Màscares i moviment

Year 1969
Category Mask theatre
Work Màscares i moviment
Premiere Teatro Romea. Barcelona

The presentation took place within the framework of the then “Dilluns del Romea”, a cycle and theatre directed by Carles Lloret. On the evening of 22 September 1969 there was great expectation. And with the theatre packed to the rafters, the audience discovered something that was very new to them at the time, and that was to witness a show almost entirely dedicated to the art of wearing mask.

Clamorous reaction of audience and critics alike were amazed to see the traditional carnival masks from Catalonia’s festivals on stage for the first time, almost all of them from the workshops of the Ingenio in Barcelona. With this show we opened a new stage of what would be the shows of the company “Els Comediants” for several decades.

It is good to feel, and this is the main function of the pioneer, of the scout who glimpses new horizons in the world of stage creation, it is good, I repeat, because this has often happened to me throughout my career, to take more interest in discover the mines of precious metals that do not set up the exploitation industries of what can be extracted. I would not like to pass over this show without mentioning some aspects of it that were already being heralded as premonitory of what would later become great discoveries.

I refer specifically to a short piece entitled “The Panther”. and that forty years later I have met a spectator who reminded me of the impact this short movement work had on him. I am referring to Mario Gas with whom I recently had the pleasure of working as an actor in a play that premiered at the Teatre Lliure in Barcelona.

I will literally recount what was actually going on inside my young body at the time. Lying on the ground, the panther body -man slowly raises the left arm to a vertical position, then opens the clenched fist as far as the fingers of the hand. Already in itself, this brief gesture entailed, one might call it, a physical dichotomy that partook of the two essences: being human and being a panther. Over the years I have come to understand the enormous privilege we enjoy on this planet that we should never forget, and that is the ability to travel into the essence of any manifestation of creation. It is in itself a sheer joy of fusion and knowledge, and I do not believe that there is any other living entity in nature that has this privileged capacity for transubstantiation,

This enormous availability, which may seem like weakness to some, is in fact what brings us closer to feeling, as I said before, privileged beings of creation. The panther was erecting its body inside what we would guess to be a zoo cage and responding to its vital impulses to start a journey to fruitfully or unfruitfully catch some prey. In this jungle animal, the impulse programmed in its genes was superior to the consciousness of feeling caged by man. So from left to right, between what were supposed to be the side boundaries of the cage, he wandered routinely brushing the bars of his prison before his eyes. Of course, none of what was explained was visible other than the mere movement between haughty and resigned of its absent dynamic (wandering).

After a moment of paroxysm to the right and left, resignation won out over haughtiness and there he abandoned himself once more on the pavement of that imaginary cell. That panther had communicated something very intrinsic to us and as if coming from someone who knows the artifice of our own limitations

It is for me, now seen from a distance, the piece of MASKS AND MOVEMENT that stands out with the greatest interest since, as we shall see in the completion of the itinerary, it already bore the germ of what twelve years later would become THE URBAN MAN. and which we will talk about later in this exhibition. This panther already carried the DNA of a work that would continue for decades.

The premiere at the Romea theatre of MÁSCARAS Y MOVIMIENTO had a celebrated epilogue which was the collaboration with the then also incipient puppet company “La Claca” of Joan Baixas and Teresa Calafell. It was the first time we had presented our work on an Italian-style, large-capacity stage.

In this show, in which we combined glove puppets on a puppet stage and which symbolised power, I commented on the trick of throwing a football at the populace, represented by Celia and myself, therefore “masks”, to distract them and make them forget about their claims.

Performance program, Teatro Romea, 1969


Espectáculo más circense que teatral, sin duda, pero de una innegable calidad, en relación con la ductilidad, la maestría, el dominio absoluto de la expresión corpórea de estos singulares artistas.


El recital espléndido ofrecido por Vidal y Miss Booth está lleno de sutiles encantos, es de una singular variedad de matices y alcanza puntos de expresividad, realmente insospechados.


El público premió su labor con aplausos constantes y realmente entusiastas. La inlgesa y el catalán son maestros en su difícil especdialidad de teatro de máscaras y movimiento.

EL NOTICIERO UNIVERSAL. José Martín.23.09.69

Escenifican lo más básico de la naturaleza humana, lo que afecta a “todo” hombre, en sus esferas más íntimas y también en sus aspectos más primarios. Unos juegos van desde aprender la A a hacer de mantequilla.


Albert y Cee, gracias a un profundo estudio psicológico y a una increíble flexividad física, adaptan el cuerpo a la máscara. Es una labor paciente, obstinada, extenuante en algunos casos. Pero de resultados maravillosos.


Aquí l’actor no era aquell que tenim per costum de veure, sinò un artista que balla, mima, juga amb la veu, treu partit de tots els objectius que manipula, i té mig peu ficat al circ: en suma, un actor, i no un recitador.

PRESENCIA. Albert Boadella