Deferrals such as the one at the Seismograph Olot festival; cancellations, missed projects and the fact that full normality will not return when confinement is lifted are the daily lives of hundreds of Catalan dancers, choreographers and cultural managers, whose sole security is to know that the coronavirus crisis will amount to about 25 million in losses across the state and will affect 80% of the annual activity in Catalonia, according to the Association of Dance Professionals of Catalonia. But instability is a well-known old woman in the industry, who these days, in addition, while working her hands and sleeves to save productions, must also work, from confinement, to avoid losing shape, changing the rehearsal room down the aisle. home.
The Mercat de les Flors is a node for the production and exhibition of dance in Catalonia. “It’s hard to believe you can lose a job managed for years,” laments its director, Angels Margarit. Of the thirteen creations suspended by the state of emergency, ten are new, while three have not yet found a new “place”. International productions and co-productions are, for obvious reasons, the most difficult to save.
In that sense, next season’s design is being altered here, at other venues, and more visibly at festivals like the Olot Seismograph, which has jumped from spring to autumn on the basis of “reinventing” -see. ” With the motto “Nothing is created or destroyed. All this is transformed, it has changed the four planned days of intense activity in the capital of La Garrotxa by a smaller format that recovers part of the program last summer, in the form of what the festival calls Répliques -es that is, shows that can be seen outside the usual dates-; Piroclasts – shows that take place outside Olot – or within the stable performing arts season of 2021. In addition, as a strategic dance festival in Catalonia, the event organized by the Olot City Council and the Generalitat also has begun working on lines of assistance for the sector.
At the moment, they are holding other events such as the Esdansa de les Preses, in August, but what Margarit is most concerned about is not so much the tweaks to the next course – which she anticipates more “national” and without some large format and international pieces – as “the magnitude” and the long-term impact on dance and creation in general.
“The days go by and you realize that the return will not be immediate, it’s not like pressing a switch; it is more appropriate to think long term and to consider under what conditions it is worth giving back, “asks this dance veteran.
The dancer and choreographer Sol Picó corroborates the feeling of “uncertainty” that is spreading among the sector. “I expect to be able to do a bow in June, but not the same, and if then 300 people cannot enter the theater? Do we put that in July? ” At the moment, his “hope” is that, whenever the situation improves, “people will want to see dance”.
In turn, the Association of Dance Professionals of Catalonia (APdC) has for days surveyed its 500 members to measure the effects. The entity considers, however, that it is not just a matter of quantifying lost or mortgaged projects now, but of understanding that normality will not return “on the day that the confinement is lifted.” “Everything indicates that the confinement will be rising gradually and that the mass activities will be the last to be resumed,” warn the entity that presides over the garrotxi dancer and choreographer Xevi Dorca.
At the moment, they prefer to talk about “global affect” to the sector in a year where they estimate that 80% of ordinary activity will be affected in one way or another. The State Federation of Dance Companies and Companies (FECED) already quantifies that the economic losses will oscillate between 20 and 25 million euros across the State, 80% of the turnover of a normal year.
The APdC has joined other associations and unions in calling for urgent public policies “to alleviate the devastating effects” of the crisis. They demand measures such as the obligation on public entities to reschedule all functions, for which companies charge at least 50% of the agreed cashier when postponed actions or soft credits to help the liquidity of companies. Some have received response from governments, others have not.