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Artists pay tribute to Chilean town with high-flying performance

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 01:08

Catalan theater group La Fura dels Baus performs to Beethoven's 9th Symphony at an event designating Valdivia in southern Chile the ''American Capital of Culture 2016.'' Rough Cut - Subtitled (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Members of the Catalan theater company La Fura dels Baus performed in southern Chile on Saturday (January 16) in a high-flying, acrobatic event with some 200 local and regional acrobats and musicians, opening a special year for one Chilean city. The event took place in Valdivia, approximately 848 kilometers (527 miles) south of Chile's capital Santiago, and marked the inauguration of the naming of Valdivia as the American Capital of Culture of 2016. The designation was made by the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals, a Spain-based non-governmental organization that has designated one city in the western hemisphere the "American Capital of Culture" each year since 2000. An orchestra composed of the Philharmonic of the Region of Los Rios, the Chamber Orchestra of Valdivia and the Choir of the Universidad Austral de Chile collaborated to perform an accompanying interpretation of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. At least ten members of La Fura dels Baus arrived in Valdivia on January 3 and spent nearly two weeks teaching an intensive training workshop in which volunteers learned the company's techniques. La Fura dels Baus, whose name means "The Ferret from Els Baus," is a street art and theater performance troupe founded in Barcelona in 1979. Well known for breaking the wall between spectacle and spectators, they often incorporate the participation of local acrobats, dancers and other artists into their performances. The group produced the opening ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic games. According to La Fura dels Baus, Saturday's performance was a tribute to the brotherhood between man and nature. It involved the use of oversized props that were transported from Spain to Chile in shipping containers, including a giant flying condor and glowing human sculpture. La Fura's acrobats danced in the air suspended by cables and volunteers created a "human net" secured by harnesses and cables attached from above to a crane. Valdivia's local newspaper Diario Austral reported that a crowd of over 50,000 people attended the performance. The International Bureau of Cultural Capitals aims to model itself after the European Union's European Capital of Culture program, which selects one European city per year to host a series of cultural events. Valdivia began its yearlong designation as "American Capital of Culture" on January 1. In past years Mérida, Mexico; Quito, Ecuador; Córdoba, Argentina; Brasilia, Brazil, as well as three other Chilean cities have received the same title from the organization.

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Artists pay tribute to Chilean town with high-flying performance

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 01:08