A "classic" from Compagnie Maguy Marin, Spanish Focus at Festival of Arts in Tbilisi

The Carolyn Carlson Company will present the famed choreographer's work 'Crossroads to Synchronicity' at the Rustaveli Theatre. Photo: GIFT Festival.

Agenda.ge, 10 Oct 2019 - 18:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

An "absolute classic" from the Compagnie Maguy Marin troupe, a focus on contemporary Spanish stage art and honouring American choreographer Carolyn Carlson will be the central events of the Georgian International Festival of Arts in Tbilisi starting next week.

With a cast that has been praised for its ability to "astonish with dramatic expression in this visionary homage" (The Guardian), the company led by Marin, a standout figure in French contemporary dance scene, will open the GIFT Festival.

They will bring to the stage of the Rustaveli Theatre their signature work May B, an adaptation of playwright Samuel Beckett's dramas that has "affirmed Marin’s style on the international scene" (Paul Manganaro).

First staged in 1981, the show brings to viewers a group of characters involved in lonely, seemingly aimless wandering signifying solitude and complexities of human experience.


For all the absurdity of their existence these archetypal figures at times exude an effervescent cheeriness, whether discovering their primitive urges or hidden feelings under the layer of dust, dancing to Schubert or becoming entangled in Gavin Bryars’ mournful music loops" - GIFT Festival preview

This headlining show will come to the festival where organisers will also host a Spanish Culture Focus, with a Festival Talks segment involving Darío Facal, Artistic Director of the Corral de Comedias Theatre.

The guest, whose staging work in Spain and wider Europe has received plaudits and who also teaches drama at the Complutense Universidad Madrid, will speak about modern Spanish theatre at the discussion.

The focus programme will also involve a performance of This is not Bernarda Alba’s House, an adaptation of a work by dramatist Federico García Lorca by Teatros De Canal and Draft.inn.

Shaped around the ideas of femininity and presented by male actors embodying female characters, the Carlota Ferrer-directed staging raises challenging questions in the realm of "things [that] have not changed so much in ninety years" (Eldiario.es).

In a further element of the Spanish focus, choreographer and dancer Rocío Molina will become part of the annual Tbilisi event with Fallen from Heaven, a reinvention of the flamenco dance dubbed "a feminist flamenco scream" (The Observer).


[Molina] obliterates genres, playing the strutting torero, dabbling in cabaret, defying the musicians in an exhilarating duel" - GIFT Festival preview

Finally, the spotlight on Spanish stage art will be rounded off by a talk by artistic director Natalia Menéndez about benefits theatres bring to cities. The playwright and theatre manager will share her experience and thoughts on how work inside theatre venues is shaped by the physical urban reality they exist in.

Menéndez will also lead a master class as part of the festival programme through Happiness Station, her "interactive theatre exercises".

The Spanish Culture Focus is presented in collaboration between GIFT organisers and Acción Cultural Española, a Spanish state agency devoted to promotion of culture "both in Spain and overseas".

Famed choreographer Carolyn Carlson will be in Tbilisi to receive the GIFT Festival Award for Perfection in Arts while Crossroads to Synchronicity, her stage adaptation of ideas of psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung, is presented to the audience.

Carlson has conceived the work around Jung's "synchronicity", with the resulting work challenging the "entrenched assumptions of mainstream modern culture" by encouraging a rethinking of society's understanding of science and religion as well as its relationship with the individual.

Shows by Georgian troupes will also be found among the ten shows of the festival - from the Rustavi Municipal Theatre to the Ira Kokhreidze Inclusive Theatre - with more of their foreign counterparts also bringing their productions.

The GIFT Festival is set to run between October 19-November 19 at Rustaveli, Marjanishvili and Griboedov Theatre venues in Tbilisi.