Ibero-Americano Festival – Bogota

For the past month I have been living in Carmen de Viboral, the same city I visited when last in Colombia training and collaborating with Carpetbag Brigade Physical Theater (USA) and Nemcatacoa Teatro (Colombia).

I have been in full rehearsals each day in order to produce an acrobatic stilt production ‘Dios de Adrenalina’ ready to present at the Ibero-Americano Festival in Bogota at the end of March.

I arrived to this little town Carmen de Viboral, a half hour car journey from Medellin (the city built with Cocaine money) on the back of the airport security guards motorbike at 5 in the morning. A delayed flight resulting in a 48 hour journey from the UK meant that no one from either companies was at the airport to greet me. Through the morning fog we rode; me clinging to all my belongings and stilts. The first of many great adventures!

Being back in Colombia, and in particular Carmen de Viboral has been both comforting and claustrophobic. Our presence here is extremely well received and we have been accepted by the locals who are both excited about us as people and our art. I have taken the little town for granted in some respects, now not noticing the horses tied to the posts outside the drinking holes, the stray dogs strolling beside us back to the casa and the locals sniggering at our fashion or lack of it!

Rehearsals for ‘Dios de Adrenalina’ have been busy with a tight deadline. This time we are not only two theatre groups collaborating, but also two music groups: La Hojarasca (Colombia) and Verbobala (USA-Mexico) have been working with us to create a sound score which they perform live for each performance. This has therefore created another texture of intricate collaboration to the project.

We have performed ‘Dios de Adrenalina’ twice while in Carmen de Viboral…dress rehearsals ready for Bogota.

I now sit in the main theatre for the VIA festival, actors flurry around on the phone, looking as if the call will change their lives. There is a nervous energy about the place, or perhaps it because presently we have nowhere to stay tonight!

Being back in Bogota feels unreal right now. Having only just landed from the 9 hour bus ride from Medellin, I am blurry eyed and ready for a good meal, though meetings come first.

There are only two of us here from Carpetbag Brigade, the rest have stayed in Carmen de Viboral as we try to get organised for our time here performing at the festival and arrange accommodation, contracts and rehearsal space.

With the Ibero-americano festival beginning in a few days my time here in Colombia is about to get very hectic. I am excited at finally performing both ‘Callings’ and ‘Dios de Adrenalina’ for audiences that have like me travelled from afar to be here.

View Carpetbag Brigades latest videos of my time in Colombia creating ‘Dios de Adrenalina’:

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