Baptismal Water

This work shows how the boundaries between dance and theatre can be convincingly blurred. The theatrical aspect dominates the rest. The availability of space, the use of bodily expression, the interaction with different elements of the stage, and the development of the story itself are all examples of contemporary multidisciplinary theatre.

There are characters, motives, an introduction, development, and denouement, there is lighting, and a great deal of talent, charged with sensitivity. In other words, theatre expressed mainly through the body, using choreography, but in which the performers speak and sing. Opera, even? But providing a definition is not what matters here, rather it is a matter of feeling what these artists are offering.

A journey.
A simple journey with a number of disturbing, Beckett-like characters, who finally discover the sea, their own internal sea, the sea of baptismal water, that which initiates a being’s true existence and the possibilities of converting artistic expression into an unction that opens the way to emotion and stage compositions loaded with meaning – all taking place in the atmosphere created by a model soundtrack. A total performance, where every character has his/her own inner life which, taken as a whole, gives the strange sensation of a trajectory through an emotional state that drags out feelings and produces almost hormonal shocks in an audience fascinated by what they see, what they hear, and by the feelings produced through the combination of all the dramatic elements. The stage production combines the unique, the small converted into gigantic reference, and the spectacular. An initiation into subtlety where the actors/dancers succeed in drowning their characters deeper and deeper in the water, which is not only movement but also the communication of feeling.

All this is combined with the meticulous care of a watchmaker. Every sound, every light, every gesture, every explosion of energy contributes to a strange sensation of well-being and intellectual and emotional commitment in the audience, so that one can only sit back and marvel at the fascinating performance one is witnessing, while being baptised with water which, rather than isolating, unifies through the peninsula of talent, beauty, theatre, and dance.

Everything from the original idea to the directing, via the acting, takes us on a journey whose final destination is none other than Art itself.

by Carlos Gil, Gara, Bilbao, 14 february 2000

Ritual of Language and steps

The arival of Lazurd – second piece in the Trilogy of water – created by Carles Mallol and Ines Boza of Senza Tempo at the Cuarta pared in Madrid – as part of the madrid in dance festival- is a genuine surprise.
Not since “Le Roayume Milenaire” by l’Esquisse have we seen a stage strewn with perzian carpets, for the influence of Regis Obadia’s work hovers over Senza Tempo, as does the theatrical inheritance of François Verret, and indeed a whole era of new french dance, in which the poetic journey and its inherent social critique is a recurring theme.
In Lazurd, a haughty-looking lady reads the Financial Times while four errant beings act out the circus of life around here: gamble and risk, struggle and misery, trick and conjuring, like an adventurous, emigrant troop of actors or outcasts, whose antics are rich in symbolism.
And it is at this point that the wicked water ritual begins, in which farce and circus remain the mainsprings of the action.
All social and class differences are washed away, as a torrent of prohibited desires is unleashed, each whim and impulse becoming a valid motive on the way to ultimate ecstasy.
The excellent choreography is executed against a sharp selection of musical themes, (with allusions to dervishes and hard sex among other things) and set within an ingenious ans highly imaginative stage decor.
Worthy of special mention is the dancing and vitality of Ines Boza and the explosive chemistry she whips up with Victor zambrana, a little-but-large antihero whose muscles give rise to the most powerful poetic expression. The audience, aptly showered in the front rows by the aquatic exuberance of the performers, appaluded this serious and superbly performed work with great enthusiasm.

by Roger Salas, El Pais, 5 June 1999

 

Even before the lights dim, Senza Tempo is dealing in intriguing images. For, as we file into the long, vaulted tunnel at the very back of the Arches, the Blonde is already sitting on stage: unconcerned, elegant, enigmatic amid an unruffled sea of gem-bright rugs. When the lights do dim, this sad little trio creep upstage. Drab clothes, shabby possessions, and each with a stool that is used – in solemn rotation – as the next stepping stone in their arduous journey towards brief safety. In this case, a large wardrobe.

The air is heavy with the drumming of rain, the creaking of timbers – even the Arches neighbouring cranes fit in, like random bursts of thunder.
The whole sequence, with its cunning drip-feed of little details, looks utterly bizarre and yet it has the feel of so much familiar newsreel footage: natural disasters, enforced flight, displaced persons – and all within such close proximity to someone else’s untouched, impervious comfortable life.
Only the Blonde doesn’t stay untouched, or indeed unchanged. The deluge, being no respecter of class or beauty, spills over into her boudoir: or rather, this huge paddling pool is unfurled, centre stage. It’s a superb touch.
For, as the pool slowly fills with water so one’s mind also fills, with a mosaic of images and associations stirred by the music (Klezmer, Moorish, religious), the dance – sometimes dreamily sensual, other times fiercely, thrillingly athletic – and by the clever choice of occasional props.
By the end, the two men and three women are utterly drenched. The water has flooded their very being. After bouts of drunken bravado, histrionic penitence, rage, dispair, and a kind of torrential madness all (bar one dazed, stubborn soul) pack up and join the centuries-old line of homeless refugees.
A beautifully conceived and executive piece, this, full of comic whimsy and poetic drama but – as one has come to expect with this Spanish company – always expressing cogent insight about individuals and society.

By Mary Brennan, The Herald, Glasgow, May 13, 1998