Tanya Beyeler

Tanya Beyeler - Entete
© BAK / Charlotte Krieger

Tanya Beyeler

Disquieting stage narratives

Swiss Performing Arts Award 2021

Tanya Beyeler was born in 1980 in Lugano, where she also grew up. Since 2010 she has lived in Spain, where she set up the contemporary theatre group El Conde de Torrefiel with Pablo Gisbert. Having originally trained in spoken theatre, she soon turned to performance and dance, working with artists including La Ribot, Xavier le Roy and Romeo Castelucci. In addition to works with her partner Pablo Gisbert she is active as a dramaturge in dance projects, including a number by the Swiss Eugénie Rebetez. Her visually powerful aesthetic, which blends choreography, text and the visual arts, soon brought the group to international attention: El Conde de Torrefiel can regularly be seen not only in Spain but also in French- and German-speaking Switzerland; in international co-productions, it makes regular guest appearances at renowned festivals including Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, the Steirischer Herbst in Graz and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

The first work by the Barcelona-based group, “La historia del rey vencido por el aburrimiento” (“The Story of the King Overwhelmed by Boredom”, 2010) highlights – as does the company’s name – Tanya Beyeler’s playful approach to the relationships between rationality and the meaning of language. Of the nine works to date, others also have long titles that, like “Scenes for a Conversation after Viewing a Film by Michael Haneke” (2011), inspire whole trains of thought. In their most recent works “Guerilla” (2016) and “La Plaza” (2018), the duo tackle current concerns that mix the personal and the political. In “Los Protagonistas” (2020), Tanya Beyeler and Pablo Gisbert reached out for the first time to a young audience. “Ultraficción” (2021) will be performed in spring 2022 at the Wiener Festwochen.

Born in Lugano but a citizen of the world, Tanya Beyeler has, over the last ten years, developed a unique aesthetic that is a dynamic blend of theatre, choreography, literature and plastic art. Her works – produced in collaboration with Pablo Gisbert under the name El Conde de Torrefiel – question the paradigms of our age and the relationships between the personal and the political at the interface of individual freedom and collective responsibility. Through a profound metaphysics of the image, Tanya Beyeler’s poetry invites us to construct sense and meaning where the stage once again becomes a place against which we measure our time and the society in which we live.

Cristina Galbiati, jury member