Spanish Federation of Dance Companies Network
2021 yearbook by Dance and Society That’s How We Meet
Marina Mascarell Foto: Marina Mascarell
Carmen Fumero Foto: Miguel Zomas
Paloma Hurtado Foto: Luca Lorenzo Salas
A substantial part of the current contemporary dance proposals seems set on portraying our society. We offer 15 problematic issues expressed in 15 different choreographies

Moral

After making use of Giselleto talk about love in these times of like, the Kor’sia company run in tandem by Mattia Russo and Antonio de Rosa in Madrid, once again turn their eyes towards Nijinsky and his era to talk about ours. Nijinsky/Nijinska, their new creation, has as starting point what is probably Nijinsky’s least known work Jeux (1913). However, the attempt is not to restage the work, but to analyse through its perspective the social context in which it was created, and establish parallels between the morals of the day and those of our time. It is not the first time Kor’sia has shown a fascination for Nijinsky. Their play Somiglianza was an adaptation of La siesta delfauno [‘Faun’s Siesta’]. Now their fascination extends to include Nijinsky’s sister Nijinska, who was also a choreographer in the Russian Ballets.

 

Death

Death, the ritual of mourning, the consternation over those no longer there, the transcendence and historic memory, but also the poetic, the surrealist, and a less than customary tragic look, are some of the important and distinct reference points in Cienfuegos Danza’s staging of Mozart’s Requiem. It was staged as a dance performance by Yoshua Cienfuegos in celebration of his Valencian company’s twenty-year anniversary. For the past two decades, he has amassed a wealth of experience in dance-related fields to reach the maturity that now facilitates him in setting up this ambitious production. In it he merges dance and flamenco in an, at times festive, funeral ritual, which also contains a celebration of life.

 

Rural

Even today, the rural world shows perfect depictions of an established ancestral relationship between men and animals.  Ox pulling events, a practice alien to the agitated city world, has now become a part of the dance language in Ojo de buey, the most recent production by Proyecto Larrua. This company, situated in Vitoria-Gasteiz, is run by Jordi Vilaseca and Aritz López. In their new project they continue their piece Idi-Begi for non-conventional spaces. Their other production, Otsoa, has a very different theme revealing the, at times, sinister mechanisms used by sects to capture and maintain their followers.

 

Pact

The solid alliance between Begoña Quiñones and  Verónica Garzón is unmistakable. Although they have often worked on different projects of their own or others, they have always walked side by side. Pacto is a duet that has been in the making for a long time. In it both creators reflect on pact as a human activity that goes back to Ancient Greece where it was typified between two or more parties with certain norms to be obeyed. Pacts of coexistence, non-aggression, or silence formed part of civil life. What has become of such pacts? How do they manifest themselves today? Those are some of the questions addressed in this choreography.

 

Search

The Canarian dancer Carmen Fumero is a coveted and habitual performer in productions by prominent choreographers such as Daniel Abreu, Antonio Ruz, SharonFridman and most recently for the company La Intrusa Danza. However, she has also simultaneously been developing her own project together with Miguel Zomas. They have premiered …erancasi las dos [‘It Was Almost Two’] and Un poco de nadie [‘A Bit of No One’], which delve into relationships and social exclusion, respectively. Las idas [‘The Outbound Trips’], her new creation, has been structured in three connected, yet independent, chapters. They talk about how we spend the time we have left, and how we undertake constant everyday trips to points of no return, perhaps in search of answers for what we do not have.

 

Madness

In form, the new choreography by Chevi Muraday from the Losdedae Company, stages the adventurous tragedy of madness and creativity by Jeannot Le Béarnais. However, at heart he really talks about the morbid practice of gossiping and scorning that affect those who suffer from mental illnesses. One of them was Jannot. Her personal crisis stimulated her creativity, when his talent came to show in the text she carved into the floor of her room before committing suicide. The parquet floor piece which in the seventies became an emblematic Art Brut play is the pivotal point around which Muraday articulates his new creation. This emotional duet is supported by an ingenious and visually striking scenic device.

 

Racism

It happened to Horacio Macuacua in Buenos Aires.  This Mozambican choreographer and dancer is  residing in Andalusia where he has also set up his own company. He heard it in the street for the umpteenth time. However, it was the first racist insult that did not infuriate him. They shouted “charcoal with legs”.  “For the first time I didn’t feel the need to defend myself, but started thinking about the creativity of the expression, and not the ignorance behind it. That’s when I began to understand the power of art”, he tells in an explanation of the origins of his new creation Carbón con patas [‘Charcoal with Legs’]. However, he also warns that the play is not about racism as such, but inspiration, imagination, motivation, and especially transcendence.

