Guiding principles

The Mercat de les Flors is both a driving force and hub for the promotion of movement arts. It plays a key role to ensure the establishment of first-rate companies and audiences for dance and similar arts. To achieve this, the dancehouse joins forces with other key players and Catalan, Spanish and international institutions, both in public and private spheres, in the fields of contemporary thought and culture.

It can be defined by its values: a conscious innovator and transverse co-operator, vocationally international, rigorously sustainable, socially committed and organisationally flexible.


The history of the Mercat de les Flors as a municipal theatre goes back to 1983, when the then Councillor for Culture, Maria Aurèlia Capmany, and the mayor of Barcelona at that time, Pasqual Maragall, instigated the creation of this city performance space with the renovation of the Palace of Agriculture, built for the 1929 International Expo on the mountain of Montjuïc. After the premiere of the play The Tragedy of Carmen, by Peter Brook, the Mercat launched a programme of national and international shows and artists. In the old warehouse of the Palace of Agriculture, Brook had found an ideal performance space for his play and managed to transmit his enthusiasm to the city’s cultural authorities. This space and the rest of the Mercat de les Flors was remodelled and opened as a municipal theatre in 1985 with the premiere of Mahabarata, once again with Peter Brook directing. The theatre, even in its beginnings, aimed to set an example in all types of creative expression: theatre, dance, music, performances and media art.

The Mercat de les Flors is part of the amenities that make up the so-called Ciutat del Teatre (City of Theatre), which consists of 3 theatre venues in the surroundings of the Plaça Margarita Xirgu:  the Mercat itself, Teatre Lliure and Institut del Teatre.

Building and facilities

The Mercat boasts 4 spaces with uninterrupted programming. The Sala Maria Aurèlia Capmany (MAC) is the main auditorium. Thanks to its flexible layout it can host many different types of shows. The maximum seating capacity is 436. Located on the first floor, the Sala Sebastià Gasch (SG), with capacity for 80 people, mainly hosts small-scale performances. The Sala Ovidi Montllor (OM), built in 2000 inside the premises of the Institut del Teatre, is shared with this school. Its seats 320 and has an Italian-style layout. Opened in Januany 2011 as a tribute to the celebrated choreographer, the Sala Pina Bausch (PB) is a multipurpose auditorium covering 240 m² and acts as a rehearsal room and also hosts small-scale activities. The great dome, 12 m in diameter, which covers the Mercat entrance hall, is the work of the Majorcan artist Miquel Barceló.

El Graner

Guiding principles

The Mercat also manages El Graner, a centre for creation and study of the body and movement language in the city of Barcelona. It is framed within the Art Factories program of the City Council and its main areas of work are creation, internationalization, thought, education and proximity. El Graner hosts dance artist residences, develops artistic cooperation projects with other cultural agents and promotes the integration of the center within its neighborhood.

El Graner runs many programmes, among which a residency for artists. Discover more about it through this video:

The building

El Graner’s premises have a surface of 1,000 m², with 4 rooms for rehearsal, creation and performance, divided into a 240 m² set, 2 rehearsal rooms of 100 m² and a 42 m² individual research room. There are also several meeting spaces and common areas, residence rooms, and a kitchen.

Lleida, 59

EDN announces Ateliers in Barcelona and Helsinki

‘Meeting Grounds’ in Barcelona (Spain) on 5 & 6 July 2021 and ‘Creation of dance work’ in Helsinki (Finland) on 22 & 23 July 2021

We are happy to announce this double ‘save the date’ in relation to the upcoming EDN Ateliers where we will experiment hybrid formats with physical and online live contents.



EDN Atelier ‘Meeting Grounds’ in Barcelona (Spain)

5-6 July 2021

EDN Atelier ‘Meeting Grounds’ will take place in Barcelona (Spain) on 5 & 6 July 2021

‘Meeting Grounds’ is a gathering about contemporary performing arts, thinking in/out Africa, organized by Mercat de les Flors casa de la dansa and Graner creation center for dance and live arts, in the context of Grec festival of Barcelona.


Dancehouses in May and June

May - June 2020

Join EDN members remotely

While many EDN members are still closed for public, activities continue to take place remotely - both for artists and audiences! We bring to you plenty of shows, trainings, celebrations, reflections. Take your peak!


Dancing museums

November 2019

Workshop in Vitry sur Seine

As a practice-led project, Dancing Museums thoroughly documents its various activities. Let's go back to La Briqueterie & MAC VAL for an exploration of the topic of inclusion, that took place in November 2019.


Modul Dance - final publication

March 2015

Moving with dance artists across Europe

After four-years-and-a-half of development, modul-dance came to its end in 2015. Twenty dancehouses from sixteen countries had the chance to cooperate in a project with the aim to support development, mobility and exchange among dance artists under the umbrella of the European Dancehouse Network.

This publication presents the outcomes of the project together with reflections from dance artists and practitioners on mobility in Europe.


EDN Forum: EDN Think-In in Barcelona

June 28-29, 2022

Research and Advocacy Meeting and General Assembly of EDN members

EDN Think-In and General Assembly will take place in Barcelona on June 28-29, 2022, hosted by Mercat de les Flors during the Grec Festival. The Think-In will also be the opportunity for the members to actively contribute to EDNext’s campaign during a Research and Advocacy Meeting. 

EDN Think-In and General Assembly in Barcelona is for EDN members only.

