by Tintamaldita

Estela

Company: L’explose

Venue: Factoría Tino Fernández

Death is life lived. Life is a death that comes.
~ Jorge Luis Borges

That day I faced the curiosity of seeing the company L’explose from its most solid foundations. I wondered what the deepest principles of this group must be, which are being questioned and are undergoing a natural metamorphosis, after the loss of its founder and director Tino Fernández from this earth. I sat in the theater from a neutral position open to listening, open to glimpse the wisdom that transcends a life and the trajectory that nurtures the steps ahead. It was then with great delight that I entered a work that proposes a mixture between Tino’s characteristic narrative elements (such as objects, surprise and the transformation of space) and between the adjacent creative voices, which provided an air of change.

In Estela we situate ourselves in a space of branches and corridors, cold lights and flowery dresses. We see women (or perhaps just one woman) at different stages of life, with their innocence and maturity, accompanied by characters and bodily narratives. The use of trees is incredible, it intrigued me a lot. It cultivates the passage of time and the contrast between solidity and fragility, where we see the characters play with this characteristic as well. The silver branches are very impressive, they capture the simplicity of the transformation of the object as Tino has always known how to do it. They built and deconstructed ideas in a simple and direct way. Like the landscape, the women capture in their movement different dynamics and ways of expressing from the abstract. Each woman with her space, her rhythm and her time, captivates in solo.

The piece is a permanent transition of ages. A question remains in me, why the need to make the change between the actresses in a quick and almost hidden way? Why was the change intentionally covered up? Trying to hide this change gives the impression that they wanted to show the same person growing up, but it is also clear that the individuality of each actress is explored. About this age process, there is also a musical accompaniment that is progressive depending on the character’s maturity phases. I perceived a sense of obviousness in the music for over-description of the scene and, although I must admit that this comment comes from my own dance exploration with the music, it does not detract from the fact that this work is described through metaphors and that the music could be one of the most important. From my perspective, this over-description in the music takes away from what is really happening. Beyond this, I believe that L’explose gave us the joy of seeing children and adults coming together on stage, where we can fall in love with the purity and tranquility in which children explore and thus challenge an audience that witnesses a “mature” work.

In my opinion, Estela is a work that honors the acceptance of life and death and invites us to delve into one of the most established companies in the country from a new creative voice: Juliana Reyes. There are details of this work that, in my opinion, can go deeper into its relationship with the audience and with double meanings that always breaks into the most delicate fibers of our vulnerability. However, this process keeps an investigation that places us at the top of the sincere world of contemporary dance and should be considered a reference for all of us who investigate it. Estela reveals the passing of a life, defies the concept of time and presence and still preserves the elegance of a safe and, at the same time, surreal space.

By: Tintamaldita

Review #3

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