Context

“The world is yours. Take it.” (Homero)

Imaginarius – International Street Theatre Festival of Santa Maria da Feira is continually reinventing itself, in a context that provokes innovation and stimulates contemporary artistic creation. In its 18th edition, Imaginarius becomes a space that is open to all, looking towards our roots and the origins of street arts, yet aligned with the creative maximization of public space and international relations.

A challenge for all ages, an agent of education through art, an opportunity platform for emerging artists, a meeting place. Imaginarius (re) affirms itself as the space for street arts in Portugal, in a multigenerational context, boosting social and artistic ties, while also generating conditions for the active development of new creative approaches.

The programme of the 2018 edition of the festival defies our limits, making room for a parade of adventures and incidents of our times. In a unique context of misfortune and wonder, the eternal reflection on our social state (re) affirms itself as a reason for being and a stimulus to creativity. The programme’s alignment mixes different moods, contrasts opinions, antagonizes everyday life, questions itself… and us. It is an individual or collective experience that exhorts alter-egos and classics from literature, makes us stand at the side of the road, challenges everyone’s space and its use… provokes a city in its basal dynamics and interconnections.

In 2018, the International Street Theatre Festival of Santa Maria da Feira is bringing more than 300 artists from 17 countries to the city, for three intense days of complete transfiguration of our urban space. This interventionist and active programme, through 6 processes of artistic residence, challenges and questions our current society. In this context, 37 companies present 40 different shows that can lead us to new worlds and other contexts, through 195 performances or artistic interventions.

Generating opportunities is one of the pillars of the festival which, in addition to allowing the exploration of new artistic languages and support for contemporary creation, with 7 original Imaginarius Creations and 2 original public art installations, ensures that the public has direct contact with new realities and artistic identities. The programme’s 11 world premieres and 24 national premieres guarantee the innovation that the festival’s public has come to expect.

 

In the European Cultural Heritage Year, Imaginarius is reinventing the way it looks at the Historic Centre of Santa Maria da Feira, provoking new places, new approaches to programming contexts and a new active space. Thus, in 2018, the area surrounding the Lóios Convent Museum will acquire a new programmatic functionality, becoming an area of artistic presentation, with intimate, sensorial languages that require a special surrounding environment to guarantee a proper presentation context.

Odyssey, travel, questioning, restlessness and doubt are central elements of the creative genesis that generates the thread of the 2018 edition of Imaginarius. Theater Gajes will be moving to Santa Maria da Feira, in time to finalize Odyssee, its new creation. Based on Homer’s “Odyssey”, the Dutch company will debut its new show, using imposing scenic structures, interaction with the audience, an original live soundtrack and a journey in an empty space, full of collective imagery and visions of common sense. This Imaginarius co-production, full of special effects, dramaturgy and intensity, involves an active process of training local agents and has an unprecedented internationalization profile. A true odyssey that contributes to turning the page of the festival’s creative  context.

Also the result of a long creative process and a local artistic residency, Teatro do Mar will present InSomnium, a world premiere in co-production with Imaginarius. It is a multidisciplinary production of medium format, which takes us back to the past history of the most international Portuguese company, while transporting us to the epic dimension of our dreams. Using a large-format scenic structure and multimedia complementing the performance, it creates a magical and empathic environment that will make us look inside. It is a new collective opportunity, a profile that is clearly apt for international diffusion and a new creative journey.

The roads of our times are also a source of creative inspiration. Ici’bas, the Swiss company that won the Mais Imaginarius competition in 2017, is returning to Santa Maria da Feira to finish, in artistic residency, its new creation, Lonely are the lonely roads. It is a solitary epic, a reflection on our social attitudes, in a contemporary life path, as well as a challenge to the social positioning of each one of us, a glowing obstacle that will make us stop and think.

