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Morir Soñando at the Blue Elephant Theatre

Published by: Carolin Kopplin on 10th Nov 2016 | View all blogs by Carolin Kopplin

Morir Sonando image 2.jpg

The winter season at the Blue Elephant Theatre has started with the exciting ELEFEET Dance Festival presenting new and innovative work. Morir Soñando is an exploration of Dominican identity, beautifully choreographed by Stephanie Peña.

Titilayo Adebayo, dressed in a white top and black pants, arrives in a new environment, a new country. Firmly rooted in her own cultural background, she dances in a freeform style with African elements to the song "Ae Mamá Si E' / Candelo (Palos o Atabales)" by Mercedes Cueva & Los Paleros de Nigua. The other three dancers - Samanta Ceriani, Larren Jeffries and Alice Seager - wear uniform reddish tops and black pants. Their style is very different from Titilayo's and they treat her with suspicion and rejection at first. After making a stand for their own style of dance and music (songs by Fernando Villalona, Juan Luis Guerra, Rokabanda), they try to assimilate Titilayo's character but she clings to her own roots, refusing to give up her indiduality and her heritage.

As the performance begins, Titilayo Adebayo is kneeling on the floor with her back to the audience. She is swaying to the music and eventually gets up to dance joyfully. Two other dancers enter the stage and lie down at first, dreaming and swaying. When they encounter the unknown dancer, they first react with curiosity, admiring her elegant and strange movements, but this soon turns into hostility because of her otherness. As they are trying to make the stranger one of their group, her own song keeps pushing to the surface. She refuses to copy the new dance moves and returns to her own style.

This is a beautiful production dealing with the complex subjects of integration and cultural identity featuring skilled dancers and a tuneful and rousing score. Titilayo Adebayo shines as the outsider but the other dancers are equally delightful.

By Carolin Kopplin 

 The show ran the Blue Elephant Theatre from 7 -8 November 2016.

Running time: 45 minutes without an interval.

More information on ELEFEET:

Photograph provided by Blue Elephant Theatre.



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