Apr 11

“Art is a space of freedom ... go crazy!”

The 3rd-year students at the Institut Escola Eixample school attend an open rehearsal of the play ‘Concrete Matter’ by Los Detectives, thanks to the collaboration between the Metropolitan Dance Festival and iN RESiDENCE.

‘Conversations, processes of creation and movement’ is a cycle of activities in the form of an open rehearsal that brings the Metropolitan Dance Festival creators closer to teenagers, artists, teachers and mediators who are taking part in the current edition of iN RESiDENCE. On 10 March, the Graner (Creation Centre for Dance and Live Arts) hosted the 3rd-year students from Institut Escola Eixample school, who were given the opportunity to see a rehearsal of the play, Concrete Matter, just seven days before it was premiered at the festival. The youngsters were accompanied by David Franch, stage creator iN RESiDENCE at the educational centre, along with their teachers Marta Arteaga and Alejandro Garrido, and Alícia Gorina and Violeta Sugranyes, from Teatre Lliure, who take care of the curatorship and the coordination of David Franch’s creation process.

The proposal from the Los Detectives company made an impact on the youngsters right from the outset. In Concrete Matter, the artistic group formed by Mariona Naudin, Marina Colomina, Laia Cabrera and María García includes the participation of their mothers Montserrat Lorda, Pepa Martínez, Antònia Vicens and Pepa Vera as actresses and performers. These women were the stars of the stage throughout the 45 minutes of the open rehearsal.

The play investigates the relationship and projection between mothers and daughters. The company performed the first act only, which combined a collage of scenes inspired by works by pioneering artists of the 1970s. In one of the fragments, for example, Antònia Vicens reinterpreted Yoko Ono’s Scream performance.

After the rehearsal all those in attendance met together to discuss the show. The 3rd-year student, Ella Grace Whiteman expressed surprise at seeing such distinct fragments: “I think we were blown away when we saw Antònia screaming like that, I thought to myself... is that dance?”

As for her classmate, Eva Vibliani, she was interested in the meaning of the texts projected on the wall to accompany the scenes. The show’s Director, Mariona Naudin, began explaining that Concrete Matter is based mainly on Three Sisters, the play by Anton Chekhov. Likewise, María Garcia added that these short texts portray the creators’ projection to transform Chekhov’s play. Thus, they thought up a new story in which the three sisters managed to leave to go to Moscow, become accomplished as women and create pioneering works of art in the early 20th century. During the rehearsal, production technician, Dani Miracle got a smile from the audience when he explained that they’d end up understanding it all throughout the play in the parts that had not been included in the rehearsal.

As for the teacher, Marta Arteaga, she found similarities between the Los Detectives company and the creation process on normality which her students are carrying out with David Franch. The company asked the youngsters some questions about this concept of normality and whether they would be brave enough to give these performances in public like their mothers had. To answer the students’ questions, Mariona Naudin’s mother, Montserrat Lorda, said: “during the process, we were asked some very intimate questions which are difficult to answer even to your own daughter, but getting embarrassed doesn’t help in the least.” Her daughter then added: “my mother has cringed at some of my shows when I’ve shown my bum or anus, but when you rehearse and perform on stage you no longer feel like you are making a fool of yourself because you are having such a great time. Art is a space of freedom… go crazy!”

As Laia Cabrera Vicens expressed before the session ended, “the aim is not for the mothers to perform well on stage, but rather that we work on the authenticity and fragile nature of the research in itself.” The youngsters doubted whether their own mothers would accept the challenge of performing a play like this and Pepa Martínez replied from the stage: “you should suggest it to them, because as mothers we’re up for anything that involves being with our daughters, sharing with them and getting closer to them.”

Despite all this, both the mothers and the youngsters confessed to feeling nervous about their first public performance which is getting ever closer. Both groups were bid farewell with a big round of applause to get ready for their respective premieres. Concrete Matter by Los Detectives was performed from 17 -27 March at the Antic Teatre as part of the Metropolitan Dance Festival. As for the young artists, they will finish their iN RESiDENCE creation process presenting their work at the Teatre Lliure on 31 May.

In the meantime, you can follow the blog, an essential journal which thoroughly documents this creation process.