 

Pleasure

We constantly yearn for pleasure; we want to live with intense pleasure, but sometimes it would be fitting to ask oneself if what we all understand as pleasure really is so pleasant? We could almost enslave a whole society seemingly designed not to find any kind of satisfaction whatsoever, yet we seem perpetually preoccupied with searching for it. La anhedonia, or incapacity to experience sexual pleasure, is the starting point of No Pleasure, the most recent creation by Iker Karrera for the Madrilenian company carrying his name. After a hiatus working for the television programme Fama ¡a bailar¡ [‘Fame – Let’s Dance!’], it has reactivated.

 

Imagination

In the middle of the process with her trilogy Bekristen / Cristianos [‘Christians’], which re-examines the effects of colonialism and domestication, Luz Arcas, a creator from Malaga, has launched Toná with her Madrilenian group La Phármaco. This emotional play is an intimate recollection of her childhood in Malaga, heavily influenced by folklore. She has worked on this project together with two other women from Malaga, Luz Pardo and Virginia Rota. They have been in charge of music and audio-visuals, respectively. The project is about collective memory and popular imagination. The stories are about Trinidad Huertas, a flamenco dancer from the 19th century, the procession of La Virgin del Carmen by sea, and the popular devotion and imagination of the villagers. These are the recollections for those partaking in this new La Phármaco creation.

 

The Marginalised

Ogmia, a young company from Madrid, run by the Asturian creator Eduardo Vallejo, is specifically preoccupied with shedding light on the issues of reification of those people excluded by society into marginalised minorities. These people are portrayed aesthetically in a minimalistic setup sustained by an agile and precise dance. It has come into being as a result of the fingerprint movement, a technique of their own invention that accentuates the personal forms of each dancer.  No Time to Rage and more recently The Holy Trinity, about the disadvantageous social situation of women, both render account of their concerns.

 

Eviction

The dancer and choreographer from Malaga Paloma Hurtado, has for years been residing in Tenerife. There, dance and art in general are not only entertainment, but tools that spur reflection on the social problems of our society. She is not only a member of the group Lamajara and an active part in the no longer existing Tenferife Danza Lab project. She has also carried out her own projects, such as her single Ephimera, which obliges us to look at what we want to avoid: the complex and difficult situation of the people who live on the street. Created in alliance with the plastic artist Angharad Herrera, Ephimera is also a street encounter between dance and drawing.

 

Solidarity

The main protagonist of Vigor Mortis is a house, which, in strange ways, predetermines and hinders the life of the two beings inhabiting it. These two people are trapped in an ever-changing space, and the only certainty that makes them endure it is having each other’s company. You could say that solidarity is the theme in this new creation by Asun Noales for the OtraDanza Company from Alicante. The creator articulates an intimate duet performed by herself and the veteran dancer Carlos Fernández. The play’s dramaturgy comes from Rulo Pardo. Vigor mortis is about the anxiety and restlessness of living in a place where one is not wanted, feels rejected, and is finally expelled.

 

Danger

Most of us never paid much attention to that gadget-like hermetic attire, known from science fiction films, called personal protective equipment (PPE). However, the coronavirus pandemic brought us up to speed, and today we associate it with infection, contagion, emergency, isolation, danger, and even apocalypse. These are the worrying suggestions of Filia et Fobia, a creation by the Catalan company La Taimada for which it won first prize in the Choreographic Contest in Madrid last year. Under the auspices of its director Olga Álvarez, this duet presents us with an alarming situation in which a character rigged with a PPE fondles the naked and inert body of a woman in a most unsettling manner.

 

Perception

The Valencian choreographer Marina Mascarell belongs to the world of Dutch scenic arts where she was the resident artist of the prestigious Korzo Theater. Now she is associated with the Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona. Her career can be tracked back to numerous companies around the world that found great interest in her work. Nonetheless, she maintains a clearly defined aesthetic line in her trilogy about the “performative” made up by the works A hefty Flood,  Valley and the most recent Second Landscape. In them she explores how images have taken an important part in society and have conditioned the perception we have of society.

 

Tail

With the humour and ingenuity so characteristic of the Sevillian group Mopa, they resort to surrealism in their new production Cola Collective [‘Tail Collective’]. The performance puts us in an absurd situation leading to a reflection about how we are. What if all of a sudden humans had a tail attached to their tailbone? The tail itself does not matter so much to the author Juan Luis Matilla as the driving forces, or symbolic and social consequences behind the idea. As is customary in Mopa, an extreme, near-impossible situation is the point of departure to offer a critical, yet humorous glance on the ways and trends that define our lives in the midst of society.

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