Tag Archives: Luis Antonio de Villena

The 2015 LOEWE Poetry Prize, again in America

Cuban poet Víctor Rodriguez Núñez (Havana, 1955) has won the 28th LOEWE Foundation International Poetry Prize for his book despegue (take-off). The jury, integrated by Francisco Brines, José Manuel Caballero Bonald, Antonio Colinas, Óscar Hahn, Cristina Peri Rossi, Soledad Puértolas, Jaime Siles, Luis Antonio de Villena, and chaired by Victor Garcia de la Concha, has chosen a book which they found courageous, authentic, and able to link irrationalism with social immediacy. The LOEWE Young Poets Prize has been given to Carla Badillo Coronado from Ecuador (Quito, 1985) for her book El color de la granada (the colour of the pomegranate).

JoséManuelCaballero Bonald,JaimeSiles,SoledadPuértolas,VíctorGarcíadelaConcha,LuisAntoniodeVillena,EnriqueLoewe,JesúsGarcíaSánchez,SheilaLoewe,ÓscarHahn,FranciscoBrines,AntonioColinas-foto Álvaro ToméOn November 11, at the LOEWE Store in Gran Vía in Madrid, and after a few loving words remembering the recently deceased Carlos Bousoño, the names of the winners were made public in a ceremony attended by the members of the Jury and by Enrique and Sheila Loewe, Honorary President and Director of the LOEWE Foundation, respectively.

This year, 30 books have been finalists among the 801 entries submitted from 29 different countries, 27% of them from Latin America. The LOEWE Poetry Prize awards an unpublished work of 300 verses and a Young Poets Prize is given to a poet under 30.

Víctor Rodríguez Núñez

Luis Antonio de Villena began his presentation of the awarded book, despegue, highlighting the importance of Cuba “as one of the most important creation places for the Spanish language”. He explained how the origin of Víctor Rodríguez Núñez -born in Havana and currently living in the United States- has influenced his “criticism towards Cuban reality from an outside point of view” and the “communicative and baroque protest in this book in face of a world that must ‘take-off’. His deep knowledge on poetic tradition allows him to renovate and “to play with the shadow of a sonnet”, in words of Luis Antonio de Villena.

Carla Badillo Coronado-foto Mark Alvarez

Poet Antonio Colinas emphasised the “maturity” of Carla Badillo Coronado and her poetry. To him, her verses mean a public defense addressing symbology in a quite complex perspective for her age. The struggle of the pairing life-death and a “subtle skepticism that shakes the reader both forcefully and directly”, creates “a book that makes us feel and think about the limits of life, always with an extraordinary expressive sobriety”.

Next March the members of the Jury will meet the poets at the Prize Ceremony and the presentation of their books, which will be published by Visor publishing house.

Photographs: José Manuel Caballero Bonald, Jaime Siles, Víctor García de la Concha, Soledad Puértolas, Luis Antonio de Villena, Enrique Loewe, Chus Visor, Sheila Loewe, Óscar Hahn, Francisco Brines and Antonio Colinas © Álvaro Tomé for LOEWE Foundation, 2015. Víctor Rodríguez Núñez © Katherine M Hedeen and Carla Badillo Coronado © Mark Álvarez.

Hay Festival in Segovia

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The LOEWE Foundation has returned last weekend to the Hay Festival in Segovia, “Imagine the World”, with reflections and poetry.

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In the Gardens of the Convent of los Padres Carmelitas, within the context of the V Centenary of Teresa de Jesús, there was a special remembrance of the prodigious meeting between her and Juan de la Cruz in the sixteenth century, a historic moment for spirituality and mystic creation. Antonio Colinas, Clara Janés, José María Muñoz Quirós, Luis Alberto de Cuenca and Carlos Aganzo, approached them from their own poetic thought.

Antonio Lucas -winner of the LOEWE Poetry Award- and journalist Jesús Ruiz Mantilla analysed at the Church of San Nicolás, together with the film director and screenwriter Fernando León de Aranoa, his film A perfect day. The emotions and relationship between international voluntary workers living critical and frightening situations -both unreal and dramatic- led their conversation. “I like reality, but not realistic forms”, said the filmmaker. In the movie, a well contaminated by a corpse thrown inside with the evil will to intoxicate the water, brings irrational situations to the protagonists. León de Aranoa wished to reflect in his film a “living and brilliant energy… not melancholic”. Voluntary workers frequently turn to humour to overcome difficult situations. The conversation inevitably led to the situation that currently refugees live. León de Aranoa remembered that unfortunately this is a “recurrent problem in History”. It is necessary to “look for the source of the problem” and not to fall, as Antonio Lucas said, “into a false sense of goodness in the distribution of refugee quotas”.

