn many labels, including “avante garde” and “interdisciplinary,” but none has stuck. It is the ultimate actors’ theater, creating performance narratives spontaneously from the collective experiences f troupe members, mixing theater, circus, music, and audiovisual effect to create works that defy traditional theatrical terms.
The group has performed on five continents, in large cities and small towns, employing a multitude of actors, many of them from the communities where they perform. Its performance at the closing ceremony of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona has been called the greatest Olympic entertainment in modern history.
The Loja live arts festival continues through November 26, featuring top international and Ecuadorian talent. For details, click here.
In addition to Els Comediants, these are the 13 other international groups participating and the title of the work they will perform.
Maîtres Du Désordre (France)
Maîtres Du Désordre’s “The Padox” project was created 30 years ago by Dominique Houdart and Jeanne Heuclin and has toured the world ever since. Padox is a puppet that represents the man of today, that can represent humanity in all its splendor, its multiplicity and its failures.
Work: Le Padox
The Odin Teatret (Denmark)
The Odin Teatret has performed in 64 different countries, in a variety of theater contexts. During its performances, Odin has been generated a cultural of wild diversity and the practice of ‘barter’: the actors interact with local community audiences, responding with songs, music and dance belonging to the local culture.
Work: En el esqueleto de la ballena (In the skeleton of the whale)
Mi Compañía Teatro (Colombia)
Mi Compañía Teatro was founded by Colombian playwright and director Mérida Urquia in 2013 and premiered the one-man show, “Los siete pecados de Ana”, inspired by “The seven deadly sins of the petite bourgeoisie.” The group has been directed by a number of famous playwrights and and has performed throughout Europe and Latin America.
Work: La Extranjera (The Foreigner)
Elastic is clown-mime performer par excellence who performs his mimicry and antics at incredible speed. He performs his movements three times faster than normal and calls himself “the cure for pessimism.”
La Intrusa (Netherlands)
Fromed in 1996 by Virginia García and Damián Muñoz, La Instrusa is known for the powerful effects of its scenic and audiovisual projects. Combining both dance and theater, the group has toured in 30 countries.
Work: Mud Gallery
Humo Negro (Argentina)
The Argentinean theater group Humo Negro has built an international reputation for the high quality of its performnces, both traditional and experimental. Its founders, Juan Parodi and Mariano Tenconi, are well-known for both their directing and acting.
Work: I want to say I love you
Ensamblaje Teatro (Colombia)
The Colombian theater troupe Ensamblaje Teatro was founded and directedby maestro Misael Torres 33 years ago. It performs in unconventional setting, usually outdoors, but has recently worked in large-format theaters. The group has participated in cultural events and theater festivals in Asia, the Americas, and Europe.
Work: Edipo Rey
Contadores de Mentira (Brazil)
Contadora de Mentira, was born in 1995, Suzano, Brazil, and has toured world-wide since then. The group rejects to the idea of big, traditional productions, preferring to perform in unconventional settings, often outdoors. Its work depends on active audience participation.
Work: O increível Homem Pelo Avesso
Accordzéam was formed 20 years ago when its members met at university. Beginning as a classical conservatory group, today it performs across the spectrum of music styles, from jazz, to rock, to classical. The group incorporates slapstick, comedy and theater into its routine.
Work: Eric Bouvron
Teatro Rodante (Mexico)
Teatro Rodante was founded in 1999 and has traveled throughout South America and Mexico since then. They have performed in a variety of theatrical laboratories, workshops, festivals, and public squares, always recognizing the intersection of man with his culture.
Work: Cero Aguacero
Astrid Hadad (Mexico)
Actress and singer Astrid Hadad performs in the cabaret tradition, favoring elaborate stage settings and big bands. Her performances use a variety musical genres, including Ranchera and Bolero, and rely heavily on dramatic interludes. In her 33-years career, she has toured 28 countries in South and North America, Europe, Australia and Africa.
Work: Tierra Misteriosa (Mysterious Earth)
Actress Tamara Ferreira has deveoted herself to teaching in recent years but continues to perform both within Chile and internationally. She has won dozens of awards for the power of her one-person performances.
Work: Travesía (Crossing)
Martín Pons (Argentina)
Martín Pons is a mime, clown, actor and artist, famous for his stunning work Cirque du Soleil, where he plays leading roles.
Work: Ensueños de Martini (Dreams of Martini)