Alkantara Festival

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Country and Region PortugalLisboa
Type of Festival Dance, Drama, Music
Location of Festival Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal
Festival Contact Information

Phone: +351 213 152 267
Fax: +351 213 151 368

Festival Description

Alkantara festival links Lisbon to the world with a rich program of adventurous and innovative artistic works, the festival has presented performances by artists coming from Portugal, Australia, India, Turkey, New Zealand, Democratic Republic of Congo, Belgium, Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, USA, Germany, Argentina, Czech Republic, Brazil, Lebanon, France, China, Algeria and Columbia among many others. The performances take place in multiple venues and spaces all over the city (including Auditório Carlos Paredes, Castelo de São Jorge, Centro Cultural de Belém, Culturgest, Espaço Alkantara, Espaço Land, Hospital Miguel Bombarda, Museu da Electricidade/Central Tejo, Museu do Oriente, Palácio Nacional da Ajuda, Maria Matos Teatro Municipal, São Luiz Teatro Municipal, Politécnica, Teatro Meriodional).

Festival Dates May 13 - June 8, 2014
Festival Links

Festival Story:

Alkantara adopted its current name in 2005. It started out in 1993 as a small Portuguese dance platform called Danças na Cidade, with the mission of making visible the work of the first generation of choreographers working in contemporary dance in Portugal. The success of the first editions of the platform led to the creation of the Cultural Association Danças na Cidade in 1995 and the first multi-annual government support in 1996.

Over the years, Danças na Cidade grew into an international dance event, which, although relatively small and poorly funded, became part of the international festival calendar, mainly through its program of ‘new’ values and its unique spirit of exchange. In 1997 it was decided to turn the festival into a biennial event, so as to make the manifestation financially possible. Also, the new biennial rhythm created space for deepening and widening the artistic exchange. A festival is a fantastic meeting place, but meetings tend to be short and shallow. As of 1998, Danças na Cidade started organizing regular international events, in between festivals, dedicated to training, artistic investigation and international exchange. Over the past ten years, hundreds of young artists from all over Europe and the rest of the world have found opportunities to meet, discuss, exchange experiences and create together, in events taking place in Lisbon, Cape Verde, Maputo, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Girona and Cagliari, amongst other places.

In 2005 Danças na Cidade was re-baptized into “alkantara”, the festival’s scope widened from dance to the performing arts and its financial base diversified, through new alliances with the city of Lisbon and partnerships with most of Lisbon’s main venues. At the same time, a more intimate link was created between the festival on the one hand and the many international Encounters and research projects in between festivals on the other hand. In June 2006, an extremely successful first edition of alkantara festival confirmed our options: Danças na Cidade was gone, but alkantara is here to stay.


Festival Events:

Programming 2014:
  • Over 27 days, Lisbon’s most renowned international performing arts festival will present 17 artistic proposals from four continents. The 13th edition of the Alkantara Festival brings 150 artists from all over the world to Lisbon, and also includes a side program with debates and master classes, meetings of national and international professionals, and a vibrant public meeting point.
    Alkantara is a biennial festival that keeps a close watch on the current trends in performing arts and gives voice to artists with a strong personal vision on what is happening around them. Alongside the presentation of performances, Alkantara plays an active role in the creation process through artist residencies and co-productions.
    The performances, organized in close collaboration with the principal cultural institutions of Lisbon, will occupy the main stages of the city: Culturgest, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Teatro Maria Matos, Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, Teatro São Luiz, the Electricity Museum/Fundação EDP, the British Council, and our own Espaço Alkantara.


Other Sources:

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Practical Info:

Tickets and contacts:
  • Would you like to be a part of an international dance and theatre festival? We are looking for volunteers to help us organise the alkantara festival. Task run from April-June. All volunteers should be adults and be available to work either part-time or full-time. If you are interested, please contact and request the volunteer form.


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