What we see and what we know (A practical workshop on performing arts creation)

A workshop aimed at actors, playwrights, directors, dancers and choreographers interested in contemporary performing arts creation
From 12/07/2021 to 17/07/2021
Monday to Saturday from 10a.m. to 2p.m.
More information

Total hours: 24h


Course description

This course will be taught in person. Should it ultimately not be possible to hold the course at the Sala Beckett, it will be cancelled.

This shot is taken from the film Happiness by Todd Solondz. What we see is a scene from a dinner between a son and his father. This is an agreeable image with clear colours, without shadows. We could say that we are looking at an image without any contrasts, an image that we understand very well and that we know how to read: a father with a slight hint of authority, a healthy son with a faint smile and a table with abundant food.  There is no tension in what we see nor in what we hear (the father explains to his son that until he is thirteen years old, he cannot stay at home alone and the son understands this). The tension, in fact, lies in the relationship between what we see and what we know: we know, due to a previous  scene, that the father is a paedophile and that he is planning to drug and rape his son’s best friend. From here on, the way we have of looking at the image changes radically.

In the book Ways of Seeing, John Berger says: “The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled”. If we think about the theatre that is of interest to ATRESBANDES, we realise that it always fulfils this premise: what we know as spectators and what we see is always in conflict, it is not resolved and this fact generates a contrast, a tension that captivates us, that excites us. Being aware of this common trait that, for us, artistic expression has, helps us as creators to decide whether what we have before us might also interest others or not. Therefore, it becomes an essential tool for choosing or ruling out the performing arts material that we will present which is, ultimately, what we as stage creators do: decide on what we show and what we do not.

In this workshop we will put the focus on this relationship between seeing and knowing, and we will analyse how the performing arts offer us the possibility of manipulating it, making use of textual, visual and sound tools. Specifically, we will share practical examples that put into play the relationship between what the spectator knows and sees. We will use different examples of visual works (comics, paintings, photographs, films) to analyse this relationship. These examples will be the starting point for different performing arts capsules that the workshop participants will create.

An idea by Mònica Almirall, Miquel Segovia and Albert Pérez Hidalgo

Taught by Albert Pérez Hidalgo

Within the GREC 2021 Festival of Barcelona.


Mònica Almirall Batet, Miquel Segovia Garrell and Albert Pérez Hidalgo form the company ATRESBANDES. Although it is difficult to catalogue their work, all that they do shares a common trait: to advocate for an experimental type of theatre where the investigation process is fundamental. Since 2011, they have travelled an eclectic trajectory with shows in different formats with different themes. Their first works (Solfatara, Locus Amoenus and All in) form a kind of trilogy about the individual and the different forms the individual finds to express (or not) his or her interior. These three plays have been shown at different theatres and festivals in Europe, such as the Teatre Rond Point in Paris, the Piccolo in Milan or the BE Festival in Birmingham, where Solfatara won the audience prize and the prize for the best play.

From 2017 ATRESBANDES began a new phase that would be marked by its collaboration with other living arts groups. L’últim sopar is a collaboration with the Belgian-English company Reckless Sleepers (FIOT Festival in Carballo and Sala Hiroshima, 2018). Coda is a stage collage that revolves around the life and works of Dmitri Shostakovich with the music of the Quartet Brossa (Teatre Grec, 2019). Última Thule is a dance piece created for HOTEL – Col·lectiu Escènic (Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, 2019). And finally, It Don’t Worry Me, in complicity with the duo formed by Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas, was premiered at the Teatre Lliure in January 2020.

In parallel with its creation work, the company also teaches performing arts workshops in which is shares the tools for creation that it uses in its work. The workshops are always linked to the creative moment of the company and have the aim of opening up the rehearsals room to share ways of doing things in front of the abyss that is the empty space.

Another activity parallel to the creation of performing arts pieces has been the curatorship of the project CROQUIS in Barcelona. From 2014 to 2017 the company promoted, together with the Sala Beckett and the Centre Cívic Can Felipa, an exhibition of works for the stage in the phase of creation. The aim of the project was to provide a space for artistes of live performing arts who wanted to share sketches, ideas or experiments in creative work with an audience that, anonymously and in writing, could express its thoughts with respect to what it had just seen. The project was awarded the Injuve prize in the year 2014.

Important information

Admission to the course will be based on order of arrival and CV assessment, which should be sent (with photograph included), filling in the form on the right.

Places on courses are limited. Places will be reserved once the course amount has been paid. Payment must be made within one week of receiving the corresponding acceptance email.

The dates indicated for each course or seminar may be subject to variations in exceptional circumstances. These will be notified when applicable.

For the course to take place, a minimum number of students must be registered. If this number is not reached, the course will be cancelled and the student will have the option of registering for a different course (providing that there are places available) or alternatively will receive a refund of the amount paid (100%). If a student withdraws, a refund of 75% of the registration fee will be applicable, providing that written notice is given at least 10 days before the start of the course.

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