Bogota has won international acclaim for the quality of its theatrical offerings, and 2014 did not disappoint. Audiences were treated to intense dramas, hysterical comedies, thrilling musicals, multimedia extravaganzas, the rebirth of Colombia’s most iconic performance venue and festivals galore. Here Tigre Haller looks at the highlights from the past year, and offer a sneak-peek at what’s waiting backstage for theatre-goers in 2015.
A Classic is Reborn
The Teatro Cristobol Colon, “El Colon”, one of the oldest opera houses in the southern hemisphere, was inaugurated in 1895 and reopened in July this year after nearly seven years closure and millions of dollars in renovation and updates.
The Colon re-launched in style, with a stunning performance by the English National Ballet and Royal Ballet of London, led by principal dancer and Buenaventura native Fernando Montaño. Since the opening there have been music, theatre and dance performances, showing that the Colon is set to take the stage once more as Colombia’s grande dame.
Venus in Fur – a Spanish language adaptation of David Ives’ play-within-a-play about a vulgar actress called Vanda staging a tantalizing audition for the exasperated director Thomas. Erotic, dramatic, comedic and intellectual, the production left audiences begging for more.
Starring: Marcela Mar and Julián Román Director: Fabiano Rubiano
Venue: Teatro Nacional La Castellana
Pa’l Centro y Pa’ Adentro – Charles arrives in Colombia to meet the woman he has been cyber-dating and along the way he encounters Gustavo, who schools the Frenchman in all things Colombian so that he can win the lady over.
Starring: Patrick Delmas and Fernando Arévalo
Director: Manolo Orjuela
Venue: Casa e
En caso de muerte – A highly imaginative and original piece of theatre that explored the themes of family, honour, suicide, sensationalism and the super- natural, set to an original score with innovative choreography.
Starring: Ulises González, Mónica Giraldo, José Miel, Carlos Alberto Pinzón,
Natalia Bedoya, Carlos Aguilar Director: Tino Fernández Venue: Teatro Mayor
Las adventuras de Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain’s beloved tale of the mischievous boy, his loyal band of fun loving friends and their adventures on the Mississippi River came to vibrant life and thrilled audiences of all ages.
Starring: Amaranto Botero, Santiago Dávila, Samantha Díaz, Bibiana Castillo, Juan Esteban Quintero, Viviana Franco, Felipe Salazar, Julián Delgado
Director: Brunilda Zapata
Venue: Teatro Nacional La Castellana
Feria Internacional de Teatro de Bogotá – Under the direction of Anamarta de Pizarro, the world’s biggest international theatre festival returned for its 14th instalment with a fantastic program of performances from some of the world’s top companies.
Happy New Year!
2015 is primed to showcase amazing productions large and small. If this year’s trends are any indication there will be more microteatro, exciting work by small companies, additional screenings of productions from England’s National Theatre and new festivals. Check out Teatro Colon, Teatro Mayor, Teatro Nacional, Teatro La Candelaria, Barraca Teatro, Casa e, Maldita Vanidad, Teatro Quimera, Corporacion Colombiana de Teatro and other venues for specific programming (which we will of course include in our theatre listings). And, there is set to be a new theatrical animal on the scene when The BAT – The Bogota Anglo Theater – takes flight with its first production of Miss Julie in April/May.
Whatever your taste, there is no doubt that Bogota is an innovative theatre city with plenty to offer!
Be sure to take a look at the full list of our end of year perspectives here
Tigre Haller is co-founder of www.bogotabrilliance.co, co-Author of “Bogota! A Bilingual Guide to the Enchanted City” and co-founder of The BAT – The Bogota Anglo Theater.