Alicante, December 2018
Patricia Orozco Gómez
Translated by Amie Jo Petherbridge
Throughout November the University of Alicante celebrated the Second Academy Masterclass Series on the secrets of performing masters titled “Confidencias de Maestros de la escena”. This series was organised by the Spanish Performing Arts Academy (AAEE) and the University of Alicante Vice President for Culture, Sports and Languages Office.
The programme was based around lectures given by four leading figures in Spanish theatre, dance and lyrical poetry that form part of the Spanish Performing Arts Academy Board of Directors. These lectures, given in the University of Alicante Museum (MUA), were intended for both university students and the general public alike with the aim of illustrating the different jobs related to performing that are on offer from the experience of these experts.
The first guest who opened the series on the 13 November was director and actress Magüi Mira. She is a performing arts graduate of the Barcelona Theatre Institute and has participated in over 30 cinema and television productions. Due to her talent, she has been awarded with the Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts. the Ercilla Award to the Best Professional Career Path in 2017, the Ágora Award, the María Guerrero Award and the Ceres Award..
During the lecture “Una actriz dirige”, the artist told us from her experience what she had learnt over her career. In her lecture, she mentioned that she started off in an amateur theatre and then fought to get to where the thoughts in her head and the feelings in her heart wanted to be, to end up having a career that she could have not even dreamed of.
"I created art. Art is provocative, but this can be channelled by using creation, i.e. by using performing arts.”
"Performing texts is a privilege as each one of us can do it in a different way: that is the beauty of fiction. But now I am realising that as a woman, I tell stories from myself as I see them and as I understand them."
"Commitment is what gives everything we do a meaning.”
"I try to not combine psychologism with acting, yet I do use physical movement when I perform."
On the 19 November, the second figure that attended the series was dancer and choreographer Antonio Najarro. He was named director of the Spanish National Ballet in April 2011. He was taught by the most prestigious dance teachers in different styles and has formed part of several very well-known Spanish dance companies. Moreover, he has awarded a distinction with honours in Spanish dance in the Mariemma Professional Dance Conservatory of Madrid and has received many awards.
This performer gave a lecture called La mirada de la danza española. In said lecture he told us about his past, his performance history as both a dancer and a choreographer and he also spoke about his project as director of the Spanish National Ballet. Throughout the lecture, he took the opportunity to reflect upon Spanish dance´s current situation.
“When trying to get everything I want to achieve out of a show, my main problem is creating a profitable one”
"I am against expensive productions as they are paid for by the public entity that all Spanish citizens pay into and for that reason I try to make sure my productions have a whole life ahead"
"We are fighting to change the rules and agreements that are currently very obsolete, as conditions are uncertain and I have to encourage my dancers constantly. It is a very hard profession but it is also very rewarding.”
Thirdly, we received a visit from theatre writer, script writer, novelist, teacher and essayist, Eduardo Galán on the 26 November. Spanish Studies graduate, he has been the theatre deputy director of the National Performing Arts and Music Institute and President of the Spanish Juvenile Theatre Association. His works have been represented internationally and have been translated into several languages. He has been awarded the Calderón Theatre Award, the Lazarillo de Tormes Award and the National Juvenile Theatre AETIJ Award, amongst others.
His lecture was titled El autor-productor en los procesos creativos. In this lecture he reflected on the creation of theatre works, from the script to the performance and everything in between, focusing on the relationship between the author and the producer.
"In the world of theatre we have to share our egos because there are a lot of us”
"As an author, the first thing you have to do is register your text in the intellectual property office”
"We theatre people are above all brave”
"The inconvenience of being the author and the producer of your own piece is that you make yourself be more commercial and you tend to limit yourself"
"Making theatre is breaking away from all your ties"
Lastly, on the 3 December, soprano, composer and orchestra director Pilar Jurado closed the series with her lecture. She graduated in Music from the Madrid Royal Music Superior Conservatory in singing, piano, composing, orchestra conducting, musicology and musical teaching. She is also the artistic and executive director of MadWomanFest, counsellor and member of the Permanent Committee of AIE (Management society of artists and musical performers), as well as a member of the board of directors of the Academy of Music, director of the Spanish Institutional Foundation, ambassador of the International Labour Organisation and the Ibero-American Forum of Cities and creator of projects requested by the most emblematic international festivals in this field. She has also performed with the most important orchestras in the world and is the first woman to release her own opera in history.
She has received several awards such as the Ojo Crítico Award from the Spanish National Radio, Top Woman of the Year 2011 Glamour Award, the Best Voice of 2013 Award, the International Madrid Woman's Week 2014 Award and the Excelentia a la Cultura 2018 Award.
Throughout the lecture titled Otros tiempos para la lírica, the artist reflected upon the development of lyrical music from her personal experience, stating that "her best times coincided with changes she had made to her techniques and that these changes had brought her closer to the general public”. From her personal opinion, she clarified any doubts about whether it was the end of an era for opera and also told us what paths we should go down and the effect all this had on the new generations of singers and creators. She constantly insists on the fact that you have to take risks and offer new things because “society needs to be surprised”.
"I entered this world in a big way, they placed me at an international level and I turned into a contemporary European music muse for the critics"
"The only way I could do what I wanted was to produce my own work"
"Artists believe that they can use art to change the world"
"As a composer I am above directors but a as performer they are above me"
"I started as a visionary. I have broken all of the moulds”
This Academy is considered to have an artistic and cultural nature whose aim is to boost, defend and honour our country´s performing arts to promote it on a both national and international level and increase progress, development and refinement”. As a corporation with its own legal personality, it remains separate from any political, economic or ideological group.
Francesc Sanguino, the first Vice President of the Academy confirms that the main aim of the relationship that they have with universities is to increase the impact of performing arts and to repair the gap that has opened up in Spain between the art world and universities as it is one of the few careers that has not been incorporated into university studies even though it is considered higher education.
The Academy teaches authors, directors, producers, actors, dance, theatre music, scenic production and publication. Amongst the organised activities we must highlight the sessions and organisation of the yearly awards, lectures, seminars, competitions and contests.
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Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig s/n - 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig - Alicante - Tel. 96 590 3400 - Fax 96 590 3464