In the final days of 2019, choreographer Rafael Bonachela returned to Cuba to work with Acosta Danza dancers. His duet Soledad, is part of the program Bodies, the new season that the company directed by first dancer Carlos Acosta, presents on January 24th, 25th, 26th and 31st and February 1st and 2nd, at the Great Theater of Havana Alicia Alonso We had a talk with the artist about this dramatic love duo.
—How does the idea of creating Soledad is born?
—In 2005, dancers Antonia Grove and Theo Clinckard founded PROVE an independent dance project in London. Just then I had decided to stop dancing professionally and I wanted to devote myself fully to choreography. They hired me for a work for ‘PROVE’ and then I created Soledad, something that it meant a lot to me at the time of my career. Tony and Theo are magnificent dancers whom I knew very well, even Tony and I had danced together at the Rambert Dance Company. They bet for me and it was the beginning of my adventure as a choreographer.
- How was the creative work?
- Collaboration is always at the core of my creativity. I involve dancers a lot during the creative process. I think it’s important that there’s a dialogue to open the doors to change, to discovery, and to find new ways of communication through the body and movement.
«In the process of creation different ideas were proposed connected to the essence of the work. With those ideas in mind, we made a series of improvisations and experiments. From there it was generated the movement language implicit in the work.
«Soledad is a technical duo, very physical, but at the same time private and with small gestures. Both men and women alike have to manipulate, hold each other, pull and push each other. There is a lot of contact and connection to give weight to the dancers. It’s essential that there is trust between them so that they can throw themselves and risk being carried away by each other ».
- What moment in the relationship of a couple does this work reflect?
—I’d say that, from the most tender, delicate and intimate moment to the most passionate, fierce, and savage. They are two people who love each other, protect each other and sometimes don’t understand each other: a relationship with all their colors.
—The music of Soledad belongs to Latin American composers and performers, with the exception of violinist Gidon Kremer. Why did you choose this music to tell such a universal story?
"Being Spanish who lived in London, I really wanted to choreograph with Latin music and I chose songs that I had always liked and that I knew would inspire me."
«I discovered the music of Chavela Vargas through Pedro Almodóvar's films, I really like her tone of voice and passion of the lyrics. I am fascinated by stringed instruments and Piazzolla’s music and played by Gidon Kremer gives a psychological tension to the work and a Latin melancholy that I could not resist.
Rafael Bonachela is one of the best known Spanish choreographers in the international dance arena. Artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company, he has created works for companies like the Transitions Dance Company, of the United Kingdom, Contemporary Dance of Cuba and the Dance Works Rotterdam, among others. He has also worked for famous artists like singer Kylie Minogue, for companies like MTV and has collaborated in several advertising campaigns.
—How did you establish the link with Acosta Danza?
—I have followed the company's trajectory since it was founded. Carlos and I have always talked about a possible collaboration and when I saw them dancing at the Grec Festival in Barcelona I thought Soledad would be the perfect piece for the company.
—What is your opinion about the interpretation of Soledad by Acosta Danza, after working with our dancers?
—They are very well prepared dancers, with a solid classical and contemporary base and that is the best combination to dance my works. On top of that, they are open minded artists and intelligent bodies. Their performance is very good, very consistent and daring. It’s a pleasure to watch them completely devoted and get carried away by the dance.
- Do the Acosta Danza dancers offer any contribution in their interpretation of Soledad, different from the rest of the artists who have danced it?
—It has always been said that Cubans have music in their blood and these dancers have a special connection with Latin American music that supports the play, they feel it to the core and of course they also understand the lyrics and their meaning. The diversity of the company is something that enriches the work, there is a strength and above all a sensuality in the interpretation of these dancers which is unique.