Review: Fuego Rojo, at Impact 21

by Lynn on October 7, 2021

in The Passionate Playgoer

Live in person City Hall—William St. Parking Lot. Waterloo, Ont, and on-line. Part of IMPACT 21 from MTSPACE21. I saw the last on-line performance.

www.mtspace.ca

Inspired by “Memories of Fire” by Eduardo Galeano

Co-presented with Neruda Arts

La Patagallina y Ciclicus, Chile

Directed by Martin Erazo (Chile)

Original idea and dramaturgy by Martin Erazo and Leandro Mendoza

Musical creation and interpretation, Alejandra Muñoz

Wardrobe design, Antonio Sepulveda

Lighting by Martin Erazo

Accessory and headdress design by Gabriela Gonzalez and Natalie Morales

Puppets (Apu Condor) Tomas O’Ryan

Sound Design by Pablo Contreras

Cast: Francisca Arce

Gloria Salgado

Francisca Artaza

Valentina Weingart

Alex Carreño

Matias Burgos

Juan Ferino

From the show information: “A funeral is transformed into a pagan celebration, a coffin becomes a portal which brings forth the voices of Atahualpa and Jemanya, and the rituals of the Yawar and shrines to the dead are put on display in this rustic opera. Physical theater and contemporary circus mix and meld, breathing life into a series of dreamlike landscapes through the use of object manipulation, poetic imagery, and live music. A Latin America under construction is presented in this dynamic production that speaks to us about the tension that exists between our memory of the past and our experience of the present, raising the questions: How much of that past have we lost? How much of it lives within us in the present? Is it possible to reconnect with that past?”

What a terrific company of street theater artists, acrobats, jugglers and wonderful storytellers. The symbol of death—a skull and the outline of skeleton is maneuvered around the stage—the skull is held above the formation of the skeleton. The outline of the body is composed of what looks like bowling pins. The pins are held in such a way that they look like the skeleton’s arms and legs. Later the bowling pins will be used in complex juggling formations. A coffin is carried by the cast around the stage—the skull is on the side. Later the coffin is propped on the narrow edge and the lid is open. The cast enter the stage from a slit in the back of the coffin. There are so many inventive images in this creation it’s eye-popping.

The stories that are told are stories of explorers coming from elsewhere and slowly taking over the land. One story is that the people had the land and the visitors had the Bible. When the people woke up from sleep, they had the Bible and the visitors had the land. This is South America. It could be anywhere as we all know. This is what impressed me most about the piece, rather than the memory aspect of it. The truth of stolen land is so prevalent in so many histories.

The theatricality of the company is so vivid. Loved it. I would love to have seen this company live because the filming of it was frustrating. Whoever was filming this could not leave any scene untouched for more that 10 seconds so that we can at least focus on the group, their athleticism and theatricality. The camera jumped from side shots to close ups to medium shots so frequently and so quickly it was aggravating. I’ll look out for this company again.

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