Grito Pelao

SYNOPSIS

What the spectator sees in ‘Grito Pelao’ is the fruit of the kind of dedication and courage that deconstructs and unpicks memory. The spectator will find themself in front of an open stage, woven together by female saliva, wailing echoes, the blind tapping of a cane. Molina and Pérez Cruz, bound together by a complicity that seems atavistic and instinctive, have decided to abandon the safe spaces they know and enter into an unknown area that draws them in inexorably. These two greats, both highly gifted in the blending of technique and soul, have decided to unlearn while looking into each other, both stepping out into the void like true believers, both mimicking the rituals of the caterpillar in the chrysalis, seeking rebirth.

Quand la vie n’est pas ailleurs ((when life is not happening somewhere else)

From the Milky Way,

from the progenital breast

test tube love

the beat of a hospital.

Semen and colostrum

of a criminal sentence

of a criminal sentence

It shoots through the floor,

the pelvis and the corral.

Of a dust without earth

without ritual (…)

Milky Way Tango, by Sílvia Pérez Cruz

(A song that appears in the performance).

Three women on stage. Two reflecting mirrors and a mother. Grito Pelao (‘At the Top of My Lungs’) is the perfect voyeuristic scenario, the opportunity to see two of Iberia’s wildest stage animals in the flesh. And as if that wasn’t enough, to contemplate them as they negotiate explosive, shifting terrain. It is true, it really is a privilege to see these two greats on stage together, dancing and singing together. But that is where the static mythologising ends.

Right from the start of the piece, we are warned that it will take a different direction, that we are not here to watch one of the greats of flamenco, Rocío Molina, who with a brutal stamp of her feet broke down the last remaining wall, and put it back together with elliptical arms; and we are not here to listen to Sílvia Pérez Cruz, the singer who was able to enamour the most sceptical of men with that voice that seems born out of the depths of history, and that uncovers a new sound within each song. The piece has little interest in mythologising about art, and certainly about life.

It is true that these two women are already semi-legendary despite their young age, and many of us have songs, albums, dance steps and songs of theirs burned indelibly into our memory. In each of their respective disciplines, dance and song, they have managed to reach the highest technical mastery – that which demands the immersion of the soul. But this piece was not conceived of as a vehicle for their expertise, or with the simple idea of these two women sharing the stage.

What the spectator sees in ‘Grito Pelao’ is the fruit of the kind of dedication and courage that deconstructs and unpicks memory. The spectator will find themself in front of an open stage, woven together by female saliva, wailing echoes, the blind tapping of a cane. Molina and Pérez Cruz, bound together by a complicity that seems atavistic and instinctive, have decided to abandon the safe spaces they know and enter into an unknown area that draws them in inexorably. These two greats, both highly gifted in the blending of technique and soul, have decided to unlearn while looking into each other, both stepping out into the void like true believers, both mimicking the rituals of the caterpillar in the chrysalis, seeking rebirth.

So we see a Molina who transforms her body, her way of dancing, from a point of stillness, of pause, of listening. An artist who so often has embodied pure power and extreme passion, she now appears with a different kind of stage presence, one that is attached to that desire to become a mother, a quest that blurs art and reality, dance and true identity. And on that journey she is followed by Pérez Cruz, blind, generous, devoted, exploring alongside her, guiding, supporting and steering her, and in the end, immersed in that overpowering space of listening, desiring, one that is created by them both and yet allows both to lose themselves inside it.

A space of desire, the desire of Rocío to become a mother, the desire for transcendence, the desire for a dedicated love, where both artists (like two frenzied chomskyan semiologists) examine the deepest structures of womanhood, right up until their last breath on stage. The scene oozes feminine power, of the woman as the creator of life yet also bound to it by a chain made from pain, love, fear, denial, strength and courage. And in this earthy, sonic space, where the pulse is driven forward by five musicians who keep it swaying, rocking it along with the sounds of their music, there appears the elderly clarity of the recomposed mother. In a decision that, from the outside, seems anything but easy, Molina invites her mother, Lola Cruz, onto the stage. The mother who we all reproach and who we all need, the mother who was also, irrevocably, a daughter, and who would give it all up for us. In this piece, there is a rich texturing, which seems to separate off into layers, of the concepts of love and birth, of children both yearned for and created. And within these layers, Lola Cruz and Molina thanks her with the most flamenco of dances – that which is offered up as a gift.

In ‘Grito Pelao’, look out for two wonderful songs containing Lorca-esque verse, composed by Sílvia Pérez Cruz specifically for this piece, enjoy Molina’s dancing that now breathes an extreme generosity, enjoy the incredible musicians who accompany these two women on stage, enjoy analysing the stagecraft of one of the most accomplished directors around, Marquerie… But instinctively I dare to tell you to focus on the free space that these two creators craft together. That is the true engine of this piece, its beating newborn heart.

Pablo Caruana Húder

GRITO PELAO

Rocío Molina with Sílvia Pérez Cruz
Rocío Molina Company

Original concept: Rocío Molina
Art direction: Carlos Marquerie, Rocío Molina and Sílvia Pérez Cruz
Dramaturgy: Carlos Marquerie
Choreography: Rocío Molina
Musical concept: Sílvia Pérez Cruz
Music and lyrics: Sílvia Pérez Cruz
Flamenco composition: Eduardo Trassierra
Sound space design: Carlos Gárate
Stage space: Carlos Marquerie (concept and sketches), Antonio Serrano (design and materials), David Benito (animation and visual projections)
Lighting design: Carlos Marquerie
Assistant to the director and choreographer: Elena Córdoba
Costume design Cecilia Molano
Costume assistange: Esmeralda Dias and Emilia Ecay
Documentation: Elena Córdoba and Cecilia Molano
Photography: Pablo Guidali, Christophe Raynaud De Lage, Lorenzo Carnero
Programme text: Pablo Caruana
Translation to french: Christilla Vasserot
Poem by Sylvia Plath – For a fatherless son

CAST

Rocío Molina Cruz: baile
Sílvia Pérez Cruz: voice
Lola Cruz: dance

Eduardo Trassierra: guiter
Carlos Montfort: violin
José Manuel Ramos “Oruco”: rhythm
Carlos Gárate: electronics

Antonio Serrano: technical direction and lighting engineer
Juan Casanovas: sound
Javier Álvarez: sound
David Benito: video and machinery
María Agar Martínez: stage manager

Production: Danza Molina
Magdalena Escoriza: production of the company
Loïc Bastos: executive direction of the Company

Coproduction: Chaillot, Théâtre National de la Danse, Paris; Grec 2018 Festival de Barcelona – Instituto de Cultura, Ayuntamiento de Barcelona, Festival d’Avignon; Théâtre de Nîmes – scène conventionnée d’intérêt national – contemporary dance – art and creation; Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla.

With the collaboration of: Festival Temporada Alta – Girona; Teatros de Canal – Madrid.

First performed: 6 July, 2018 at the Festival d’Avignon.

Rocío Molina is an associated artist at Chaillot – Théâtre National de la Danse de Paris.

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