Activities EDN

Artists and Structures

Taking place over two days, the event organised by EDN, Mercat de les Flors and Graner probed the relationship between dance artists and the institutions that support them. Participants were a mixture of artists, arts administrators, curators and directors from Spain and beyond.

DRAFF, living archive of performance making, reports on the Atelier.

Summary list

EDN Future strategies

During the first EDN Atelier “EDN Future Strategies” held at Mercat de les Flors, we worked together to reflect on how the network should continue acting in the short term on our two major criteria: relevance and sustainability for dance art.

Summary list

How to make dance relevant?

The conference How to make dance relevant? Examples and practices took place in April 2016 in the Catalan town of Olot. Organized by Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona, the conference proposed a community-based working space to generate questions and encourage collective thinking around the topic of relevance.

Summary list

From Art Stations Foundation to Mercat de les Flors

Project Coordinator / Performative Program at Art Stations Foundation Poznań Marta Harasimowicz reports on her visit to Mercat de les Flors.

Summary list

From Mercat de les Flors to Hellerau

The producer of Mercat de les Flors Barcelons spent one week at Hellerau Dresden. Find out about her experience in this short report.

Summary list

Dance Connect

Dance Connect (2015) aimed to facilitate the mobility of Indian emerging choreographers within European institutions including residency and presentation formats.

Summary list

A Hundred

Initiated by EDN, A Hundred aimed to create a map of European Dance Resources that promote and support contemporary dance and stimulate international dialogue and collaboration.

Summary list


Léim (2013 - 2015) aimed to offer participants the opportunity to undertake a personal and collective professional leadership development journey in organisations with a high degree of expertise in dance, both in their own countries and across Europe.

Summary list

European Video Dance Heritage

The cooperation project European Video Dance Heritage aimed to encourage and support cultural cooperation within Europe in order to bring European common cultural heritage to the fore working across disciplines with the media.

Summary list


Modul-dance was a multi-annual cooperation project with the participation of 20 European dance houses from 16 countries. Its main aim was to support development, mobility and exchange for dance artists.

Summary list


One of the first international projects in the frame of EDN, Chin-A-moves aimed to nurture connections between younger independent artists from both Europe and China. Additionally, the project initiated and cultivated a network of European dancehouses and festivals and Chinese dance companies, theatres and performing arts festivals.

Summary list


The very first step towards EDN, IDEE was proposed by 9 dancehouses working together for the first time as a network. It set out to work with emerging choreographers to help them to make connections across Europe and to contextualise their work for international audiences.

Summary list

Dancing Museums

Dancing Museums is an action-research project designed to foster and sustain long-term collaborations between dance organisations, museums, universities and local communities in order to develop inspiring and long-lasting arts and cultural programmes that people in those communities want to get involved in.

Summary list

Encounter Japan

In February 2017 a group of eight representatives of EDN attended a very rich programme of initiatives, participated in speed networking sessions with artists and professionals, developing new connections and dialogues, being introduced to representatives of Asian funding bodies and supportive organizations. This was the first step in the collaboraiton with AND+.

Roberto Casarotto shares his report of the meetings.

Summary list

Encounter Hong Kong

By invitation of the West Kowloon Centre, four EDN members joined the 4th edition of the Producers' Network Meeting and Forum. It provided a new occasion for EDN to connect with AND+ since the Encounter in Japan in 2017.

Summary list

Dance for young audiences

Those are some of the questions addressed during the Atelier hold at K3 - Zentrum für Choreographie.

Organised as part of the first edition of “Explore dance – Festival for young audiences” it gave to the participants the opportunity to watch up to seven new dance pieces for young audiences and encounter the artists, to exchange with other colleagues on short best practice presentations from different parts of Europe.

Summary list

Outreach Chile

EDN representatives travelled to Chile to attend the 14th edition of the festival Danzalborde. Additionally, EDN members visited the School of Architecture of the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa Maria. Directors of dancehouses and students shared conversations about the buildings for dance.

José Laginha, director of DeVIR|CAPa, shares his experience of Valparaiso and Santiago de Chile.

Summary list

Outreach India

The first EDN Outreach took place from February 6th to 12th 2015. A representation of 7 EDN members travelled to India under the invitation of Attakkalari coinciding with the celebration of the Attakkalari India Biennial.

Summary list

Building a dancehouse

Many dancehouses in Europe have been created over preexisting buildings: convents, factories, industrial sites, brick houses, distilleries, to name some examples. This Atelier at CSC Bassano del Grappa took place in a series of meetings aimed at considering and tracing the European, as well as the international, dancehouses history.

Summary list

Encounter in South Africa

This activity aimed to open new forms of dialogue with artists, organisations and dance professionals based in the African continent, investigating new forms of relationship and collaboration based on ethical values, respect and sustainability.

Summary list

Meeting Grounds

Atelier organized in close co-operation between EDN, Mercat de les Flors casa de la dansa and Graner creation center for dance and live arts, in the context of Grec festival of Barcelona.

Summary list

EDN Think-In in Barcelona

EDN Think-In and General Assembly will take place in Barcelona on June 28-29, 2022, hosted by Mercat de les Flors during the Grec Festival. The Think-In will also be the opportunity for the members to actively contribute to EDNext’s campaign during a Research and Advocacy Meeting. 

EDN Think-In and General Assembly in Barcelona is for EDN members only.

Summary list