With a consolidated 18-year history in promoting street arts in Portugal, Imaginarius is the privileged stage for renowned domestic and international artists and companies who elect the public space of Santa Maria da Feira to present their creations, many of them in world premières.
La Fura dels Baus, Royal de Luxe, Titanick Theater, Pippo Delbono, Xarxa Teatre, Transe Express, Leo Bassi, Strange Fruit, Cacahuète, Gran Reyneta, CirkVOST, Hortzmuga Theater, KTO Theater, Odin Teatret, Pan Optikum and Antagon Theater AKTion are some of the companies from around the world that performed at Festival and left a mark on our region.
The same happened with the participation of such renowned creators as the Nobel Prize for Literature Dario Fo, photographers Spencer Tunick and Oliviero Toscani, filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira, visual artist Joana Vasconcelos and the master in the art of urban masking Donato Sartori, which involved the community and the public space of the city in their artistic interventions.
Since its first edition, Imaginarius has invested in its own creations such as “Entrado”, which involved the participation of 30 inmates of the Porto Prison, or “O Combio Fantasma de Santa Maria da Feira” by Lee Beagley with local art structures. Community theatre projects, such as “Baralha”, developed with the local gypsy community, “Texturas”, which paid tribute to our cork industry, or “EXPANDE”, which explored traditions surrounding our paper industry, are also very important to the Festival.
In 2008, Imaginarius launched a project of musical experimentation that stands out in the contemporary art scene – the Santa Maria da Feira Creative Orchestra. Under the artistic direction of conductor Aleksandar Caric Zar, this orchestra today involves 150 local members.
Since 2009, the Festival has opened space for young creators from around the world through Mais Imaginarius, focusing on experimentation and new approaches in the public space of Santa Maria da Feira, with a strong connection to the international market.
In 2017, in a unique year for the international assertion of Santa Maria da Feira as the City of Street Arts and Portugal as an emerging country in the dynamics of European circulation in the sector, Imaginarius co-organized and hosted FRESH STREET # 2, the largest international seminar for street arts professionals from all over the world, placing Santa Maria da Feira at the centre of the discussion about the future of the new creation for the public space and street arts.
Training and artistic exchange remain a strategic investment of Imaginarius, materialized in workshops and artistic residences with great street arts masters.
Marked by an incessant will to create and transform, the Festival tracks a necessary path of construction and deconstruction. Because we believe the future is Imaginarius!