Sunday, 26 April 2015

Carmen

by Johan Inger

I went to see this brand-new production of Carmen by Compañía Nacional de Danza with a mix of excitement and apprehension. The first and the last time I’ve seen Carmen on stage was almost 30 years ago. It was the Antonio Gades version, and it’s quite an act to follow. I am glad to say that the new Carmen is so radically different that there is no point in comparing these two productions whatsoever. (If I hesitate to call them “ballets”, it is because I can’t stand ballet.)

Directed and choreographed by a Swede and with lead dancers hailing from Iceland, Belgium and Australia, Carmen strikes you as a story that could happen anywhere in the world. (The toreador is 100% Spanish though.) The choreography is stunning and quite unlike anything I’ve seen before. The stage design features nine triangular prisms, which are moving to create different places and moods. Dark (it’s getting even darker in the second act) and violent, it’s not an easy viewing but well worth the effort. Catch it if you can!

It was the first time I’ve been to Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria and I really liked the venue. From my cheapest seat, almost on the very top, I could see the scene well and without any obstructions.

Carmen

Ballet in two acts
    Choreography and direction: Johan Inger
    Assistant choreographer: Urtzi Aranburu
    Music: Rodion Shchedrin, Georges Bizet
    Additional original music: Marc Álvarez
    Dramaturgy: Gregor Acuña-Pohl
    Scenographer: Curt Allen Wilmer
    Assistant Scenographer: Isabel Ferrández Barrios
    Lighting designer: Tom Visser
    Costumes: David Delfín

    Cast:

    Carmen, Emilia Gisladöttir
    Don José, Daan Vervoort
    Child, Jessica Lyall
    Isaac Montllor, Jessica Lyall
    Zuñiga, Francisco Lorenzo

    Women: Mar Aguiló, Aída Badía, Elisabet Biosca, Kayoko Everhart, Sara Fernández, Agnés López, Allie Papazian
    Men: Antonio de Rosa, Jacopo Giarda, Erez Ilan, Toby William Mallitt, Aleix Mañé, Mattia Russo

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