Argentina, the artist who revolutionized (and revalued) Spanish dance | Culture | EUROtoday

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Visionary, revolutionary, artist, businesswoman… Antonia Mercé, Argentina (Buenos Aires, 1890-Bayona, 1936), she grew to become a pioneer of Spanish dance within the twenties of the final century nearly with out desirous to. Guided by a mix of inventive heartbeat and psychological readability that appeared to move by her from high to backside and that had been expressed by her arms and toes, but additionally by tremendously expressive eyes and a large, luminous smile, which danced along with her. This is how those that noticed her dance keep in mind her and make reference to her in interviews and articles of the time. “The queen of grace,” the Álvarez Quintero brothers baptized her. It is alleged that Argentina was the one who gave the castanet the standing of a critical instrument, that it was the primary to professionalize Spanish dance from an educational viewpoint and that it additionally created the primary narrative ballets, with plots and dramaturgy. within the historical past of this dance. A method of doing issues that different greats equivalent to Antonio Ruiz Soler or Mariemma would later affect.

All that is only a pattern of the good legacy of this artist, daughter of a dance trainer and a dancer, who grew up within the Madrid neighborhood of Lavapiés and have become large in Paris. And though historical past doesn’t do her the identical justice as others who got here later, absolutely and as in so many instances as a result of she is a lady, made invisible, now the Juan March Foundation seeks to pay her full tribute by the scene, but additionally by documentation and the display screen, with an archive of images and a movie directed by Patricia Medina that might be launched in cinemas, Filmin and Canal March.

Sketches of 'Sonatina'.

From the scenic half, which crystallizes within the present Argentina in Paris and watch the ballets The smuggler, by the composer Óscar Esplá, and Sonatina, by Ernesto Halffter, the dancer and creator Antonio Najarro has been in cost, with a removed from straightforward replace of the choreographies. “Just as The smuggler It has left a very clear script that I have followed very faithfully, although I have given it a more danced and not so theatrical approach, with Sonatina It has been more complicated. “I have included characters, I have changed the order of the scenes and I have adapted it to the number of dancers I had,” the director defined this Monday at a press convention, when requested by this newspaper.

The choreographer additionally says that for the recreation of those two ballets, which final an hour and had been initially premiered in 1928 in Paris by the corporate Los Ballets Espagnols, based by Antonia Mercé within the purest model of Diaguilev’s Ballets, He has used the in depth assortment of paperwork and pictures of the Juan March Foundation itself, which commissioned him. “Especially about what the critics of the time said and the costumes, which were very important in both works,” says Najarro. Argentina in Paris It is carried out from this Monday to Sunday on the Juan March headquarters, in Madrid, with free admission. On Wednesday the tenth, it is going to be broadcast dwell by the muse’s channel, RTVE and YouTube. And on February 23 and 24 he’ll go to the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia, which co-produces this present with musical course and piano by Miguel Baselga and stage course by Carolina África. The designer Yaiza Pinillos has been answerable for revising the fits.

A moment from the show directed by Antonio Najarro with designs by Yaiza Pinillos.
A second from the present directed by Antonio Najarro with designs by Yaiza Pinillos. DOLO I.F.

“Researching Argentina, I discovered a woman obsessed with spreading Spanish dance, who was not afraid of risk and did not mince words. She is a woman with artistic and business talent. A creator with a deep-rooted feeling for what was practical,” says Najarro. Eight dancers from the Antonio Najarro Company carry out these two ballets that refresh a dance from nearly 100 years in the past with out dropping the spirit that originated it. “In Spanish dance, each of the great talents that have made history has a very deep-rooted and clear identity, which is why I have not wanted to recreate or imitate the style of La Argentina, although I have wanted to revisit it without losing the essence,” declares the director.

Another moment of the show.
Another second from the present. DOLO I.F.

That essence was echoed by greats equivalent to Federico García Lorca, who devoted heartfelt reward to the dancer (“Creator, inventor, indigenous and universal. All the classic dances of this great artist are her unique word, at the same time as the word of her country, my country”). And even the butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno, a legend of this contemporary Japanese dance who was able to see Antonia Mercé in Japan in 1926 and was so fascinated that years later, in 1977, when Ohno was already 71, he dedicated the work to her. Admiring Argentina, in which he appeared characterized as her.

Weightless, elegant, lucid and simple with great technique and sensitivity, are some of the adjectives and phrases that populated the criticism of the time about a woman who triumphed with a new, global and academic vision of Spanish dance, laid its foundations in the interpretive exquisiteness and was admired by greats of the moment such as Coco Chanel and Paul Valéry. “As for me, I claim to have made the fusion of two dances: the Spanish one and the so-called modern. From Spanish dance I have banished rudeness to leave it its primitive beauty and imprint on it the seal of its special significance and color,” stated La Argentina, who danced for the final time in 1935 on the Spanish Theater in Madrid.

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