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THE FESTIVAL OF ARTS AND NEW FORMATS

From September 28th to October 2nd

It is impossible to avoid hearing bells when they ring. Their sound prevails over everything else. There is something hypnotically sacred about them, because they connect with our spirituality and with our more atavistic side. They are a reminder of the passage of time. They are a call. Historically, they were also used as a warning, perhaps of a death, the outbreak of an epidemic, or of a fire. Bells are instruments that summon us through sound, intertwining us in an invisible manner, confirming the indisputable fact that we are part of a community, of the here and now. As the mystical poet John Donne penned in his famous verses of more than five hundred years ago: “No man is an island. Each man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.”

The bell which warns and summons is the metaphor that we have chosen this year to explain ourselves, to frame a TNT that refuses to yield in its efforts to trigger critical thought and promote different ways of reflecting and opening the cracks of possibilities. We live in an extremely complex, devastated present in which pessimism is hard to avoid. Even so, we must continue to encourage desire. 

To reduce the anguish, however, we begin by showing how humour traces a wide, dazzling diagonal through the whole schedule in the form of offerings from four creators from very different generations: Júlia Barbany, Cris Celada Pollo campero. Comidas para llevar, Cris Blanco and Sofía Asencio Societat Doctor Alonso. They all use humour from creative power, non-conformity and unease, to ask enlightening questions: Is it possible to imagine a less dystopian future? What would happen if art took over life? What mechanisms are involved in what is supposedly fun?

Among the resident companies, we have new creations from Carlota Grau, Monte Isla and Serrucho, who all share the fact of investigating form technique, theatrical machinery and objects— to offer us experiences that explore, through the construction of images, such essential concepts as fear, time and nature. Experimenting with a theatrical device, Matías Daporta will be presenting Washington from a studio at ESCAC, an organisation with which we are working for the first time.

Words, music and political power are present in this edition through some of the most unique and essential artists on the national scene, such as María Salgado and Fran MM Cabeza de Vaca, Alberto Cortés and Cuqui Jerez. Words also lie at the core of the piece by Arabesco, the most unclassifiable artist on the bill, and the one by Norberto Llopis, who in turn puts language in crisis. To end our Friday and Saturday nights, Marc Sempere brings us a collective ritual that appeals to the common to free us from the unbearable weight of our ego.

As we’ve been doing at recent editions, we continue to strive to look deeper into the city of Terrassa and its people. We do so through such prominent artists as Montedutor and the Spanish-Swiss company L’Alakran. The former will be teaching us a new folk dance that they have created together with a group of youngsters from the LGTBQI+ community and a band from Terrassa, the idea being to make the city’s cultural identity more inclusive. That activity is happening in Primer de Maig square in the district of Sant Pere and in the square outside the city hall. Óskar Gómez de la Mata, of l’Alakran, and Juan Loriente, two living legends of performance, will be going on a week-long pilgrimage around Terrassa acting as detectives of reality, making visible that which is there but is unseen. For three days they will be presenting Makers Itinerants, an adaptation of their last creation in dialogue with the city and its people. 

We continue encouraging the participation of family audiences and educating future spectators through TNT KIDS, which this year features three participant experiences that use play to deal with such fundamental issues as identity, imagination and reclamation of the public space. Drag kids is an inter-generational transvestite workshop run by Sara Manubens. Llums, so i cos, by Animal Religion, is aimed at families with children aged 4 to 9, and Sara San Gregorio is offering a free play space for the littlest ones —from 0 to 5 years and an action involving the public space in relation to politics and leisure to demand that our streets are places for everyone. The nyamnyam group will also be performing a special family edition of their latest creation Inert?, which invites us to put ourselves on the same level as everything around us. 

This year, the TNT 22 schedule includes 24 pieces, 15 of which are premieres. In this edition, creativity will be boiling effervescently and passionately and giving off an energy that we hope will radiate miles away. The bells have been ringing for centuries, although they are doing so less and less. There are those who question their usefulness today, those who claim they are obsolete, and those who demand an end to the irritating ritual because it disturbs us in our sleep, and wakes us up.

 

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