Barcelona’s Grec Festival

A sister festival based in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Grec Festival - like LIFT - makes the city it's stage for a month of international performance art.

LIFT is an international festival, so we’re often travelling to festivals around the world to see works and meet artists that might form part of our festival. Whenever we do, we share our insights with colleagues and audiences. But we can’t always travel. We recognise the impact it has on the planet and have a strict policy to guide when we do/don’t travel (more on that to come in another article soon). So when we can’t, we ask colleagues to share their experiences with us.

Grec Festival however is a little closer to home. LIFT’s head of communications and audiences, Alice (that’s me) is based in Barcelona. And we consider Grec Festival a sister festival. Their style, the work they programme and how they take over spaces all across the city very much matches LIFT’s own style. We think they’re great.

Because I am here and have been able to meet and connect with the Grec Festival director Francesc Casadesús Calvó, I was invited to their programme launch. I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the pieces that really stood out to me. If you decide to visit Barcelona (you should!) and need any other recommendations, get in touch, I’m very happy to help!

Grec Festival

Grec Festival (29 June – 28 July) is a flagship festival for Barcelona. It’s a month-long celebration of international and local performance that takes place in venues across the city. Its home is the Teatre Grec, a sunken outdoor amphitheatre in a beautiful garden – a very atmospheric location for a summer festival. The programme includes a mix of dance, music, theatre, circus, cinema and plenty of hybrid, hard-to-put-in-a-box performances.

Here are some of the pieces I am most looking forward to…

The Pulse
Gravity & Other Myths / Cor de Noies de Orfeó Catalá (Orfeó Catalá choir)
Teatre Grec

Watch as a mountain of bodies crumbles into an ocean of voices and towering human structures move with precision through an ever-changing web of rope.” In The Pulse, twenty-six acrobats from Australian ensemble Gravity & Other Myths join thirty-six local voices to create an intricate, organic and thrilling performance.

Find out more:

(The language of the website can be changed to English/Spanish/Catalan above the main menu)

Beethoven 7
Sasha Waltz & Guests / Gran Teatre Del Liceu Symphony Orchestra
Teatre Grec

An innovative company in the European dance scene, Sasha Walz & Guests draw on ideas of revolution and the creation of a new world in this performance. The dancers are accompanied by the Liceu Symphony Orchestra who will be playing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op 92, alongside the experimental electronic creations of Chilean composer Diego Noguera. Composed between the French Revolution and the Restoration, Symphony No. 7 asks whether people are truly free.

Find out more:

The Disappearing Act
Yinka Esi Graves
Mercat de Les Flors

In The Disappearing Act, Jamaican-Ghanaian flamenco dancer Yinka Esi Graves uses the language of dance to express what it’s like to be present but ignored by the world. Her performance refers to “crypsis”, the ability of some animals to avoid observation, either as a form of defence or as a predatory tactic. Her starting point is the Degas painting Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando, and the Lumière brothers’ film featuring flamenco dancer Jacinto Padilla/El Negro Meri. Both expose the ‘invisibilisation’ of Black artists in the history of art.

Find out more:

Damien Jalet & Kohei Nawa
Mercat de Les Flors

Seven faceless performers construct a collective body. Franco-Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet and dancer and Japanese visual artist Kohei Nawa come together in a sculptural dance that blurs the lines between artistic genres. The performance draws on the Kojiki, the oldest Japanese mythological book evoking the creation of the world.

Find out more:


Grec Festival takes place in Barcelona from 29 June to 28 July 2023.

Find the full programme here:




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