Spanish Federation of Dance Companies Network
2021 yearbook by Dance Theatre Society
Cía Caminantes Danza Foto: David Mudarra
Matarile Foto: Manuel G Vicente
Dance looks beyond the confines of the stage and towards a reflection of real life. Here are some examples of how dance-theatre is being made in Spain.

Modern society, the hardships of contemporary man, even all of thosebogged down by daily chores, in fact, we are all the ingredients of dance-theatre. The themes are both unsuspected and daring, and do not necessarily spring from the well of realism, but are frequently constructed from metaphors and poetry. Moreover, the concrete problems of today’s man occupy the attention of the creations by groups such as the Baal Company, run from Mallorca by Catalina Carrasco and Gaspar Morey. The action in their creation Ginoide appears to be somewhat futuristic when we find ourselvesin a situation where we might resort to affectious or sexual relations with robots. However, its purpose is perhaps rather as a warning to the current society about the unsuspected reaches of new technologies and their possible impact on our daily lives.

Mey Ling Bisogno, for her part, has established connections with the two capital sins, gluttony and lust, to reflect on our time in Cómeme otra vez [‘Eat Me Again’]. This play is an extension of her first involvement in Cómeme [‘Eat Me’] from 2010. Perhaps the need for this sequel arose because the phenomenon of avidly devouring the life and experience of others has grown exponentially (and dangerously) with the expansion of social media during this past decade.

The young Valencian company La turba, created in 2014 by Carlota Berzal, beckons reflection in her new creation Mi bandera [‘My Flag’]. This play, full of energy and female potential, tackles the messages, meanings, ideologies, trends, postures or opinions we attribute to a little creased piece of fabric. Thus, it connects us with the collective imagination in themes such as memory, identity, and festivity.

The Ertza Company, from the Basque Country, was founded in 2004 by Asier Zabaleta. It is one of the most solidified companies from this autonomous community. Their ingenious plays always allude to the problems of the contemporary man. No less so in their new creation Zehar, danced by Zabaleta and Iñar Sastre. They make transcendental questions such as – where does life begin?- are the traces we leave behind a continuation of our existence and part of a never-ending cycle?

A knot perhaps appears somewhat of an impossibility as far as dance is concerned. However, in Prusik the knot is not only a safety feature for mountaineers, it is also a metaphor for the community, for salvation, or liberation.  In this new proposal by La intrusa Danza from Barcelona, Damián Muñoz and Virginia García aspire to create a community with this artistic experience. It has as base three dancers from each city in which they perform.

In contrast, Raquel Madrid, from the perspective of her own Sevillian company Dos Proposiciones, does not contemplate the joint society, but synthesises it with a group of artists in a dressing room before each show. Emulating Sisyphus, they repeat this story time and again during each performance. P de Partida [‘P for Parting Ways’], her new choreography, has an air of cabaret about it, but it is expressed through dance. It bares its performers emotionally, amongst whom we find, obviously, the conjurer and the poor crossdressing poet.

Always from the perspective of experimental flamenco and dance-theatre, Caminantes Danza, the company by Pepa Sanz and José Merino, has currently teamed up with Ana Arroyo, in their proposal of Los caminantes [‘The Walkers’]. This creation unveils how life unfolds for three fictitious characters: the miser, the ancient woman, and the lover.

After the surprising and unclassifiable Daimon y la jodida lógica [‘Demon and The Damned Logic’], Matarile, the Galician company run by Ana Vallés has summoned the talents of Celeste and Claudia Faci for El diablo en la playa [‘The Devil on the Beach’]. This duet is deeply rooted in the characters of the two performers. Throughout the evening, they interchange their roles from angels to demons without really coming to terms with which one of the two is their natural character.

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