El Conde de Torrefiel is a Barcelona-based project headed by Tanya Beyeler (b. 1980, Switzerland) and Pablo Gisbert (b. 1982, Spain), whose works are the result of an oscillation between literature, visual arts and choreography, that aims to transcend the parameters of verbal language. Having studied theatre and philosophy, Beyeler and Gisbert are also interested in music and contemporary dance.
As theatre authors, musicians, performers, and video-makers, their creations address the notion of imminent temporality, with as a starting point the synchronic analysis of the present, an interrogation of the possibilities of our time. El Conde de Torrefiel intends to understand the existing connections between rationality and the meaning of things determined by language, as well as the abstraction of concepts, the imaginary and the symbolic in relation to the image. The duo’s most recent works focus exclusively on the 21st century and on the existing relationship between the personal and the political; more precisely, between the new forms of totalitarianism and intellectual alienation, between the sense of responsibility and personal freedom.
El Conde de Torrefiel think its work as a series of deliveries, speeches or circumstantial hypothesis about the historical present, a kind of pegs in an unknown path. A long way with a non-visible ending and which is traveled in order to answer a bigger question: How do translate reality into contemporary art?
The project came into existence in 2010 with the piece La historia del rey vencido por el aburrimiento (The story of the king defeated by boredom), followed by Observen cómo el cansancio derrota al pensamiento (Observe how tiredness defeats thought), Escenas para una conversación después del visionado de una película de Michael Haneke (Scenes for a conversation after viewing a Michael Haneke film), La chica de la agencia de viajes nos dijo que había piscina en el apartamento (The girl at the travel agency told us there was a swimming pool in the apartment), La posibilidad que desaparece frente al paisaje (The possibility that disappears in front of the landscape) and the their last work GUERRILLA presented in 2016.
The company starts to attract very soon the attention in the Spanish circuit. The first pieces have given the company a national recognition with their presentations in contemporary theater festivals and venues of the main cities of the country as Teatro Pradillo in Madrid, Festival Temporada Alta in Girona, Festival de Otoño a Primavera, BAD Festival in Bilbao, Festival Escena Abierta in Burgos, Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona or Festival TNT in Terrassa, among others. With Escenas para una conversación después del visionado de una película de Michael Haneke and thanks to favorable reactions from audiences and critics alike, the company started to be present beyond the national borders; first in Latin America and since then, their attendance to european festivals and venues programmings has been more constant.
El Conde de Torrefiel has been presented in venues and festivals as steirischer herbst, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Festival d’Automne de Paris, Short Theater, Festival Transamériques in Montréal, Alkantara Festival, Noorderzon Festival, HtH-CDN Montpellier or Théâtre de Vidy-Lausanne, among others.
LA PLAZA, premiered in 2018 and supported by Alkantara & Maria Matos Teatro (Lisbon), Festival d’Automne & Centre Pompidou (Paris), Festival GREC (Barcelona), Festival de Marseille, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin),
Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main, FOG Triennale Milano Performing Arts, Vooruit (Ghent), Wiener Festwochen (Vienna), Black Box Theater (Oslo), Zurcher Thetaerspektakel (Zürich) is still touring in Europe and, from 2020, in Asia.
In May 2019 El Conde de Torrefiel has created KULTUR, premiered at donaufestival in Krems (Austria). In 2020, El Conde de Torrefiel have created their first piece addressed to a young audience: Los Protagonistas. In the same year, they have presented Se respira en el jardín como en un bosque. Their latest creation, Una imagen interior, has been premiered in May 2022 in the frame of Wiener Festwochen.
Tanya Beyeler (Lugano, 1980)
She lives in Switzerland until the age of 20 until she moves to Spain where she gets her diploma in Drama in 2005. At first, she began to work as an actress in the mode of textual theatre, but time and experience brought her closer to dance and performance. She has studied dramaturgy and Human Sciences in Barcelona. From 2008 on she is part of the artistic team of the dance company La Veronal, directed by the choreographer Marcos Morau. In 2010, she started to create pieces with Pablo Gisbert under the name of El Conde de Torrefiel. As a dramaturge, she has worked in dance projects in Spain and Switzerland with Marcos Morau, Eugénie Rebetez, Olatz de Andrés and the collective Big Bouncers. In 2021 Tanya has been awarded with the Swiss Performing Arts Award.
Pablo Gisbert (Ontinyent, 1982)
After studying philosophy at the University of Valencia, he choses to head studies in dramaturgy in Madrid. He got his Degree in dramaturgy in 2011 by the Institut del Teatre of Barcelona and the same year he gets the the National Accesit prize Marqués de Bradomín, for his text A cinema burns and ten people are burned. He is the dramaturgist of the dance company La Veronal since 2005 with which he won prizes as the Sebastià Guasch for new theatrical activities. In 2013 he was selected for the European dramaturgy platform Fabulamundi: playwriting Europe. Since 2010, he develops his own project with Tanya Beyeler and under the name of El Conde de Torrefiel. Due to the interest that his literature arouses, in 2015 all the texts that Pablo Gisbert wrote for the El Conde de Torrefiel were collected and published in Spanish by the publisher La Uña Rota, under the name of Mierda Bonita. In 2017 the texts of the last two pieces will be published in French by Actualités Èditions.