Basque performing arts shine at the Max Awards

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.


April 17th marked the 26th edition of the Max Awards for the Performing Arts, which took place at Gran Teatro Falla in Cádiz, Spain. At the awards ceremony, four Basque productions were celebrated, paying tribute to the outstanding craftsmanship of the performing arts professionals and the year’s best productions.

The award for Best Adaption of a Theatrical Work went to María Goiricelaya Burón for ‘Yerma’.

In this adaptation of ´Yerma´ (Federico García Lorca, 1934) Goiricelaya revisits the theme of Lorca’s original play – the story of a woman who cannot become a mother. Pressured into believing that she wants something she never wanted, the protagonist is trapped in an emotional and biological conflict. In this contemporary play, the natural and beautiful become obsessive and painful, and desire prevails over love.

The award for Best Musical Composition for Stage Performance went to Pascal Gaigne for ´¿Y ahora qué?´ (‘Eta orain, zer?’), performed by the Kukai Dantza dance company.

This work uses dance to unite society by respecting and accepting each member´s uniqueness and creating a common space for expression.

The award for Best Production Work went to Ttantaka Teatroa for ‘Sexzberdinak’ (‘Sexpiertos’).

With a blend of humour and pain, the play tells the story of personal growth between a journalist with cerebral palsy and a confectionery vendor. Immersed in contradictions, the two characters unabashedly recount their affective and sexual experiences to show that each of us, with our own particular paralysis, have different fears, hopes and dreams.

Best Stage Direction went to Iñaki Rekarte for his work in ´Supernormales´.

This comical play challenges us to confront our own prejudices, shaped by a neoliberal and patriarchal society, towards individuals with functional diversity. It is a society in which the bodies, the realities, the needs and the lives of people who cannot produce at the pace imposed on them have no choice but to see other people pass by them.

The Basque performing arts are gaining widespread recognition and acclaim. The list of Max award winners shows that Basque artistic creation is among the significant forces, with its playwrights, productions and performers, on the contemporary performing arts scene.

The Etxepare Basque Institute promotes quality artistic endeavours, fosters mobility among creators, artists and professionals from the cultural sectors, and provides guidance for teaching the Basque language and Basque culture. In terms of performance arts, highlighted are the ‘Ventana Vasca’ (Basque Window) programme created in collaboration with Colombia’s Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo, and Saison-Quebec Pays Basque 2021-2022, a cultural exchange programme between Euskadi and Quebec. Both have fostered the international presence and cultural exchange of Basque artistic creation.

The Basque productions and companies that received accolades at the XXVI Max Awards will enjoy afforded continued visibility on the international stage in 2023, as a result of the various cultural programmes organised by the Etxepare Basque Institute in collaboration with international agents.

Continuing with the ´Basque Window´, created in 2022 by the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo in collaboration with the Etxepare Basque Institute, Tanttaka Teatroa (in April) and the Kukai Dantza company (in August) will perform in 2023 at this renowned cultural center in Bogotá, Colombia.

Last year’s “Ventana Vasca” at Teatro Mayor in Bogotá featured María Goiricelaya’s ´Altsasu´ (La Dramática Errante), alongside other Basque productions. Also in 2022 a number of Basque dance companies took part in Festival Quartier Danses: Focus Basque as part of the Saison-Quebec Pays Basque programme.

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