ATALAYA · History
|In 1983 Ricardo Iniesta set up ATALAYA Teatro Experimental Andaluz, with the idea to create a permanent research group. During the first two years, the group underwent intense actor training and experimentation to perform two pieces of street theatre.
After working with ISTA – directed by Eugenio Barba – and with the Berliner Ensemble, the groups’ director decided to work on poetic theatre. In 1986 Atalaya performed Así que pasen cinco años by Lorca, which spent two months on Madrid billboard and travelled through 40 Spanish provinces.
From there on Atalaya captured its own mark on the Spanish stage, developing performances of different authors; therefore researching different languages.
La rebelión de los objetos by Maiakovski premiered in 1988, was peculiar in the audience, positioned on steps that surrouded the stage. The performance received a warm reception both by the public and the critics. In 1990 Hamletmaschine by Heiner Müller introduced the company to Europe. In 1992 the first work stage with the same team of actors ended. In 1994 Ricardo Iniesta started working on an old project: the creation of an international centre dedicated to theatrical investigation and training, which he named: TNT- Territorio de Nuevos Tiempos.
TNT will be the origin of the new permanent team of Atalaya, which keep on following the intensive work that carachterized the first step of the company activity and in the menawhile constantly enriched its knowledge thanks to the prestigious international tutors that visited the centre. At the same time they kept in permanent contact with new actors that every year took part in the Laboratorio Internacional.
Since 1996 Atalaya produced the following performances: Elektra, Divinas palabras by Valle Inclán, Exiliadas, El Público by Lorca, Medea (la extranjera) and La Ópera de Tres Centavos by Bertolt Brecht, Ariadna, Richard III by Shakespeare and La Celestina (la Tragicomedia). Atalaya is one of the few companies in Spain with a stable team of actors.
In 2003 Atalaya and TNT partecipated – alongside other prestigious names such as Odin Teatret in Denmark and Theatre du Soleil (Arianne Mnouchkine) – as unique Spanish representatives, in Laboratorios Teatrales Europeos como Innovadores Culturales, a programm issued by the European Union.Thanks to this programme and other administrations they organizad – for first time in Spain- the ISTA – International University of Anthropological Theatre, that in 2004 celebrated in Seville and La Rinconada its 12th edition; with an extraordinary participation of 200 people form all over the world and 40 international tutors.
After 25 years of activity Atalaya moved to TNT – International Investigation Center. A dream came true, where besides the performances; the actors and the director had the possibility to develop an investigation work disposing of a modern settllement. The Performing Art Documentation Center published the book “XXV years looking for Utopia. On this occasion, a jury, named by the Ministry of Culture, together with other Spainish theatre personalities, awarded Atalaya with the Theatre National Prize: a big success, being the 51st time that the prize was not given to a company from Madrid or Barcelona.
Atalaya actors belive in three common objectives: daily training, research and constant experimentation of the audience emotions– creativity – and the commitment with a team work and a group philosophy– the ethics.
The trajectory we chose is neither better nor worse than any other artistic team, what we do know is that – as one of our most loved maestros, Esteve Graset (1952-96) said, reciting the words from Ulises- “no importa cuánto tardes en llegar, no importa el final, importa el viaje”. (It doesn´t matter how long it takes to get there, the end doesn´t matter, what really matter is how you got there).
In 2013 we celebrated our anniversary. In this special occasion we presented in Madrid, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Galitzia, Extremadura, Murcia and Andalusia all the 18 performances we released since 1983.
In three-year period 2010-12, at the height of the economic crisis, we realized 310 performances, the highest amount for a Art and Production Center and 155 of them took place in Andalusia.
During these three years Atalaya and TNT travelled through 35 Countries of the four continents: America, Asia, Europe, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, United States of America, China, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark and much more.
In the last three years Atalaya and TNT were awarded 31 prizes, 22 of these gained in the last ten years of activity.