ICEC and IRL present a focus on Catalan children's and young people's theater at the French festival Petits et Grands
ICEC and IRL present a focus on Catalan children's and young people's theater at the French festival Petits et Grands

• Three Catalan theatre companies are set to perform at the Petits et Grands festival in Nantes, which will also feature a conference for industry professionals consisting of a networking event, a round table discussion and a presentation given by leading representatives of the industry in Catalonia.

The Petits et Grands children's and youth theatre festival, which takes place from 27 to 30 March in Nantes (France), will feature a special Catalan showcase, with the collaboration of the Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies (ICEC), its internationalisation brand, Catalan Arts, and Institut Ramon Llull. Three Catalan theatre companies will perform their creations as part of the festival's programme: La Bleda, with their show Superbleda, at the Château des ducs de Bretagne; Xirriquiteula Teatre, with Laika, at the Maison de Quartier de Doulon; and Blink Flash, presenting their show Blink Flash Dunkan at the Nantes National Choreography Centre (CCNN). The programme also includes a professional conference devoted to the Catalan sector, which will be held on 28 March at the Château des ducs de Bretagne, and will consist of a round table discussion and a presentation about the children's and youth theatre sector in Catalonia. The conference will conclude with a networking event to encourage interaction between Catalan professionals and the rest of the accredited industry professionals involved in Petits et Grands.

The round table discussion will focus on the topic of ‘La vitalité de la création jeune public en Catalogne’ (‘The vitality of creation for child and young audiences in Catalonia'), and will include the participation of Pol Gil, the executive director of Mostra d'Igualada, Cristina Garcia, co-chair of the Professional Theatre Association for All Audiences of Catalonia (TTP), and Eulàlia Ribera, director of the El Més Petit de Tots festival, LaSala Miguel Hernández theatre in Sabadell, and president of ASSITEJ Spain. Rounding out the line-up of panellists is Cyrille Planson, director of Petits et Grands festival. The round table discussion will be chaired by Eva Colom and Raül David Martínez, Paris delegates of the Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies and the Institut Ramon Llull, respectively.

Prior to that, however, Sílvia Lorente, executive director of Mostra d'Igualada from 2015 to 2017 and producer of the company Nats Nus Dansa, will provide an overview of the situation of performing arts for the whole public in Catalonia with a talk entitled ’Les clés du secteur jeune public en Catalogne’ (‘The key features of the child and youth sector in Catalonia’).

In addition to this event highlighting the performing arts in Catalonia, the Petits et Grands festival will also stage a total of 40 shows over the course of five days at the Chateau des ducs de Bretagne and across 30 other venues around Nantes. In total, audiences will be able to enjoy a programme of 100 performances at different locations in Nantes for an audience of 12.000 people. All of the companies on the bill for this fifth edition of the festival are French, aside from the three previously-mentioned Catalan companies, and one from Belgium.

The festival will also host the final stage of the ‘Tour d'Enfance’, part of ‘États Généraux Arts Vivants, Enfance et Jeunesse’, organized by Scènes d'Enfance, the main body of ASSITEJ (the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) in France, together with a network of national actors that support the sector of children's and youth theatre. The tour, which is set to conclude in Nantes, has addressed subjects such as ‘the challenges of creation for adolescents’ and the ‘diversity of contemporary writing’.

The Petit et Grands association created the festival in 2011 and has become one of the essential events in the calendar of the children's and youth theater sector in France thanks to the wide network of contacts and the diversity of business initiatives in the The cultural sphere of its organizers. In this way, the event is positioned as a point of reference for professionals and at the same time preserves its action of cultural mediation with the family public, looking for a balance between the spectators.

The presence of 3 Catalan companies in the festival this year is due to the relationship with the festival programmers promoted by the offices of the ICEC and the IRL in Paris, which entailed the assistance of Cyrille Planson at the Mostra d 'Igualada 2018, a strategic market in the sector in Catalonia, where they could learn about the reality of Catalan childhood creation and the work of the different companies that exhibit their shows.

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