The Sismògraf Festival takes place every April in Olot, a 35,000-strong city, two hours’ drive north of Barcelona. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes (sismògraf = seismometer; the festival ‘detects movement’, wink, wink), Olot lies proud on a hill surrounded by lush valleys, right under the shadow of the Pyrenees.
Tena Busquets, the driving force behind the festival, has always pushed for Sismògraf to be immersed in Olot and its whimsical environment. This translates into one of the core themes of the festival: Dansa i territori – dance and turf.
Turf can relate to several things. First: site-specific works. Eighty per cent of the shows are freely accessible and most performed in public spaces across town. But turf can also translate into community projects; or into performances which use a folkloric heritage to address contemporaneity. Below, Clàudia Brufau and Jordi Ribot talk about three works in the 2019 festival that explore cultural roots to go beyond reconstruction and towards relevance for today’s audiences.