Last week, our Projects Director, Rosalie Pordes travelled to Barcelona alongside Artistic Director, Neil Beddow, to spend a week with our RAPPORT partner in Barcelona: Tantarantana. Hear Rosalie’s account of the trip and some of the amazing experiences from this one of many international collaborations…
“I am lucky enough to be working on acta’s EU funded project Rapport, which is a partnership project with our friends and arts organisations, in Spain at Tantarantana , in Poland at Teatr Grodzki and in Sweden at Historieberättarna . First year of the project is focussed on learning about each other and the different approaches to community arts. In the second year we will be creating a performance together without physically being together. How we will do that is yet to be decided – so stay tuned!
We are currently in Year one, and in January I travelled to Barcelona to spend time at the Tantarantana theatre and learn how and where they work. It was an incredible three days where we were had the opportunity to participate in their workshops, meet their group members and observe one of their workshops at the local school they work at.
It was fascinating to spend time with another organisation in another country, observing our similarities and differences. Unlike acta, where we have two facilitators who take on all the roles, they split this into three positions. They have the External, who watches the rehearsals; script writes and facilitates any writing exercises within the group. Then the Middle, who facilitates, devises and directs the workshops / performances. Finally they have the Internal, a person who engages as a participant, supporting the group and increasing enthusiasm and energy.
In acta we focus on verbal storytelling as a way to create theatre, whereas in Tantarantana the work I observed and participated in, there was focus on physical theatre and writing. The experience gave me an opportunity to reflect on my own practice and question why I and we (acta) do certain things. In my first week back I led one of the creative writing exercises with my weekly Rapport theatre group. I was anxious of how it would be received, as it is so different from what we usually do, but it was a huge success. The group reflected they felt the experience freeing and it gave me the healthy reminder of the importance of not only pushing your members to try new things, but also yourself as a facilitator. In March we’re off to Sweden and I cannot wait to learn more…”
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