(The following article was translated from Spanish to English by Perla Suazo and Revolver Staff.)
Mendicantes has done it again. With all the power of expression and corporality, he opens En tránsito ("in transit").
Photo courtesy Lady Tak Tak
With more than 50 actors on stage, live music and Mendicantes' 10 years of experience, it is clear that words are not necessary in expressing the deepest side of man’s day-to-day existence as a creature of habit.
Mendicantes chooses the street as a stage, where sounds of cars honking, children yelling and general noise contrast the silence of the muted performance. Nevertheless, the text is still deep and profound.
The pressure of city living, of a routine repeated day after day, of fatigue reflected in the faces of people with briefcases crossing the streets of our capital, of those in the subway or those who arrive to watch a television that almost negates our own ability to think.
The music, carefully tended to by the rhythms of the saxophone, flutes, trumpets, and even a gas cylinder—a guiding point throughout the play, encourage us to remain alert to the actors’ mood changes, to the developing moments of tension and distension.
It is not strange to leave with a feeling that it was worth it to watch a very professional play in its entirety, full of daily sentiments anyone can relate to. And for those who exaggerate the point (as in my case), to watch it two or three times to recognize all the narrative, expressive, and thematic elements that give life to this group.
Just like “Rebelion de los Mendigos,” “Gran Baile Gran,” some other work with water, dance and music, or in this Chilean-Spanish co-production by the Seminario de Dramaturgia Corporal, Mendicantes breaks the routine of those who walk unprepared and suddenly find themselves provoked by someone dressed up in pins, paper clips or small pieces of tape measure staring at them directly; or of those that, by finding some bit of information on a Facebook network, hope to see something of quality that’s almost free (donating something, even a few cents, is the least you can do if you liked the show).