From the Mercat and faraway. Roberto Oliván, associated artist of Mercat de les Flors


From the Mercat and faraway 

Roberto Olivan belongs at the Mercat. During the last four years he has participated on the associate artists’ programme at the Mercat de les Flors, which has just finished, along with Baró d’Evel, Israel Galván, La Veronal and Mal Pelo. We are all members of the same artistic family, explains the choreographer from Tortosa, who decided to become a dancer in 1995 after seeing the company Rosas at the Mercat de les Flors. This season he appears at this same venue and comes full circle. “Being an associate artist at the Mercat de les Flors is the greatest possible source of pride for a Catalan artist and provides accompaniment and artistic criteria.”

During these four years, Roberto Olivan has presented A Place to Bury Strangers and Lonely Together, the piece that now returns to the stage, created with Gregory Maqoma. He shares an artistic vision with this South African dancer that he sums up in one sentence: Art as a tool, rather than a goal. With this in mind, he launched the Deltebre Dance Festival in 2004. The spirit of the festival is the same as in a show, but instead of lasting an hour, it lasts two weeks, with the audience and the artists exchanging spaces.

Olivan is now faced by a new phase. As the director of a company it’s complicated for me because there aren’t any stable creative centres and some programmers seem to prefer to entertain large audiences rather than go for really authentic productions.

It is difficult to find a compromise, especially for an agile, fluid dancer like Olivan. I need to think about what direction to take, but I have no intention of stopping.

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