Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Premiere of "Inhalaciones" (2000) A digitalized video of the performance

Among those video documents I rescued from my own oblivion (I mean those in VHS format inside my library), there was the first performance of "Inhalaciones" (Inhalations) in July 2000 at Foro Contigo América, in Mexico City.

It was a very experimental work with the group growing in all senses; all the characters (also the text, the scenography, etc.) were created during the process, as usual in that time, through Physical actions technique and González Caballero's Acting Method, both in a basic level (the group had been working on it for one year, from zero), except for Guadalupe Durón who was my colleague at González Caballero's Workshop since 1986. I was not very happy with the final text but it worked enough in that moment, today I'm working in a new version of that text, 10 years later, more in the mood of a 42-year old house-playwright than a practical theatre maker, if you know what I mean.

You can find more information in the first post I published about this Esférica Ludens' production:

The video has been digitalized from a VHS format, so the quality is awful; the camera was at the second line of seats, and you will have to fight against the head and arms of a very energetic spectator and also with one annoying sound, a mobile ring, which was sounding all along the performance. From the camera point of view you will possibly miss a very important part of the space, a bath tub, it was behind the bed, on the right side of the stage. I know! This is not a very encouraging way to invite anyone to watch the video, but it is what it is, the only video-document that remains of this moment of my creative life and a moment of the creative life of at least 6 more people, and it was a duty. Even do you can find on it a very interesting visual production, hope you enjoy a little and find more interesting things to save.

The performance was cut in 8 videos, around 10 minutes each, and you can watch it on Youtube or vimeo.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lipsynch by Robert Lepage (Ex Machina)

Just sharing what I missed arriving in Toronto 2 months later last year. "Lypsynch" is a 9-hour play by Robert Lepage (the most renown Canadian performing arts artist) and his company Ex Machina; it was presented at Luminato Festival 2009 in Toronto. This is a play about the voice and the human being, through 9 stories connected, they say, in a masterly way.

What can I do? I'll be waiting for the occasion to see it live.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oleg Tambulilingan, A Dance Performance At Ubud Royal Palace, Bali.

Oleg Tangulilingan, or Bumblebee Dance, is a dance that belongs to a style named Kebyar (Taruna Jaya, the dance I talked about in my previous post, is a Kebyar dance as well). Kebyar dances are characterized by abrupt movements, radical changes in tempo and the requirement of a great ability of expression and energy in the dancer. The Kebyar style emerged in the twentieth century, during and after the golden age of the 1920’s in Bali, when the island became an international spot and foreigner visitors had a decisive influence which resulted in an explosion of creativity among Balinese performing artists .

Ole Tambulilingan was created and choreographed by I Ketut Mario (whom I have mentioned in other posts about Bali (1)), considered one of the pillars of twentieth-century Balinese dance.

Mario dancing Kebyar Duduk (1930's)

According to I Wayan Tibia and Rucina Ballinger (2), Mario created this dance for two young dancers (and later masters) from Peliatan village, I Gusti Raka and I Wayan Rasmin Sampih, when their company was preparing a tour to Europe and the United States in 1952.

Oleg Tambulilingan is a recreation of the bumblebees’s seduction dance. from their entrance to a garden until their final embrace. Within the conventions of Balinese dance the choreography broke with certain established rules, for example, when the woman dancer (it is a male-female couple dance) as a bumblebee “raises her wings” she does it by raising her arms over the shoulders showing her underarms, and no one before had done it.

I’m publishing here a group of photographs (where you can observe very well those dancers’ postures and gestures of hands and eyes), and a video (3 minutes), all from the performance I saw at Ubud Royal Palace in July, 2009.

As a spectator I had a great visual and aesthetic pleasure, both from the the dance and from the music, but that ritual-like feeling I was almost used to when watching performances in Bali wasn’t present; the Kebyar style, in the end, are dances, which recreate parts of Balinese life, through great technical skills and only for the appreciation of the artist.

