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AFRICA & THE CARRIBEAN

Since 1999, Javier López Piñón has established intensive contacts with colleagues in West and South Africa and he has embarked upon researching contemporary and traditional African theatre.

"There is an inspiring theatre life going on over there. Even if the conditions are often precarious, theatre in Africa tends to reflect seriously on contemporary issues and the freedom with which actors and directors choose their styles and material, incorporating drama, music and dance seemlessly into the fabric of their productions, has a great appeal to any audience”.

His concern with the (lack of) professional training facilities has led to his engagement with training centres in several countries in West Africa. In the Bénin Republic, Javier has been invited as one the members of the international "Comité Scientifique" of the Ecole Internationale de Théâtre du Bénin, a theatre school founded by his colleague Dine Alougbine. He has been teaching all cohorts from the foundation of the school in 2004 onwards. Since 2015 the EITB issues an official Bachelor degree. In neighbouring Togo, he as been involved in the activities of the Studio Théâtre d'Art Lomé (STAL) by colleague Rodrigue Norman, offering a professional training programme of related intensive workshops over a three year period. He has been involved in the programme of the Ecole Nationale de Théâtre et Danse in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and he recently presented workshops in Niamey (Niger). A logical continuation of his work in West Africa has brought him to the Caribbean, where he has presented workshops and training modules in Haïti as well as the French Antilles.

Future initiatives are to be expected, especially in Guinea (Conakry) and Burkina Faso.

In South-Africa, in the wake of the Freebirds-project (2002) an ongoing training programme has been set up bringing together Dutch and South African colleagues, with the aim of developing local talent. From the start, Javier has been involved in this programme that finally has been transfered completely to South African artists and institutions.

" There is so much to discover, so much to exchange; my Master thesis on the subject of intercultural theatre making in West Africa is only the first step in an ongoing research into the artistic possibilities of a new music theatre that is appearing on a global scale.”

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Repertoire

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Director's diary

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