HCA NEWS HCA Ambassadors appointed in Spain

At a press conference Thursday evening in the Retiro Park in Madrid, HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark appointed four Spanish Hans Christian Andersen ambassadors and Secretary General of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Lars Seeberg, presented the Spanish 2005 Andersen bicentenary projects. The Danish Ambassador to Spain, Christopher Bo Bramsen, hosted the event.

By Mikkel Stjernberg - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 04 June 2004

The Spanish press was well represented at the Retiro Park in Spain Thursday evening where the Danish Ambassador to Spain hosted a press conference where the Spanish Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors were appointed and the Spanish Hans Christian Andersen 2005 bicentenary projects were presented.

HRH Princess Benedikte appointed the four Spanish Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors. In her speech the Princess touched on Andersen's insatiable curiosity for foreign culture, science, technology, different religions and above all children's imaginative world of fairies and trolls.

"In 2004 we still experience fairytales. Naturally, I am thinking of the Royal Weddings in Copenhagen and Madrid, and just how much Andersen would have loved them with all their glitz and glamour and colourful gowns, gala uniforms and flags. His fairytales are famous among adults and children worldwide, and with the upcoming Andersen bicentenary we are all set to rediscover his work. We are to share and explore the insight, passion and timelessness his stories relate - and Spain is an essential part of this," Princess Benedikte said.

Princess Benedikte then presented the Ambassadors with the official 24-carat red and white gold Ambassador needle and the official Hans Christian Andersen dinner service designed by Lin Utzon.

The four Spanish Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors are:

Carmen Posadas, writer
José María Merino, writer
Ricardo Melchior Navarro, President of Tenerife
Tamara Rojo, ballerina

Andersen is back
As a part of the ceremony, Secretary General of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Lars Seeberg, presented the Spanish Andersen bicentenary projects that feature exhibitions, scientific seminars, educational projects, special musical events, audio visual artworks, theatre performances and different tourist related initiatives.

"There is no doubt that sun-drenched, exotic Spain ignited a new sensuality in the otherwise frostbitten soul of the aging poet when travelling in Spain. Now Hans Christian Andersen is back. Hopefully just as spirited and surprising as when he first wrote his poems in the Spanish moonlight. I am sure the many bicentenary events featured worldwide will allow us to revisit Hans Christian Andersen and experience whole new aspects of an otherwise familiar authorship," Lars Seeberg said.

Hans Christian Andersen projects in Spain 2004/2005:

The Royal Danish Embassy in Madrid, being the base for the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation in Spain, has coordinated a series of activities to celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of the great universal writer Hans Christian Andersen. The activities are carried out in collaboration with public institutions, associations, foundations and companies in Spain. The Danish-Spanish cultural foundation "Reina Isabel de Dinamarca" will collaborate with the Embassy on all of the activities. The majority of the projects are carried out in collaboration with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

The upcoming activities will first and foremost take place¬ during the period from September 2004 to the end of the year 2005 and we intend to cover the entire geographical area of Spain where possible.


Educational project:
The Danish University of Education's Centre for Children's Literature has elaborated an educational project based on Hans Christian Andersen, both on his person and on his works. The educational project is regarded as inspiration for schoolteachers in primary school and includes a summary of articles about Andersen, his works, the era he lived in and other themes, as well as concrete suggestions how to implement it in the lessons.

The project directed to Spain will be launched on the Internet from august 2004. It is the wish of the Embassy wish that all schoolteachers of primary school in all of Spain will have the possibility to organize classes or feature weeks about Hans Christian Andersen with reference to the bicentennial of his birth.

On the initiative of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, a seminar dedicated to Hans Christian Andersen has been organized. It will be held at the International University of Menéndez Pelayo in the city of Santander from the 28th of June to the 3rd of July 2004. The title of the seminar is "Andersen, swan's wing: the actualisation of a myth (1805-2005)" and is coordinated by the professor Jaime García Padrino and the Royal Danish Embassy in Madrid. People from both the Spanish and Danish world of children's literature will participate in the seminar.


"Hans Christian Andersen"
This exhibition is produced by Odense City Museums (Andersens' native town). The exhibition tells the story of the life of Andersen through photos and documents that refers to his world and era.

The exhibition is itinerant and will exhibit in public libraries, in schools and/or in cultural centres in many parts of Spain from September 2004 to the end of the year 2005.

"Andersen, a journey to Spain"
The association "Amigos del Libro Infantil y Juvenil" produces this exhibition and the commissioners of the exhibition are: Alicia Muñoz and Francisco Clement.

