To launch the documentary La ciutat efímera (The ephemeral city), director Albert Vidal has had to became an orchestra man: recording images and controlling the unstable focus of his Cannon 5D camera, supervising the sound to avoid distortion while skillfully maintaining a diagonal axis with the interviewees. And that has been done with very little budget zero and essential technical gadgets, but with professionalism and drive. While the economic crisis is getting worse, this is the only way to launch audiovisual projects. The result is a forty-minute film about the Deltebre Dansa festival, an event organized by the choreographer from Tortosa Robert Olivan. Every summer Olivan gathers more than two hundred dancers in the middle of the Delta de l’Ebre. For some days this corner in the south of Catalonia turns into one of the main creative European focal points in the field of dance and contemporary circus.
The documentary, presented in Deltebre a few weeks ago, explains the essences of a festival that has made opportunities out of difficulties. The film shows how in a village with very few cultural facilities, with a huge unemployment rate and its public budget seriously affected by the crisis, it’s possible to organize a big event. Albert Vidal interviews twenty participants in the project (dancers from all over of the world, students, teachers, cultural agents and politicians. They talk about the challenges facing Delta de l’Ebre, about art as a social and economic issue, the love for dance, the erotic sense of the human body, the contact with nature and the stigmas that dancers suffer, as well as other subjects. All of these stories are illustrated with images of the shows presented in last summer ‘Deltebre Dansa’ festival. And of all these images we must to highlight one of the most well known choreographies: the dance in the mud of a paddy field, a performance that has become the most exiting activity in the festival. Apart from this dance for fifteen days the festival offers classes, workshops and shows away from their usual urban contexts.
The documentary has not yet come out on DVD, and therefore you will have to wait for the next public screening or for a channel to show it. But for now, if you like dance and you want to experience the choreographies of Robert Olivan, you cannot miss A place to bury strangers at venue Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona, between 18- 20 and 25 – 27 January 2013.
Update 02/02/2013: You can watch the film here: