Tarraco Viva – the emperor’s funeral

And so we arrive to the last act of this year’s  Tarraco Viva festival,  the funeral of  Emperor Augustus.  

The action is set around the large centerpiece of the Ara Pacis, which sits like a monolith inside the the dimly illuminated Recinte Ferial.

All the protagonists of the festival are there, from its maverick director Magì Seritjol, his brother Enric working behind the stage with an incredibly dedicated team, making sure everything is in the right place, and the groups, actors and people which have made this edition of Tarraco Viva so memorable:  the gladiators of  Ars Diminicandi,  the soldiers and generals of Projecte Phoenix, Ludi Scaenici carrying with them their extraordinary music, Thaleia with their Roman underworld, the Aula de Teatre with their actors, and Nemesis the group which, in my eyes, has delivered some of  the most galvanising work this year.

The effigy of Augustus is carried away to be cremated and is followed by the procession of mourners,  the centurions which would light the fire,  the priests and vestals.

It closes with the enigmatic figure of Livia,  Augustus wife, the last one left,  and alone, stopping at the Ara Pacis, she carries the ashes of the emperor to its final resting place at the mausoleum.

All is quiet until Tarraco Viva 2014 closes with a roar of applause from the public.

And it’s done!

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