Distopía. Dance: Patricia Guerrero. Flamenco guitar: Dani de Morón. Electric bass, upright bass: José Manuel Posada ‘Popo’. Percussion: Agustín Diassera. Flamenco singer: Sergio ‘El Colorao’. Lyrical singer: Alicia Naranjo. Dance: Ángel Fariña and Rodrigo García Castillo. Stage director and script-writer: Juan Dolores Caballero. Lighting: Manuel Madueña. Teatro Central. September 9th, 2018. Full house.
Patricia Guerrero is a stage animal. A dancer with supernatural strength, with an incredible interpretative capacity and endless resources. Restless, original, different. The most feminine and suggestive, and the most robust and arid in a question of minutes. Breathtakingly self-assured, all-powerful and intelligent. And, possibly the most flamenco of her peers.
Which is why with “Cathedral” she managed to get the Giraldillo for Best Show in the last Bienal, the Teatro Central was filled to overflowing to receive her “Distopía”, the second work she has developed under the direction of Juan Dolores Caballero, and whose title we don’t quite get.
Here, the Granada dancer again delves into what it means to be a woman, submerging herself in an uncomfortable world that marks the rhythm of her dance and her life. From that starting point, from this apparently perfect utopian system in which her wrists and facial expressions move to the beat of a metronome (in an impressive opening), the dancer initiates her own particular struggle. Putting sheer power, without metaphors, to take on everything that oppresses her.
In this way, Guerrero breaks down fundamental dogma such as that which imposes the fashion of wearing a bata de cola. This puts her in a spectacular soleá that has her end up on the floor and turns out to be the best piece of the evening.
And from “Fuerza” to “El Amor”, that irrational uncontrollable emotion that makes you think life is better, but which at the same makes you so vulnerable that you can end up in the abyss. At this point, the only possible option for liberation is madness, and that’s where Patricia lets herself indulge after frenetic tension which is at times unbearable.
That’s the big picture, the story-line of an irregular work that nonetheless has exquisite technique and artistry, supported by the lighting of Madueña, and in which the musical direction and composition of Dani de Morón is brilliant. The guitarist, backed up by the always elegant, intuitive and impeccable Agustín Diassera, creates the stifling phantasmagorical, oneiric and futuristic atmosphere that was required, for some especially beautiful moments such as the song the artist dances with Ángel Fariña in an obvious wink to Pina Bausch.
As for the rest, as we said, an uneven pace and many ups and downs. Stage tricks that were unnecessary and some incoherence that was difficult to understand. Also, excessive fragility and little room for emotion, except for the most flamenco pieces: tientos, soleá and cantinas where we enjoyed the best of Guerrero. Someone who, at her age, is able to give a new direction to current flamenco dancing.
Photos: Oscar Romero – La Bienal