Remedy for Sorrows

4 Mar

Andres Peña’s solo show last night ‘Ordago a la Grande’ has been hailed the best so far in the Jerez Festival. Certainly it was the most personal, brave and risky. One dancer alone on the large Villamarta Theatre stage for one hour and forty minutes. Nothing was concealed from us. From my centre stall seat I could read every emotion and muscle movement. No fancy costumes, just four pairs of boots signifying different emotions and stages and two chairs, one that remained empty, the other used as an extension of his body.

Andres has spoken little about the unexpected death of his father last year but he has been grieving deeply. On top of that sorrow he had the joy of finally becoming a father with his wife Pilar Ogalla’s baby girl expected this month. Joy and sadness have been threatening to overwhelm him at times. Dance and hard work have been his escape and his therapy. Even when he was touring Australia in December he was preparing for this show, a task he saw as monumental but a challenge he had to face alone. We are the beneficiaries of his efforts and his artistry.

This is my translation of an extract from the ‘Diario de Jerez’ Villamarta Theatre critic’s review today:

‘The best way out of the consuming pain and grief in one’s soul is to expell it. Andres’ achievement (in his show) was to drown his sorrows and look to the future. He won the game of life (in this performance and at the end) and dared to sing a lullaby with an angelic voice, recounting the cost of this outcome. Andres, lying on the stage floor face to the ceiling, sang: “The greatness of life compared to the pain and grief are you my light, the joy of my tears.” The rest of the story you already know, the audience standing, and more than five minutes of applause. Andres, a grand performer.’

Apart from the choreographic collaborations with Pilar and Eva Yerbabuena, this was an all male show. And what a strong team they were.

Singers: Miguel Lavi, David Carpio, Jose Anillo, El Londro
Guitarist: Jesus Guerrero
Percussion: Israel Mera
Original Concept and Choreography: Andres Peña and Pilar Ogalla
Choreography of La Vidalita: Eva Yerbabuena

I like to think that the lullaby Andres sang so sweetly at the end was for the imminent arrival of his daughter Martina. May she arrive safely into the arms of her loving parents and their extended families. We await her entrance into this world with hopeful hearts.

PS Andres won the Festival’s ‘Audience Award’ for his show.

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Photos from Diario de Jerez by photographer Miguel Angel Gonzalez

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Official Festival video compilation of Andres’ show.

One Response to “Remedy for Sorrows”

  1. Jem Edwards March 4, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    Awesome! Fantastic you tube clip posted by Seb Sanchez. Bravo!!

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