—It’s a world-class show for all the family. Theater Tol is one of the most important passacaglia companies in Europe and a regular guest at open-air theater festivals, for example Theater aan Twater in Belgium. They’ve also taken part in large-scale events, such as the Olympic Games (they put on a series of presentations at London 2012 in the framework of the cultural shows held as part of this sporting event), the opening of the Tour
de France and different celebrations in their country Belgium, where they’re a New Year staple. “The Theatre Tol show is the best example yet that New Year doesn’t begin and end with fireworks”, said Het Laatste Nieuws, the most-read newspaper in Belgium.
—Their shows are interdisciplinary and actively involve the community. They include songs, dance, acrobatics and aerial theater and the audience plays a key role in how the story is told. In the case of El jardín de los ángeles, the audience is the guest of honor at this celebration of love, with various scenes inspired by the paintings of Belorussian-French artist Marc Chagall, who always used to incorporate floating figures in his work.
—It’s an ideal opportunity to look at public areas in a different way. This is TOL’s main aim: for spectators to see where they live with new eyes. That’s why they never perform in conventional theaters and their favorite stages are old factories, parks, town squares or riverbanks.
—Passacaglia: This concept has a dual meaning: it’s either an old courtesan dance developed in Spain or a kind of music with a very lively rhythm that music groups and street musicians used to play at popular seventeenth century street festivals. This term is used nowadays to refer to street theater shows that involve live music.
—Street theater: This is the name given to outdoor theater presentations in public which don’t charge an entrance fee, performed on urban stages so a large number of people can see them. It emerged as a way of emancipating the working-class and reinforcing the revolutionary feeling against the powers-that-be at the beginning of the twentieth century. Later, it was developed as a way of making theater more democratic and of taking it to different parts of the city.
—Aerial theater: This is the name given to a discipline that mixes elements of physical theater and acrobatic techniques in order to tell a story.
—Belgian theater: Belgium is a country with six million inhabitants and an important cutting-edge theater output, explained by a lack of a classical repertoire and by huge institutional support for the discipline. Spanish newspaper El País has highlighted it as “one of the great motors of contemporary European theater”, thanks to names such as Jan Fabre, Miet Warlop, Guy Cassiers, Alain Platel, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Fabrice Murgia and Jan Lauwers.
—Marc Chagall: A Belorussian-French painter (1887-1985), his work was characterized by bright colors and figures from the countryside, religion, magic and dreams. Chagall’s main inspiration came from his childhood memories, which he mixed with his religious beliefs and political engagement.