FROM OUR ARTISTIC DIRECTOR : A BURST OF COLOUR FROM CADIZ

On Saturday, we welcome Teatro El Carromato to Bell Square. These wonderful, contemporary street artists come all the way from Cadiz in Southern Spain to bring a burst of warmth and colour to our grey winter days!

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In June this year, I was invited by the regional government of Andalucia to attend a 2-day event for programmers from around Europe to meet the outdoor arts companies based in their region. It was a great opportunity to meet around 30 companies, see their shows, and also attend the fabulous Circada Festival in Seville.

Andalucia is the southern-most region of Spain and includes many important cities - Cordoba, Granada, Malaga and Cadiz, in addition to Seville.

Cadiz is an important coastal city in this region. It dates back 3000 years and is considered to be the oldest city in Europe. This is where Columbus set sail for the Americas in 1493!

The long history of Cadiz can be seen wherever you go. It seems that almost every narrow street reveals another fabulous square or plaza. Beautiful monuments and bustling cafes attract locals and visitors alike.

Is it any wonder that street arts are an important part of the culture of this city! Their Carnival is a huge, 11-day street party with parades, fun and mass participation – and second only to Rio in its fame!

When I was in Andalucia, I met several companies from Cadiz. Teatro El Carromato is a long established street theatre company who have created 20 different shows since 2000. Some of these shows have been performed over 300 times across Spain and around Europe.

One of these shows is Big Dancers and it is easy to see the cultural influences of Cadiz in the 4-metre high dancing puppets, the joyful music and the magical atmosphere. These dancing, almost human sculptures, with their illuminated colourful costumes, will flood the High Street with music and colour. You certainly won't miss them!

Come and join the spectacle - and dance, if you want, with these amazing giant puppets! Let's welcome a little Spanish warmth into our November day.

Teatro El Carromato are our first guests from Andalucia - but I promise there will be more!

If you speak Spanish, you can follow the company on twitter @El_Carromato - and on Facebook @elcarromatoteatrodecalle

Their website is http://elcarromato.com/home/ - English, Spanish and French.

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