There is a certain lofty attitude that one associates with ballet that dates back to its roots. Eyebrows raise when one mentions they are attending a ballet show, and when suggested as a date, men generally run in the opposite direction.
In Teatro Universidad de Chile it became clear why there are these connotations; it doesn't so much involve the show on stage these days, but rather the performance outside that creates the pretentious atmosphere. They may not have been wearing lycra tights, but those assembled in the foyer put on a display almost worthy of tickets. Just gaining entrance was orchestrated into a spectacle of its own; noses held high and out of joint and a fanfare of shushing and strutting around in the foyer by busybody organizers.
It is a shame that some people attempt to maintain these remnants from 16th century bourgeoisie spectators, as it detracts from the real performance on stage, which is quite accessible and enjoyable--even for a ballet ingénue. But if there's anyone who could challenge these conventions and create a sense of frivolity with a lack of pretension, it is the Brazilians.
The Brazilian show "Forroloni" was based on a type of dance with the same name born in northeast Brazil. It was a form of expression through which the people tried to forget their problems through dance. Ironically, it was a dance for all, with no distinctions of age or race, which is precisely what dance should be about.
This piece, choreographed by Dany Bittencourt, was one act of the show "Carta blanca a…" directed by Gigi Caciuleanu. The performers employed all dimensions of the space with a vitality and crossover of samba moves and swing jazz rhythms, that came through in a colorful and energetic show and displayed their innate sense of rhythm and play.
"Carta blanca a …" is comprised of three sections, two from Argentina and one from Brazil. The first section, Los Cuatro Temperamentos, is choreographed by Oscar Araiz and Triple Tiempo by Ana Maria Stekelman.
Triple Tiempo is an abstract work, based on the number three, which Choreographer Stekelman describes as “the past, present and future, and also the feminine, masculine and the neutral. And they play in this work searching for an equilibrium that is always unstable.”
What is still unstable is the balance between the old associations of ballet and what it can mean for today’s audiences.
Ballet Nacional Chileno
"Carta Blanca a…"
Universidad de Chile