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© Ruvén Afanador

Afanador

#Afanador

Inspired and fascinated as I was with the books Ángel Gitano and Mil Besos, when it came to putting together this show, I knew it could never be an attempt merely to copy the beauty therein. Ruven Afanador’s masterful photo sessions in Andalusia are unrepeatable: it would be impossible to repeat the alchemy that formed between the photographer and figures with such charisma as Israel Galván, Matilde Coral, Eva Yerbabuena, José Antonio and the BNE’s very own Rubén Olmo. 

My journey begins where those sessions end, and when I stop dreaming about them, unable to remember the full details or to subject them to a logic that has become lost along the way, that is when I find myself overcome by the desire to wake up. 

Afanador is born out of the tension between the fascination that emanates from Ruven Afanador’s photos and my own fascination for mystery, both of the day and the night, that so fascinated Ruven in his day. 

I studied photography and am the grandson of a photographer. Although I never took up photography professionally, it has always been very present in my work as a set director and creator of worlds. With his incredibly meticulous staging and evocative images, Ruven Afanador has forced me to reflect on the fundamental kinship between photographic and choreographic composition: the corporeal challenge shared by both: to capture life – that which, by definition, does not allow itself to be captured.

Ruven Afanador observes flamenco through a lens that is deforming, a lens made of dreams, desire and memories. If the elements of tradition are reassuring by definition, what happens when they become strange and unrecognisable? The surrealist gaze of Afanador towards flamenco is very similar to the gaze towards the world that has developed in my work over the years with La Veronal: one that tries not to represent the world that exists, but rather to invent new ones.

When asked about cinema, Estrella de Diego, whom I paraphrase, said: “One must enter that dark space without premeditation, with the film already having started, but without knowing beforehand what is being shown, dragged along by chance and fortune. One must sit down and abandon oneself to one’s senses without preparation, and the senses must not have been guided via opinions or synopses. One must go to the cinema in search of something other than the story that is being told. One must know that in the cinema, as in life, one always ends up identifying with oneself, and never the character or the plot.”

I would like people to come to see us in that frame of mind, as in certain dreams where we recognise places, people and landscapes – and without understanding the specific events, we know that they are really about us.

 Marcos Morau

Multimedia

Artistic Sheet

Original concept and artistic direction: Marcos Morau

Choreography: Marcos Morau & La Veronal

Lorena Nogal

Shay Partush

Jon López

Miguel Ángel Corbacho

Dramaturgy: Roberto Fratini

Set design: Max Glaenzel

Set production: Mambo Decorados y May Servicios para Espectáculos

Costume design: Silvia Delagneau

Costume production: Iñaki Cobos

Musical composition: Juan Cristóbal Saavedra

Special collaboration with: Maria Arnal

Music for Mineras and Seguiriyas: Enrique Bermúdez y Jonathan Bermúdez

Lyrics for Temporeras, Trillas, Livianas, Bamberas and Seguiriyas: Gabriel de la Tomasa

Lighting design: Bernat Jansà

Design and production of electronic devices: José Luis Salmerón of CUBE PEAK

Audiovisual design: Marc Salicrú

Photography: Ruven Afanador

Hairpieces: Carmela Cristóbal

Fascinators: JuanjoDex

Hairdressing consultant: Manolo Cortes

Makeup consultant: Roció Santana

Footwear: Gallardo

Synopsis

Ruven Afanador’s gaze is not that of a documentarian: it does not record an archive of events, styles and personalities for posterity. Neither is it monumental: it does not seek to imbue its object with glamorous or photogenic qualities. Afanador’s gaze is desirous: it deforms the principle object within it, and is deformed by it. The object of desire – Buñuel and surrealism had intuited this – is dark by definition. Desiring makes us ignorant, inexpert, incompetent, because to desire is to fixate upon something ephemeral, to focus on a disappearance. Desire composes its object, and sometimes invents it, in an attempt to keep on observing it. Thus, it produces a different understanding that is subjective, infallible and revealing. The object unmasks itself in front of the eyes, and also unmasks the gaze behind them.

 With an approach towards the multiverse of Andalusian folklore that is based on desire, Afanador forces it to reveal itself, and it does. As if in a dream, he brings to the surface its lapses, its deliria, the subconscious of flamenco, its palpitations of eroticism and death, its undocumentable truths. He weaves it all together in a thousand amplifications, like a grotesquely sumptuous world, an unthinkable body of light and shade. As he stares into the abyss of flamenco, he allows it to look back at him. 

Our work is simply another link in the long genealogical chain of dreaming and desire: it relates (or reveals) our gaze, which is that of Ruven Afanador, looking at his models. And it speaks of photography as an astonishing phenomenon of the world that occurs in the eyes. There is no plot: there is only caprice, as in Goya’s memorable series: family themes and recognisable gestures, such as masked characters in a troupe of “caprices”, coming together in the images, as if they were calling each other, through association, analogy, attraction – or through an insatiable game of metamorphosis, both angelic and diabolical: as caprices can only express images as either miracle or devilry. 

There is no photograph that is not suspended a sigh – or a thousand and one kisses – away from the fire that burns the image. 

Roberto Fratini Serafide

Reviews and testimonies

"... A unique confluence of elements form the foundation of what occurred at the Maestranza for the world premiere of Afanador, a work that will surely go down in the BNE’s history. As arresting as it is striking, the show demonstrates an entirely novel vision of Spanish dance that lacks for nothing – and while its execution has little in common with the traditional dance usually performed by the BNE, it absolutely embodies its spirit." Marta Carrasco (ABC)
"…The overall effect of this theatrical mix is powerful. It is wrapped in a subtle dramaturgy that eludes both a thread narrative like the typical succession of show numbers of flamingos. It is rather a chain of metaphorical motifs that alternates surreal images with well-known clichés about Spain and with references to its most deeply rooted traditions. This dominant and elusive symbolism is perhaps the most interesting of the work, since it gives the very attractive surface a complex and enigmatic soul." Cristina de Lucas (BachTrack)
"Afanador is a major bet by the BNE. It is a great production signed by one of the choreographers of the moment in Europe and that it will be able to tour everywhere." Andreu Gomila (The Temps of Arts)

Tickets

Valencia Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía

Hours
  • 19:30
State
  • Disponible

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Valencia Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía

Hours
  • 19:30
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Valencia Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía

Hours
  • 19:00
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Valencia Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía

Hours
  • 19:00
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Sevilla Teatro de la Maestranza

Hours
  • 20:00
State
  • Finalizado

Sevilla Teatro de la Maestranza

Hours
  • 20:00
State
  • Finalizado

Madrid Teatro Real

Hours
  • 19:30
State
  • Finalizado

Madrid Teatro Real

Hours
  • 17:00
State
  • Finalizado

Madrid Teatro Real

Hours
  • 21:00
State
  • Finalizado

Madrid Teatro Real

Hours
  • 18:00
State
  • Finalizado

Pozuelo de Alarcón Teatro Mira

Hours
  • 20:00
State
  • Agotado

Pozuelo de Alarcón Teatro Mira

Hours
  • 19:30
State
  • Agotado

Madrid Teatros del Canal

Hours
  • 19:00
State
  • Disponible

Madrid Teatros del Canal

Hours
  • 20:30
State
  • Disponible