Travelling through life
Text and photos: Manuel Moraga
David Morales loves the idea of shows with a story line. On this occasion, he has taken the reference of “ida y vuelta” flamenco, a theme not particularly explored in dance, or at least not as much as other facets, and put together a simple coherent show.
When the proposition is the fruit of a rigorous process of introspection, the result tends to come together. David Morales studies the forms and dresses them in his own poetic vision, constructing upon journeys to distant places, and the act of returning, all tinged with melancholy and nostalgia.
David Morales’ attention to authenticity is seen throughout the choreography and the music. The very idea of a musical based on these forms is in itself an open door to many dimensions, so the difficult thing is keeping to a specific idea. In this case, there is formal coherence between all the ingredients, and the overall experience submerges us in the spirit of the perpetual traveller.
The end result is based on forms such as zorongo, alegrías, vidalita, milonga and colombiana. David Morales and guest artist Choni, delve into the choreography of those Caribbean-tinged styles, turning to choreographers Javier Latorre and Úrsula López. With impeccable technique at the service of the dance, Morales lays out his wares making that which is difficult, seem easy. Aside from the sheer virtuosity of his feet, we also must admire his armwork and his use of the wrists, so important in dance. The piece that comes off best is the soleá. Here, he balances emotions, stretching out the intensity and inserting relief at just the right moments. It is a soleá that grows and evolves.
David Morales has gone for simplicity in the staging. An abstract doorway symbolizes the separation between the continents, but it is also the passageway for the emotions that accompany each player.
Noteworthy is the special guest appearance of Javier Ruibal, master of the beautiful, who interprets two classics: “Ausencia”, and a bulerías version of “Volver”, in the great tradition of Chano Lobato. Also important is the sensual dancing of Choni in styles that require this kind of expression, as well as the voices of Rocío Bazán and Jeromo Segura, guitarists Paco Javier Jimeno and Oscar Lagos, bass-player Dani Arjona percussionist Javier Ruibal and pianist Rafa Arregui. The music becomes one of the characters, and these artists get excellent results with it. And of course, it is coherent with the expressive range of David Morales. This is not simply a show based on ‘ida y vuelta’ forms, but a sort of tribute to all travellers on a journey that is not only physical.