Tribute to "El Monte" through dance


Autor: Diana Valido Cernuda | Fuente: CUBARTE | 12 de Septiembre 2013


As enchanting and singular might be described Tributo a El Monte choreography, the most recent work of a Cuban Rosario Cardenas Dance Company. This time, the distinguished Cuban choreographer, who was given the 2013 National Dance Award, pays tribute to Cuban writer Lydia Cabrera (Havana, Cuba, May 20, 1899–Miami, Florida, September 19, 1991). The show offers a mystic look, deprived of conventionalisms. This choreograpgy is, as Rosario herself describes it, like a re-elaboration of all those things Lydia reflects in her work, an endless source of poetry for artists of all artistic expressions.

It is a world inhabited by butterflies, birds, characters of legends, gods of the Afro Cuban religion and sounds emerging from the remotest nature to form a singular harmony. All this is accomplished by the 10 dancers of Rosario´s company who perform different passages of the text. Rosario Cárdenas, author and director of the choreography, talked on this theme in an exclusive interview to Cubarte digital newspaper. She said that: “The magic hidden in the mount goes beyond the field, the forest or the jungle. Mountain is all that exists in legends, myths, religions and common practices that has it as setting, but they are combined in many ways. We began to search for other codes that are not precisely the most used.”

The choreography is accompanied by an excellent audiovisual, which, directed by Pablo Massip, illustrates a world where fire, earth and water govern the mount destinies. Undoubtedly, a revolutionary proposal within the limits of the traditional setting.

The use of shadow play stand out to work with lights, dimensions and sizes. This choreography brilliantly works the light issue to create characters and depict atmospheres, through the light design in charge of Antonio Martínez. Thus, we perceive glowworms, fires and faces which turn into joy, anger and distress, according to the light angle.

Music is also to be praiseworthy. The sounds of Afro-Cuban religion are mixed with the electro acoustic music of DJ Ivan Lejardi and the collaboration of Juan Piñera to produce a different sound.

Tributo a El Monte looks for different readings on this stage, from which great part of our origins come from.

The outstanding choreographer explained: “We were interested in working with signs. For instance, we have some warriors in religion, but there are also different types of struggle at present time. So, this was one of the challenges to face in the work: trying to combine our everyday life with the aforementioned elements.”

These hints used by the choreographer show the progress in the way of recreating our identity from renovating patterns.

German wardrobe designer Cris-Cris, who worked with Lisandra Ramos, talked with Cubarte about the challenges she had to assume in this work. In this regard, she said: “Rosario gave us freedom to work. The topic is nature, mystic, poetry; all these elements are also present in the wardrobe. In this choreography there are characters like the polimita snail (one of Cuba´s endemic mollusk)or the peacock, which induce to the mysteries of the Cuban mount. This is my first work with Rosario, and it has been a nice experience for me. I do not usually work with choreographers, but with theater directors”, concluded Cris-Cris.

Translation: Roxana Marquez Herrera (Cubarte)