In absolute contrast to a festival context of collective celebration, meeting and transfiguration, the clear peak of the 18th edition of Imaginarius has silence as its great ally. But is it really so? The historic French company Les Commandos Percu are returning to Santa Maria da Feira with a new and rejuvenating artistic project. As always, pyrotechnics and percussion are the sole and absolute pillars of a silent action that explodes at every level, like a volcano. It is a challenge to our mind, a game of opposites, a social antithesis … an imposing, visual and unmissable result.

 

Following a selection by CALL – Support to Local Creation, two local art projects were developed in a creative residency. Rina Marques and Rui Paixão are the image of an artistic transformation, in a “road side” game, a collective risk and an evident multidisciplinary support. HANNO will be a conceptual and contextual challenge for all. On the other hand, Telmo Ferreira reflects on different social dimensions, in a metaphorical game for all ages. Houston, we have a problem promises reflection, instincts and game objects in an innovative show.

Our programme is obviously not limited to original contemporary artistic creation in world premieres, but also intends to provoke the audience with new approaches to public space, contemporary circus and the multidisciplinarity that is one of the festival’s trademarks. The intensity and irreverence of Blaas of Glory, the aesthetic and visual simplicity of Col-lectiu la Persiana and the active provocation of Moradavaga’s installation that celebrates the Centennial of the Feirense football club are other active examples of the richness and variety of the artistic proposals that will be presented.

The identity of the Imaginarius Infantil is strongly marked by its active connection to the community, in an increasingly differentiating and change-generating context. For the fifth consecutive year, it will actively transform the festival evenings for family audiences, as well as develop training and involvement activities, in a coordinated, complex manner, for various age groups. In 2018, the project Fractions of a Whole stands out, which is materialized after four intense months of work by an artistic team, linked to circus and movement, with a class of sociocultural entertainment. It is an action of provocation and training, that generates a new vision on the artistic sector. A conceptual and dramaturgic challenge, far beyond circus techniques. A process that intends to leave a trace and trail blaze the artistic future of local young people.

Now an active international platform of opportunities for emerging artists, the Mais Imaginarius competition received, for its 2018 edition, an all-time record number of applications. 295 proposals from 48 countries were put forward, which clearly confirms the current international standing of Imaginarius. It represents an unprecedented interest in artistic involvement, which is once again characterized by a section dedicated to experimentation and creative innovation, part of the festival’s official programme. The winner of the competition will be invited to create in residence a new show to be premiered at the 2019 edition of the festival.

Imaginarius continues to transform and boost active transfiguration. Professional contact spaces, mediation activities, meetings and training sessions are complementary and structuring links of the festival and its creative DNA, in what constitutes a democratic way of being, acting and facing artistic activity in public space. It is a broad and integrated context that in 2018 will be reviewed in an extended and revised model for the Imaginarius PRO programme.  Debating, sharing and confronting ideas and good practices for intervening in public space will take an active part in the new Symposium preceding the festival, while the action of the Showcase will be reinforced, in an investment that also involves the local creative ecosystem.

Thus, the World opens its doors to Imaginarius, in an unparalleled dynamic of internationalization and recognition. This festival is a permanent work in progress that actively seeks what is contradictory, “new”, (in) correct and experimental. It seizes opportunities and new worlds, in a personal and hallucinating journey that transports us to different and disruptive realities.

 

 

 

 

 

THE FESTIVAL IN NUMBERSIN NUMBERS

3 dAYS

MORE THAN 300 artistS

17 COUNTRIES

GERMANY, ARGENTINA, AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, FINLAND, FRANCE, HOLLAND, IRELAND, ITALY, MOROCCO, PORTUGAL, UNITED KINGDOM, RUSSIA, SERBIA, SWITZERLAND, TURKEY

37 companIES OR ARTISTIC PROJECTS

40 PERFORMANCES/intervenTIONS

6 artIstic RESIDENCIES

7 imaginarius CREATIONS

2 pUblic ART INSTALLATIONS

3 Workshops

11 WORLD PREMIERES

24 PORTUGUESE PREMIERES

195 ARTISTIC PRESENTATIONS OR INTERVENTIONS

MORE THAN 170 HOURS OF PROGRAMMING CONTENT