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April 7, 2005

Centro de Experimentacion del Teatro Colón

The Sala del CETC in the Teatro Colón is not accessible via the main entrance. From a side door, you descend a series of series of concrete stairs in a black, chipped stairwell into the bowels of the theater. The stairwell is lit by lurid theatrical lights with a low red-gold glow. This Dantean descent meets or matches the theatrical flair of anything else presented.

The center presented a residency program of four choreographers paired with four composers. The results are presented to the public for 5 pesos (about $1.50). Even had the results been completely dreadful the mere effort would have been worthwhile. The four dances created may not have been world class, but they were all worthwhile viewing, and a community that produces them is culturally rich.

The space itself is in the bowels of the theater, and is a dreadful space for pure dance. It's a subterranean space with a dance floor laid down around poles and huge square brick pillars that divide the space in half. Not great for pure dance, but the columns force entries and hide and reveal dancers in ways that make the space dance as much as the dancers within.

The four pieces were presented without intermission, but the stage would be restructured after each dance by moving the orchestra, the Compañía Oblicua, directed by the creator of the residency, Marcelo Delgado. They were integrated into each piece's movement as well as providing accompaniment. The first piece, Vértices (My Spanish dictionary translates this as Apexes - Walter Cammertoni, chor, Patricia Martinez, comp.) had the orchestra enter first in a choreographed pattern around the arches to sit underneath the central one. The dance itself had the dancers carrying the frames of suitcases and throwing papers. Like many of the pieces that followed, the use of the space was more striking than the movement itself.

. . .Que colma tu aire y vuela (I'm going to make a bad guess and say this may translate colloquially as Spread your Wings and Fly - Ramiro Javier Soñez, chor, Marcos Franciosi, comp.) made as much use of the musicians as the dancers. The musicians were placed at the side of the space and towards the end, the dancers moved aside their music stands to release them as they walked slowly across the stage, gradually becoming more important in the space than the dancers. Delineado (Gabily Anadón, chor, Luciano Giambastiani, comp) moved in the reverse, beginning with a full contingent of musicians and having them leave one by one after sections.

Arder (to burn - Mariana Bellotto, chor. Raúl Lafuret Pereyra, comp.) was the sex number that satisfied every dancers exhibitionistic tendencies. The women stomped about in high heels, and did backup singer moves in an alcove all the way at the back of the space. They came forward, but not to dance, only to stare. They also had their lesbian moments, but the choreographer was far more ginger about the men playing the same games. There was also lots of peekaboo exposures; one of the women removed enough of her pants and panties to give us a tasty buttcrack view. Since she was in better shape than the man at the Castelar, I took it in stride. At the end the shortest man in the company tottered and stammered about in red high heels, tapping furiously in almost a flamenco rhythm. The other dancers gathered and rolled down their pants and skirts to just expose the tops of their pubic hair. I guess it's not usually done, but after my day today, I'd just call them scaredy-cats and say go ahead and show it all.

Posted by Leigh Witchel at April 7, 2005 10:26 PM

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