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In the last talk of the day supported by the LOEWE Foundation, also in the same Church, the journalist Manu Llorente spoke with Luis Antonio de Villena -man of letters and Jury of the LOEWE Poetry Award- about the situation of culture nowadays. Villena laments the current arid situation that has resulted “not from the lack of creation but from the absence of audience.” The poet believes that “only those with the best knowledge should go to university. It is not a place for everyone, only the best people from all economic levels should be able to attend university.” In his opinion, the lack of interest of young people in culture is a consequence of their precarious education and he insisted in culture as a fundamental condition in the formation of individuals. But he warns: “culture is a right for all and, if it is deficient, it will need the support of the government to survive.”

Photographs: Talk at the Gardens of the Convent of los Padres Carmelitas. Antonio Lucas, Fernando León de Aranoa y Jesús Ruiz Mantilla; Luis Antonio de Villena y Manu Llorente at the Church of San Nicolás © Javier Salcedo, 2015.

The Gran Teatre del Liceu welcomes the swans of the English National Ballet

The English National Ballet (ENB), directed by the Spanish dancer Tamara Rojo, will be dancing Swan Lake, perhaps the most popular title of the entire repertoire of classical ballet. With these performances, starting September 16, the Gran Teatre del Liceu opens a new dance season sponsored by the LOEWE FOUNDATION.

English National Ballet, Swan Lake in the round technical rehearsal

The version that ENB will be performing in Barcelona was staged by Derek Deane -former Director of the company- using the original score by Tchaikovsky. As Tamara Rojo explains, “it continues the British tradition based on Nicholas Sergeyev’s revival, from the notation written by Petipa and Ivanov for the original ballet; it was made for the Ninette de Valois’s Vic-Wells Ballet in 1934”. This production, she says, “emphasizes the virtuosity of both the corps de ballet and the soloists, holding until the end of the ballet all the dramatic tension.”

English National Ballet, Swan Lake in the round technical rehearsal

The company that Tamara Rojo leads has become very popular among the English people since its foundation in 1950. Rojo says it has been “honouring the great classical ballet without sacrificing modern works, and promoting the creativity of contemporary choreography”. ENB, during the past decades, has developed as a “travelling company, both in England and in the rest of the world” and for that reason, explains its Director, it has extended “the love for dance on the basis of artistic excellence and creativity.” Tamara Rojo says that being able to direct ENB is “the culmination of my artistic aspirations because it allows me to address important aspects about the practice of our art that would be impossible for me as a dancer.” She also admits to be interested in the “artistic challenges associated to the strategies that make possible to integrate the artistic, commercial and creative goals for our company and to achieve the purposes of artistic excellence, sustainability and commitment to social responsibility”.

TamaraRojoEncuentroLOEWEDanzaLiteraturaThe last time Rojo was on this same stage back in 2010, she was still Principal Dancer with London’s Royal Ballet. “I danced Sleeping Beauty about the time the Spanish football team won the World Cup,” she jokes. She returns to the Liceu to meet an audience that has always treated her “with love” and that she defines as “very enthusiastic”.
In 2008 Tamara Rojo participated, together with poet Luis Antonio de Villena in the LOEWE TALK Dance-Literature held at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid. It was moderated by Elna Matamoros, adviser of the LOEWE FOUNDATION. Rojo remembers that event, on dance and literature, as “very satisfactory”. She emphasizes the importance of “linking dance with other arts such as poetry or painting, which are complementary”. A summary of the talk can be downloaded from the link at the end of this article [only in Spanish].

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More information at 90253 33 53 (www.liceubarcelona.cat).

Photographs: Swan Lake performed by the English National Ballet with Tamara Rojo and Matthew Golding © Arnaud Stephenson for ENB, 2013. Tamara Rojo at the LOEWE TALK Dance-Literature © Residencia de Estudiantes, 2008.