Belbel, Sergi 1963-
BELBEL, Sergi 1963-
PERSONAL: Born May 29, 1963, in Terrasa, Spain. Education: Studied French and Romance philology.
ADDRESSES: Office—Dept. of Dramatic Literature, Institut del Teatre de la Disputaciò de Barcelona.
CAREER: Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, created theater course, 1983; Institut del Teatre de la Disputaciò de Barcelona, professor of theater literature, beginning 1988; translator, playwright, and director.
AWARDS, HONORS: Marquès de Bradomin Prize, 1985, for A.G./V.W. Calidoscopios y faros de hoy.
A.G./V.W. Calidoscopios y faros de hoy (first performed c. 1985), Centro Nacional de Nuevas Tendencias Escénicas (Madrid, Spain), 1986.
Dins la seva memòria, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1988.
Elsa Schneider, Institut del Teatre de la Diputació de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain), 1988.
En companyia d'abisme: i altres obres, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1990, translation of title play by John London published as Deep Down in Modern International Drama, State University of New York (Binghamton, NY), 1993.
(And director) Tàlem (first produced at the Teatre Romea, Spain, 1990), Editorial Lumen (Barcelona, Spain), 1992, translation by Sharon G. Feldman published as Fourplay in Contemporary Catalan Plays, edited by David George and John London, Methuen (London, England), 2000.
Carícies, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1992, translation by John London published as Caresses in Spanish Plays, edited by Elyse Dodgson and Mary Peate, Nick Hern Books (London, England), 1999.
(With Miquel Górriz) Minim'mal show, E. Climent (Valencia, Spain), 1992.
Després de la pulja, Editorial Lumen (Barcelona, Spain), 1993, translation by John London, Xavier Rodriguez Rosell, and David George published as After the Rain in Klaus Chatten and Sergei Belbel: Sugar Dollies and After the Rain, Methuen (London, England), 1996.
Morir: Un moment abans de morir, Tres i Quatre (Valencia, Spain), 1995.
(With Òscar Roig and Jordi Sànchez) Sóc lletja: Un musical antiestètic, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1997.
Criatures, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1998.
La Sang, Edicions 62 (Barcelona, Spain), 1998.
El tiempo de Planck; La sangre, La Avispa (Madrid, Spain), 2000.
Ivern, Empúries (Barcelona, Spain), 2002.
Has also translated the works of several other dramatists into Catalan; his own works have been translated into several languages, including Spanish, French, German, and English.
ADAPTATIONS: Carícies has been adapted as a film by director Ventura Pons.
SIDELIGHTS: Sergei Belbel was born in the Catalan region of Spain in 1963. After studying the philology of Romance languages, he created the theater course at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 1983. Belbel's first major work of experimental theater, A.G./V.W. Calidoscopios y faros de hoy, garnered him the Marquès de Bradomin Prize in 1985. Though this play, which puts together the characters of French writer André Gide and English novelist Virginia Woolf, originally appeared in Spanish, Belbel has written most of his ouvre in his native Catalan. He has continued to cultivate the experimental in his dramas; indeed, Eduardo Galán in Primer Acto: Cuadernos de Investigacion Teatral stated that Belbel is not interested in telling stories in his plays, but rather in showing moments of human conflict. Galán further noted that Belbel's plays are difficult, closed, complicated, and aimed at a small, intellectual audience. The critic did not mean this in a negative sense, and went on to praise Belbel's 1990 effort En companyia d'abisme for its perfect structure. Belbel's plays have been translated into several languages, including Spanish, French, English, and German. He has also served as a translator himself, making the works of many international dramatists available in Catalan.
One of Belbel's best-known plays is Després de la pulja, which has been translated into English as After the Rain. Després de la pulja is set in the surreal environment of an office rooftop, where everyone goes to smoke in secret because smoking has been banned. This illicit refuge also becomes the scene of burgeoning romances and office politics. The characters include three secretaries who look exactly alike except for their hair color.
Belbel's other plays include Tàlem, in which a husband and wife buy a newly designed bed and insist that their friends make love in it first before they themselves use it. En companyia d'abisme is even more experimental, in that it consists of two characters who must remain completely motionless except for a few special maneuvers that are excruciatingly painful when executed. Carícies is another of Belbel's better-known pieces. The play, which features a variety of different couples in scenes of severe miscommunication, has been adapted as a film by director Ventura Pons.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Assaig de Teatre, September-December, 1998, Sharon G. Feldman, "Dos conversaciones con Sergi Belbel," pp. 219-237.
Estreno, fall, 1998, David George, "The Reception of Sergi Belbel's Despres de la pluja," pp. 50-57.
Lletra de Canvi, March, 1989, Joan Casas, "Sergi Belbel: Faedor de teatre," pp. 7-11.
New York Times, June 8, 1999, Anita Gates, "Big Brother Wants You to Quit Smoking," p. B5.
Primer Acto, March-April, 1990, Eduardo Galán, "Sergi Belbel artifice de la renovacion escenica," pp. 82-88; November-December, 1997, Irene Sadowska, "Tres españoles en Francia," pp. 143-145.
Vanidad, April, 1997, Javier Cortijo, review of Morir, p. 129.
Rutgers University Web site,http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/ (March 21, 2002), "Sergi Belbel."
Terrassa,http://www.terrassa.org/ (May 7, 2002), "Sergi Belbel."*