The exhibition illustrates and demonstrates Andersen's journey in Spain in 1862, which is emphasized by his own words through descriptions, thoughts and anecdotes. The exhibition is completed with other boards, especially addressed to children and consists of reproduced scenes from the most popular stories of the Danish author and illustrated by Spanish artists.

The exhibition is itinerant and will exhibit in public libraries and/or in cultural centres throughout Spain.


Grupo Anaya
In 2005, the publishing group Anaya will publish a series of editions of Andersen's stories, among others an illustrated edition of Andersen's complete stories. The original Spanish illustrations, realised by four Spanish illustrators, which will be used in this new edition, will also be displayed in a travel-exhibition.

Alianza Editorial will republish the travel book "Viaje por España" which Andersen wrote after his journey to Spain in 1862. The edition is illustrated and part of the collection Alianza Literaria. In addition Alianza Editorial will publish three volumes of Andersens' stories in a unique memorable box.

Ediciones Cátedra will publish "Cuentos completes de Andersen" as a part of its Biblioteheca Avrea collection. Enrique Barnárdez is responsible for the translation and notes.


Spanish Symphonic Orchestra and RTVE's children's choir
Premiere of the fairytale "Thumbelina" which is realised by the Danish composer, Svend Hvidtfelt Nielsen and inspired by the fairytale written by Andersen. This family concert will be performed by the Spanish Radio and Television Symphonic Orchestra on the 1st of April 2005 with Adrean Leaper as principal conductor and Fernando Palacios as narrator and with the participation of the Madrid children's choir. The project in Spain also collaborates with Luis Gago. The concert is part of the great musical project "Symphonic Fairytales".

Odense Symphonic Orchestra (DK)
For the 5th time Odense Symphonic Orchestra will tour Spain. This tour takes place in October 2004 including performances of, among others, music by the Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865-1931). There will be concerts in some of the cities that Denmark's great fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen visited during his travel to Spain in 1862; cities like Valencia, Cuenca, Terrasa, Pamplona and Zaragoza.


Cartoon films
A series of 26 cartoon film, each one with a duration of 30 min. and inspired by the stories of Andersen will be produced by Egmont Imagination/Magma Films as reference to the celebration of the bicentenary. It will be broadcasted in a Spanish television channel and will later on be on sale.

Documentary film
There will be produced a documentary in two parts about the life of Andersen, addressed to an international audience. It is produced by DR (Danish Television) in co-production with ARTE and NDR (Germany). It will be broadcasted in a Spanish television channel in 2005.

The Danish director Bille August, Oscar Award and two times Palme d'Or winner, is directing a film about the life of Hans Christian Andersen with international distribution. The premiere will be in 2006.


Enrique Vargas/El Teatro de los Sentidos
The Spanish theatre "Teatro de los Sentidos" headed by the Colombian master director Enrique Vargas will stage a "fairytale labyrinth" based on the creative universe of Hans Christian Andersen. The idea is to entice the audience into individual experiences that appeal to all senses. In collaboration with the International Theatre in Copenhagen. The performance will premiere in Barcelona in April 2005.

Odin Theatre
The director of the Odin Theatre, Eugenio Barba, has created the play "Andersen" ? in which the writer of fairytales takes the part as a traveller in the third millennium with inspiration from King Lear and the story "What the wind told about Waldemar Daae and his daughters". The play will have its first performance in the Autumn Festival (Festival de Otoño) in Madrid 2004.

"La Reina de las Nieves y otros cuentos de Andersen"
Érase Producciones, who specialises in the production of puppets and mechanical dolls, has in collaboration with Gran Vía Musical created a theatre musical performance for the family "La Reina de las Nieves y otros cuentos de Andersen". The performance will premiere in the end of 2004 and tour in all of Spain during 2005.


At the tourism-fair "FITUR" in Madrid from 25th to 30th of January 2005, the Royal Danish Embassy in Madrid and the Danish Turistboard will organize a large stand for Danish companies with the theme Hans Christian Andersen. Various Danish companies, being tour-operators, hotels, amusement parks, museums etc., will participate on the stand.


"In no other Spanish town do I feel so
 contented and comfortable as in Málaga"
Like this speaks Andersen in the book he wrote after visiting Spain in 1862. In this connection, a local Andersen committee has been created in Málaga and they will carry out various activities, first and foremost during the month of June 2005. These activities include, among others, a visit by principal ballet dancer Peter Bo Bendixen from the Royal Ballet in Denmark and his group "Principals and Soloists of the Royal Danish Ballet" to perform during a gala night in the Cervantes Theatre. An exhibition with drawings realised by the HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark who has been inspired by many of Andersen's stories.

International shows
Some of the great international artistic productions inspired by the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen have been invited to the greatest cultural festivals in Spain.