The Jameos del Agua Auditorium will host Dulces Bestias on 16 March, a very special performance that forms part of the Jameos Dance Festival. The performance received five awards at the Premios Réplica de las Artes Escénicas de Canarias ceremony in 2018, where it was also classed as the best performance of the year.
This stage performance unites the talent of its director and choreographer, Roberto Torres, with music from Lanzarote artist Samuel Aguilar, the creativity of wardrobe designer Yaiza Pinillos, the lighting expertise of Grace Morales and the talent of the ‘animals’ themselves: dancers Paula Quintana, Daniel Morales and Paloma Hurtado. This motley crew of talent, performing in a setting such as Jameos del Agua, can only result in a work of art infused with a good dose of magic and symbolism.
The show is presented by Nómada (nomad), a company founded in the year 2000 by Roberto Torres himself. After operating in this nomadic nature for many years, it became stunted by the crisis and, every now and again, presents us with great projects like this.
Animals versus humans
Dulces Bestias is highly reflective performance which analyses the animality of human beings, its lineage and influence on us. “The animal world has always fascinated me, this is nothing new.” In fact, I started studying veterinary science, I competed as a jockey for a long time, and have travelled to Africa a lot in the last few years. I love animals, and the relationship between man and nature fascinates me. We just have to look at ourselves – horoscopes, hierarchies, even our own language when we compare ourselves to lions, foxes, sheep or even ants. We are rooted in nature, so much so that we’re not exactly sure to what extent.
“Los hombres siempre hemos soñado con volar como los pájaros, correr como los galgos, hablamos de hombres trabajadores como hormigas o vagos como cigarras… Sin embargo, cuando el ser humano se hace ‘poseedor’ de la naturaleza, de alguna manera, desaparece, pierde parte de su humanidad que sólo recupera cuando se integra en ella como un animal más y eso es algo dramático”, señala Torres. “En cualquier caso, no trato de hablar de un único tema. Son muchas cosas las que propone la obra y cada espectador las va a interpretar de una manera diferente. Yo cuento una historia en la que tres animales son los protagonistas, un ciervo, un pez y un búho, y a partir de ahí surge una relación entre ellos… empiezan siendo animales y, poco a poco, se van despojando de sus pieles, de sus trajes de animal y se van transformando en hombres… pero siguen siendo animales, después de todo. Intentamos contar como cada uno recibe la llamada de su animal. Hay romanticismo, violencia, sensualidad… como en la vida”.
“Man has always dreamt of flying like a bird, running like a greyhound; we speak of men working like ants and compare vagabonds to crickets. Nevertheless, when a human being embraces nature in some way, he disappears, loses a part of his humanity and only regains it when he blends in like other animals, and this is quite extraordinary”, Torres points out. “Either way, I’m not talking about a single theme. The performance proposes a range of ideas and each spectator will interpret them differently. I tell a story in which the protagonists are three animals: a deer, a fish and a an owl. A relationship starts to form between them – they start as animals and, little by little, start shedding their skins, their annual costumes and become transformed into men, but at the end of the day, they’re still animals.” We try to relate how each one receives their animal calling. There is romanticism, violence, sensuality…just as in life.
Many protagonists for a well-integrated performance
Samuel Aguilar’s music is another protagonist in Dulces Bestias, which leads you through the story, stirs you and takes you to different places. “The music transports you to violent sequences and extremely vulnerable moments, it’s just as important as Yaiza’s costumes or Grace’s lighting. Each facet forms part of the story that were trying to tell”, he says. “And it goes without saying that the dancers give everything they have. All of the awards we’ve received are due to their brilliance and dedication. I have a group of artists who manage to transmit a myriad of emotions to the audience.”
Not everyone leaves this performance with the same impressions. “Some people have drawn reflective conclusions, others have loved the beautiful presentation, the music, imagery and symbology. We don’t all see the same things and this neither our intention. We want to give the audience something to take away, that moves them inside and stirs their emotions”, affirms Torres. “Fortunately, dance is a universal language and easily transmits all kinds of feelings, regardless of what we want them to. Dance speaks for itself.”
In this animal jungle, the backdrop plays its own part. The auditorium at Jameos del Agua is unique, and will never go unnoticed. I’ve danced there before – a long time ago – and it’s a stage with an amazing energy”, he explains. “I knew that the energy at Jameos would add it’s own magic, transporting the audience, and the dancers themselves, to another reality. I’m convinced that the performance on 16 March will be unique.”