Carmen - flamenco meets contemporary dance

Teatru Manoel

Fri Feb 3rd 2017 to Sun Feb 5th 2017 at 20:00 until 22:00
Malta, 115 Triq it-Teatru l-Antik, Valletta VLT 1426, Valletta
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Event Details

Performances at 8pm on:
Friday 3rd February 2017
Saturday 4th February 2017
Sunday 5th February 2017

For the first time, Moveo and Alegria Dance Company, in collaboration with Teatru Manoel, join forces to fuse Flamenco and Contemporary dance in order to tell the story of the world famous Carmen. What better way to portray the distinct characters of the fiery Carmen and the delicate nature of Micaela, all unveiled in very particular Spanish settings, then through these two contrasting styles of dance?

When Prosper Merimee wrote his short story in 1845, it was considered shocking and scandalous. There was no Micaela to temper Jose’s wild nature and Carmen had other lovers apart from Escamillo. From the original version to this Flamenco-Contemporary fusion, content has been adapted, but the main thrust has been retained with the anti-heroine at the centre of a mix of emotive characters. In all the variations of Carmen, she has always been depicted as a self-sufficient woman, with a desire to be free to love whoever she wants. On the other hand, with the introduction of Micaela, a natural foil of contrast very clearly prevails.

Dorian Mallia and Estelle Bonello Sant have been working in sync as choreographers, to create a performance with a constant changing mixture of true love, smuggling, sex, and murder, all interpreted by a set of characters, in very particular Spanish settings; the bull fighting arena, the tavern and the gypsies in the factories, amongst others. All performed with live musicians, the aim of this production is to continue with changes of its own through, an interpretation of the original intentions of the Opera by focusing on the contrasts in characters of the protagonists, namely Carmen, Micaela, Don Jose and Escamillo through contemporary dance whilst highlighting and enhancing the setting of each scene set in Spain through Flamenco. As most people know, one of the most enchanting elements of the opera is Bizet’s music. As with the choreography we are working with a composer in order to retain Bizet’s music but also make it relevant to our production. “Carmen is an opera imbued with irony and sarcasm, and we would like to give a free rein to the emotions of each of the main characters” says artistic director Dorian Mallia. Are they evil, addicts, liberated, feminist, victims, innocent, exotic, murderers, or a mere combination of all? It’s amazing how these fictional characters have already sparked this debate through the opera all around the world and we would like to explore it further through Flamenco and contemporary dance.

Due to this, the production is sure to capture the story which first captured audiences’ imagination over 150 years ago. The idea is, that the audience feels for the characters and understands the pull between desire and duty, the freedom of love and the demands it makes of us. In order for all this to come together, Teatru Manoel, Moveo Dance Company, and Alegria have been working closely with a team of people such as a costume designer, dramaturge, rehearsal director to name a few.

Photo credit: Andrew Rizzo

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