The Ibero-American Theatre Festival (Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro) is one of the most popular and famous theatre events not only in Colombia, but also in South America as well as one of the largest performing arts festivals in the world!. Since its existence, the Ibero-American Theatre Festival has hosted more than 520 theatre companies from approximately 50 countries around the world, and has drawn over 2 million festival-goers each year who have the chance to enjoy around 450 indoors performances and around 150 outdoor performances. For these reasons, we have decided to tell you a little bit more about this spectacular festival in hopes that you will one day get to experience it yourself.
As far as the history of the festival goes, the Ibero-American Theatre Festival was originally founded by Fanny Mickey, an Argentinian actress who settled in Colombia in the 1950s. Having performed as an actress herself for many years, Fanny founded the Fundación Teatro Nacional in Bogotá in 1981, as a cultural space to honour and present performing arts events in Colombia. Four years later, with fellow theatre-phile Ramiro Osorio, then director of theatre and dance in the Autonomous Univeristy of Mexico, Fanny conceived the idea of the Ibero-American Theatre Festival. After several years of hard work, the first Ibero-American Theatre Festival took place in 1988, under the guidance and organization of Fanny’s Fundación Teatro Nacional. Since then, there have been 13 celebrations of the Ibero-American Theatre Festival, each one showcasing more and more talent in Colombia.
On a more practical level, it is important to know that the Ibero-American Theatre Festival is a biannual event that occurs in the Colombian capital city of Bogotá. The entire festival lasts 17 days, ending during Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter Sunday). During these 17 days, theatre companies and performing arts groups from all around the world descend on Bogotá and transform this urban landscape into a magical world of international spectacles. These groups perform everywhere from on the street to inside historical theatres to in modern performance arts spaces. The variety of performances is so incredible that we are sure everyone will be able to find at least one performance that sparks their interest.
If you are thinking the Ibero-American Theatre Festival is something you would like to experience, you are in luck as the 14th Ibero-American Theatre Festival just happens to be taking place this coming year, 2014, from April 4th to the 20th, and is sure to be the best yet1. The “spotlight” country for 2014 is Brazil, and you will find performances in the festival that include: a homage to Brazilian composer and poet Rey Luiz Gonzagão, a Polish performance of African Tales by Shakespeare, and a South-Korean directed version of Garcia Lorca’s Blood Weddings among many other impressive performances. If you want to find out more information about the upcoming festival just let us know.
The Uncover Colombia Team
- International Film Festival of Cartagena de Indias (FICCI) (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Famous Festivals in Colombia (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Five must-dos for your Bogota itinerary (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Five Places in the Historic Center of Bogotá You Shouldn’t Miss (www.uncovercolombia.com)