(1) A special post dedicated to this Balinese master is coming soon..
(2) Balinese Dance, Drama and Music. A Guide to the performing Arts of Bali. I Wayan Dibia and Rucina Ballinger. Periplus Editions. Singapore, 2004.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Taruna Jaya Dance Performance at Ubud Royal Palace, Bali.

Taruna Jaya Dance Performance

"Taruna Jaya (The energy of youth). I Gede Manik was a student of Pan Wandres and in 1952 (1) he choreographed Taruna Jaya ("Victorius youth") out of Kebyar Legong. At that time, it was danced by two women, but today it is usually done as a solo. This dance requires immense energy for the numerous changes in speed, dynamics and mood that the dancer must capture.

"Taruna jaya describes many moods of a youth: coyness, bashfulness, irritability, sweetness, and of course, energy. Strong eye movements are a prominent feature, and often include nelik (a wide eyed stare). At one point, the dancer flings her extended kain to the side and sidles up to the drummer to flirt with him. He may either resist her advances or play along. The costume (usually dark purple) uses a headcloth with a unique shape, a log-sleeved tunic and a kain pleated on the left side with the end dangling. There are many moments when the dancer picks up the end of the cloth to emphasize a musical point or mood. She also uses a fan to its greatest advantage."(2)

The version I saw at the Ubud Royal Palace (last July 2009) is practically the same that Balinese usually see in their village religious events.

It was impossible to record more than a few seconds of video and only the photographs can show what it has been described before. I added two more videos (from Youtube), a solo and a two-women version, to give a wider appreciation of this dance.

(1) That's why I don't mention Miguel Covarrubias in this post. This dance wasn't born yet. Covarrubias' last travel to Bali was in 1932.
(2) "Balinese Dance, Drama and Music. A Guide to the Performing Arts of Bali" by I Wayan Dibia and Rucina Ballinger. Page 90.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Premiere of La Cura (1997) A digitalized video of the performance.

"La Cura", de Gustavo Thomas (1998)
"La Cura" (Photograph by Fernando Moguel) July, 2008.

Premiere of La Cura, in December 1997, at Foro Luces de Bohemia, Mexico City. This was a special performance and it wasn't part of any theatrical season (that took place later, in July 2008). Its original name was La Cura/The Cure, because its thematic link with the band The Cure, however the production ended for being named only as La Cura.

I have already written about this production in my post of March 3rd, 2007, and the text you can find it in my blog in Spanish, at the post of March 24th, 2008 (there is no translation to English).

This is a series of videos (9 videos, 75 minutes) I digitalized from a VHS; the video was taken from the public area and with a simple home camera, so the quality of the image and sound are very poor. Watching it implies a big effort by the spectator and I apologize for it; my main interest was to expose this document as it was, the only one remained from this production of La Cura.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Teatro Cerezo" in Carmona, Spain.

I've been out for many weeks. I was traveling in Spain and also enjoying the beginnings of Summer in Toronto. My life is full of creativeness and, well, there was no much time for writing Blog-things.

We can retake our business with some new photographs, this time of the Teatro Cerezo (Cerezo Theatre), in the small city of Carmona.

Carmona is a charming village with a very long history; it starts with the Paleolithic and passes by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Christians, the Spanish Republic and the Spain of today. Carmona is a real jewel only 20 minutes away from Sevilla, in Andalusia.

History says that in the 1930's, during the Spanish Republic years, Bernanrdo Enrique Cerezo, an inhabitant of Carmona, won the Lottery first prize and offered part of the money for the construction of a new theatre. The theatre was built by the architects Enrique Romero and Emilio Ramos in a mix of architectonic styles: a very late art-nouveau external structure with decorative motives of art-deco, very in fashion. Today the Teatro Cerezo works as a city's events centre: cinema, theatre, lectures, concerts and events around its regional fairs and carnivals, including a famous Gran Festival del Perol, which take place every year in October.

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