Peter Stein, Declan Donnellan, Batsheva and theater and dance premieres at Almada Festival


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This year’s Almada Festival welcomes 20 national and international shows, spread over nine stages, including proposals from directors Peter Stein and Declan Donnellan, from the Batsheva company, and two national premieres, in an edition that pays tribute to João Mota.

The presentation of the program for the 40th edition of the Almada Festival, which runs from July 4 to 18, took place today and revealed that, to celebrate the anniversary, “some of the most eminent creators and national and international companies” will be presented.

Among the 20 theater, dance and new circus performances scheduled, eight of which are Portuguese and twelve foreign, are creations directed by some of the festival’s best-known directors, such as Germany’s Peter Stein and England’s Declan Donnellan, who are working on two fundamental texts of universal dramaturgy: Harold Pinter’s “The Birthday”, with Maddalena Crippa in the cast; and Calderón de la Barca’s “Life is a Dream”, in a production by the Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico.

Berlin’s Schaubühne also returns, this time with a staging by Switzerland’s Milo Rau, reveal the programmers, who add that this year they will present, for the first time at the festival, the Batsheva Dance Company, with a piece by its resident choreographer, Israel’s Ohad Naharin, as well as choreographers Martin Zimmermann and Yoann Bourgeois (from Switzerland and France, respectively), and the French collective Galactik Ensemble.

The Schaubühne, already directed by Peter Stein, this time proposes a creation in which theater dialogues with video, in a performance by Ursina Lardi, one of the German company’s most acclaimed actresses, which will be presented in the small auditorium of the Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB), in Lisbon, as the company announced in Lusa last March.

Tel Aviv’s Batsheva Dance Company, owner of a large ensemble of over forty dancers from Israel and around the world, will present the latest creation by Ohad Naharin, its resident choreographer for the past 20 years, at the CCB’s Grand Auditorium.

Choreographers Yoann Bourgeois and Martin Zimmermann belong to the artistic discipline known as “new circus”, “but which is actually difficult to categorize”, as it combines theater with dance, music and acrobatics, in shows with a “strong visual component”, according to the organization.

France’s Yoann Bourgeois brings “Minuit” to Almada, while Switzerland’s Martin Zimmermann presents “Eins, zwei, drei”, a “cabaret-punk” performed by Portuguese dancer Romeu Runa.

As for the French collective Galactik Ensemble – which will be in Portugal for the first time – it is made up of a group of acrobats trained at the École nationale des arts du cirque, in Rosny-sous-Bois, and will present “Optraken”, a new circus show, whose starting point is “a reflection on Man and the relationship he develops with a hostile environment”.

The Almada Festival program will also include the premiere of two Portuguese plays, one by the Almada Theatre Company, “Calvário”, with text and direction by Rodrigo Francisco, and the other by Teatro Griot, in co-production with Artistas Unidos – “Ventos do apocalipse”, by Noé João, based on the novel by Mozambican writer Paulina Chiziane, winner of the Camões 2021 prize.

The shows will be presented on nine stages in Almada (Joaquim Benite Municipal Theater, D. António da Costa School, Romeu Correia Forum, Incrível Almadense, Almadense Academy) and Lisbon (Belém Cultural Center).

Subscriptions, which give access to all shows, can be purchased on the website, at the Teatro Municipal Joaquim Benite and in FNAC stores, for 85 euros.

The budget for this year’s Almada Festival was 606,000 euros, of which 452,000 came from subsidies from the Ministry of Culture and Almada Town Hall, and 154,000 from the Almada Theatre Company’s own revenues.

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