AWARD-WINNING Spanish dance company Aracaladanza are among the star attractions at next month’s Baboró festival with their latest production, Nubes (Clouds ), inspired by the work of surrealist painter René Magritte.
This stunningly beautiful show, a co-production with Sadler’s Wells, sees six dancers create a world of moving objects and dream-like imagery utilising the theme of clouds in the most magical way.
This performance is not only wildly imaginative but packed full of energy. Throughout the show, Aracaladanza combine their trademark playfulness with mesmerising visuals to bring to life ordinary objects: highlights include a flipper dance which is laugh-out-loud funny and a ladder dance that will take your breath away.
Aracaladanza was founded in 1995 by Enrique Cabrera, an Argentine choreographer who has lived in Madrid since 1989. Cabrera remains the driving force and creative lynchpin of the company and under his stewardship Aracaladanza have won numerous awards for their work and appeared at leading festivals in Africa, Europe and Asia.
His particular creative vision and interest in attracting younger audiences has allowed him to put together a strong group of artists who share his passion for dance and a unique way of using scenic elements and objects, which has become his trademark.
The seed of inspiration that led to Nubes stemmed from a visit Cabrera made to Madrid’s Prado Museum where he saw Hieronymous Bosch’s extraordinary painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights.
This painting became the inspiration for Aracaladanza’s multiple award-winning show Little Paradises which premiered in 2006 (and came to Baboró two years later ). Cabrera then conceived the idea of a trilogy of shows honouring some of his favourite artists; Nubes is the second work of that trilogy, and it will be completed by a show inspired by the work of Miró.
Belgian surrealist René Magritte (1898-1967 ) spent much of his life in Brussels. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images which challenge observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality.
Magritte’s style of surrealism is more representational than the ‘automatic’ style of artists such as Joan Miró and his paintings constantly play with reality and illusion. Magritte described his paintings as “visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, ‘What does that mean?’ It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.”
Nubes/Clouds premiered in Madrid in 2009 and last year it also graced the stage of London’s world-famous Sadler’s Wells. It has won coveted MAX awards for Best Children’s Show and Best Costume Design.
It also won a National Children’s Theatre Award with the jury’s citation reading that the prize was given to Aracaladanza for “its commitment to creating shows for children and young people; their ambitious dance theatre, which created a new language based on a visual poetics, which opened the space for younger audiences; their demanding artistic and technical aesthetics and their national and international renown, especially for Nubes.”