Our Work in Barcelona

Our ongoing work in Cataluyna has become one of the foundations of the Hunter Heartbeat method as it continues to develop. We partner with actors from AADPC and the children, staff and parents of Escuela Espeical Montserrat Montero . We play and perform in Catalan, developing our games and our performances with this extraordinary community.

Heartbeat Hellos become Batecs del cor hola

Montserrat Montero

There’s a school at the top of a hill outside Barcelona. To the west you can see the jags and peaks of Montserrat mountain and yellow mimosa fills your eyes and senses. This is a special school. Una Escuela Especial. So called because the children have special needs. But when I first arrived some years ago the ‘special’ hit me with a force of nature and every cell of my being wanted to return again and again whatever the odds. The special is the people. The teachers with their wide open hearts, souls and spirits – funny, welcoming and kind, hugging and kissing the children as if it were christmas every day. And the children having that as their normal. Their normal is special. And the games I’ve made – that require hands, bodies and souls to be in contact with each other – land with these people as naturally as the blossoms land on the soil of their hills. And every time I’ve been in this place, I’ve found new ways of seeing and listening and understanding how to communicate. A week ago, twenty children and eleven actors performed El somni d’una d’estiu to an audience of just over one hundred people in an ancient medieval hospital in Granollers. Light shone through the high windows and the children’s light of courage, humour and pride shone into all of us. The audience are mainly parents and grandparents and siblings and aunts and uncles and neighbours of the children – so full of love. Many of whom I recognise now as this is the third time I’ve made a performance with their children. And through our tears and our hugs it never feels real, it feels like a dream Like far off mountains turned into clouds… where everything seems double… and I am not sure I am awake… My thanks to Alex Casanovas, President of AADPC, for seeing what I do and believing in me. One person believing another is enough to create miracles.
Kelly Hunter June 2019

The Hunter Heartbeat games are created and developed by working directly with people with autism. Anna first played with us in 2017 and she’s still playing. When we first met her, she asked us to make her a ‘hugging game’ which we did the following year for our production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This game became our Cobweb and Bee game – which is also used to great effect in UCL’s scientific research – and is entirely thanks to Anna. Here she is on the very first day we met her.

The children playing games of Titania and Bottom and taking such pleasure with their eye contact.

Diary

March 2020
Two weeks workshops at Escuela Especial Montserrat Montero with actors from AADPC. Performances of Pericles. Venue TBC

June 2019
One weeks workshop at Escuela Especial Montserrat Montero, with actors from AADP Performance of El somni d’una d’estiu- at Sala Francesc Tarafa, Granollers.

July 2018
One weeks workshop with Tot per Tu in Montcada y Reixac. Performance of El somni d’una d’estiu at Espai Cultural Kursaal, Montcada y Reixac.

March 2018
Residency with La Kompanyia Teatre Lliure and Escuela Especial Montserrat Montero.
Performance of El somni d’una d’estiu at Espai Lliure.

April 2017
Residency with La Kompanyia Teatre Lliure and Escuela Especial Montserrat Montero.
Performance of La Tempestad at Espai Lliure.

First days with children and La Kompanyia actors in 2017 – playing games of the Tempest.

El somni d’una d’estiu- at Sala Francesc Tarafa, Granollers.