||Deep, racial, vigorous, a complete spectacle.. just part of the description of Spanish National Ballet's "Negro-Goya" recently opened in Granada, for the 60th anniversaries of the Granada and Santander Festivals. Only a few more days until we can enjoy this show in Santander on 5th August.
11/07/11.- SOURCE: GRANADA HOY
Juan José Ruiz Molinero 10.07.2011
Racial look at dark Goya
"Negro-Goya" is a complete spectacle, a fusion of stage and music,in which not only do the principal dancers shine but the whole company.
But let?s not forget the choreography,lighting, costumes and scenography.
Show: "Negro-Goya". Choreography and stage direction : José Antonio. Music: Enric Palomar. Idea original y guión: Enric Palomar and José Antonio. Lighting design : Juan Gómez Cornejo. Costume design: Sonia Grande. Set design: Ricardo Sánchez-Cuerda. Principals: Fernando Romero (Goya), Elena Algado (Leocadia), Miguel A. Corbacho (Rey), Miguel Ángel Espino (Macho Cabrío). Orchestra: Ciudad de Granada. Conductor: Josep Caballé-Domenech.
Deep, vigorous and racial is how José Antonio and Enric Palomar?s stage and musical vision of Goya has been described. A show which examines the darkest side of Goya, the witches? Sabbath, the monsters of reason, the disasters of war, the caprices, and which ends with the stick duel which symbolizes not only Spain at the time of the amazing Aragon artist,but also the meaninglessness of this at times monstrous country, capable of producing the most universally recognized talents and yet also destroying itself and them, should the case arise.
Goya?s ferocious criticism of his tumultuous Spain, his ghosts in his exile,are dangerous elements upon which to stage a show where music and dance blend into a single expressive body.And I stress the word dangerous because it is easy to fall into the trap or purely visual and creative, based on purely scenic or anecdotic elements, however, quite simply because recreating a genius is an impossible task.
However,in this attempt to understand the darkest side of the painter , the work carried out by the composer and choreograph is very serious and produces a fine result. I will talk about the music first, which in any contemporary ballet to be prized is fundamental.
Enric Palomar, without neglecting the aesthetics of Spanish music- there are clear Fallaesque references- has composed a score that is full of vigour, strength, drama, and expression.
He has intelligently used the preponderant presence of percussion as fundamental elements of the action, combining them with the aggression of metal and eloquent dissonance of a ductile string.
It is not just a conventional ballet score to highlight the stage presence, but it in fact envigorates it through the support of the music. What a magnificent performance by the City of Granada Orchestra, once more providing an essential main role!
For his part, José Antonio has produced a choreography full of fight, once again without naturally neglecting the intrinsic bolera and tap dancing, standards of the Spanish school, but as he says standing this on its head.
With the basic elements of a well trained company as is the Spanish National Ballet, the result is an attractive show, with a bright yet dark narrative about Goya, the character who flees in exile and who, deep down, is destroyed by his own ghosts ? the real burden of the ill-fated Ferdinand VII, the army, the priests, the permanent division between siblings, the oppressed masses- sometimes concealed by masks or elements taken from the drawings and images from Goya?s most dream-filled
The action revolves around four main characters ? Goya himself, performed by Fernando Romero; Leocadia, by Elena Algado; the King, by Miguel A.Corbacho, and the Macho Cabrio (the Ram),by Miguel Ángel Espino, and a fine visual fresco is depicted which takes us by surprise on many occasions thanks to its showiness and originality, such as the broken heart through which the most wicked characters emerge, or the blood-red veils,that spill over the stage, with the symbolism that he has for this racial vision I refer to and the Goyaesque interpretation that runs through the whole show.
A complete spectacle, in this fusion of drama and music, in a cohesive idea in which not only do the principals shine, but the correct line of the whole of the National Ballet. However, we must not just mention the original choreography of José Antonio, but also the great contribution made by the lighting, costume and set design, without which much of the choreography and musical intention would be lost,or viceversa.
Perhaps at times there is an excess of reiterative choreography, broken precisely by these sudden moments of lucidity. However, in any case, Negro-Goya is a portrait and suggestive insight into the genius who died in exile in Bordeaux. We can be sure that the ghosts and the satanic world of Goya is what we can find around us today, both near and far. Enric Palomar and José Antonio have seen it that way and expressed it so.