Spanish Federation of Dance Companies Network
2020 yearbook by Dance Theatre Reality?
Matarile Teatro Foto: Azkuna Centroa
La Intrusa Danza Foto: Antonio N. Wijkmark

Exponents of dance theatre construct unreal realities (at times surreal)


Daemon is a mythological Greek character that can be both a deity and a demon, even simultaneously. This is the starting point of Daimon o la jodida lógica [Daemon or the Damned Logic], the new and ambitious production by the Galician group Matarile Theatre, which Ana Vallés has run with ingenuity and creativity for over 30 years. As so often is the case in her work, and even more so in this one, there is no damned logic, only a cascade of images, in which the dancers, actors and live musicians stage a key performance for dance theatre. It could be about so many things, such as the tormented state we are in, the torment we endure, or how the end of one kind of torment could be the beginning of another.

What is clear is that reality and fiction generally converge in the practice of dance theatre. In Matarile it is perhaps more abstract fiction, but in 2Proposiciones, Raquel Madrid’s Sevillian company, the inclination is more towards the absurdity of reality. With her penchant for examining landmark ceremonies such as birthdays or funerals, the company now adds theatre to dance by locking four artists into a dressing room, forced to undergo the eternal return. This Groundhog Day experience is a curse recurring as a feature every night there is a scheduled play. In P de Partida [D for Departure], her new choreography, she affirms that she wants to talk about the “experiences with death and resurrection in vital fields” as the point of departure.

Film characters, in contrast, are the protagonists of It’s a Wrap (Kubrick is dead), the new creation by La Intrusa Danza [The Outsider Dance], the outstanding group run exclusively by Damián Muñoz and Virginia García. These are not just any film characters, but the most emblematic from Stanley Kubrick’s films, including the insane Jack Torrance from The Shining, and the evil Alex from A Clockwork Orange.  They join us upon learning that the filmmaker has died and ask what is to become of them now. They experience the existential torment so characteristic of the plays by La Intrusa.

Dance theatre has also found place for a mermaid. Inspired by Antonio Castaño’s poem, Lucía Bocanegra embodies a marine woman and embarks upon an aquatic journey in the solo performance Mujer descalza frente al mar [Barefooted Woman near the Sea]. This new piece is made by the group La Tarasca for all audiences. Since the beginning of the nineties, they have created very diverse performances expressed in a variety of languages.

Exploring human nature in movement is also the interest of Caminantes Danza. This group by Pepa Sanz and José Merino usually build their language from the codes of dance theatre. They bring the languages of flamenco, as well as Spanish and contemporary dance to their scene.  Such is the case in Los caminantes [The Walkers], their latest proposal, made together with the choreographic and performing talent Jesús Pastor. It also includes Sandra Carrasco, who takes the part of the hostess in this unique proposal involving a miser, an old woman, and a lover.

Finally, dance theatre with a touch of performance is what characterises the work of La turba. This group was created in Buenos Aires by the dancer, choreographer and manager Carlota Berzal. After a series of productions in Buenos Aires such as the performative event Sprange, Todo lo que no soy [Everything I Am Not], and Ofelia Vegetarian, she has recently moved to Seville where she is finalizing her new creation Mi bandera [My Flag].

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