Artist Talks Brandhaarden: Carme Portaceli

Brandhaarden 2023

Artist Talks Brandhaarden: Carme Portaceli

Internationaal Theater Amsterdam


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Artist Talks Brandhaarden: Carme Portaceli
Internationaal Theater Amsterdam

A look behind the scenes and conversations with the makers make the performance visit even more interesting. That is why ITA Academy organises a series of Artist Talks during Brandhaardens: in-depth discussions with inspiring makers about their work and working methods, motives, sources of inspiration and fascinations. Artist Talks take place after a performance by the artist in question and offer a deeper look at the work in a broader context.

Duration 45 minutes, after the performance
Location Pleinfoyer
Language English

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‘The possibility of falling into cliché is much lower because our vision is much more in line with reality, it is not a projection of our desires. This is why it is so important that we speak about female characters, we are always able to discover things that perhaps nobody discovered before because, generally, history and the world has always been told by men.’

‘I’ve spent my whole career working to give women more visibility both on and off the stage. And I extend that to the characters I want to portray too.’ Carme Portaceli (1955) is a director Portaceli is a director who is both involved and headstrong. She studied art history and has been working as a theatre director and teacher since 1981.

She has been the first female artistic director of the Teatre Nacional of Catalunya since 2019, a position she previously held at Teatro Español in Madrid and at Factoría Escénica Internacional. She has directed more than 70 productions in Spain and abroad and her work has been widely acclaimed.

Some of her most successful productions, What happened after Nora left her husband (2008), They are only women (2015), Jane Eyre (2017) and Frankenstein (2018), make her commitment to the female perspective immediately apparent from their titles alone. She made a contemporary adaptation of Mrs Dalloway, in close collaboration with Michael de Cock with whom she also staged Bovary.-|-As a woman, she is aware of the importance of staging the classics in a new way, ‘It’s high time that women look again, or for the first time, at how female characters are made invisible in theatre and film and approach the world and the subservience to which they have always been subjected from the standpoint of a new awareness.’ She quotes Simone de Beauvoir, ‘On the day when it will be possible for woman to love not in her weakness but in her strength, not to escape herself but to find herself, not to abase herself but to assert herself – on that day love will become for her, as for man, a source of life and not of mortal danger.’ In her staging of Madame Bovary she reveals how for the main character, this search for happiness in love was ‘just a chain that dragged her to the bottom’.