Dancing in the Air

Dancing in the Air

Who said ballet is elitist? Who said that it is a discipline for exclusive spaces, destined for the acknowledged and not for any old audience?

Not true. And it is proved by the Delrevés company with their show Finale, on Wednesday 26th August at 8pm, who will put the final touch to the Summer Nights at CaixaForum, which this year has weathered the health emergency by reinventing itself in a new virtual format.

Delrevés, Finale. Photo: Frank Díaz.

Finale is the farewell performance of the programme of music and dramatic art that has enlivened all the Wednesdays in July and August, underlining the commitment of the la Caixa Foundation to culture and its diffusion.

With Finale, Delrevés takes classical dance out of the famous theatres, distancing itself from the glitz, the velvet and the springy seats normally associated with it, and takes it into the open air, into the urban space where everyone can enjoy it without feeling inhibited by the surroundings. But that is not all, because Delrevés is no ordinary dance company – it is a vertical dance company. In other words the performers do not dance on the floor but in the air, and their stage is not a wooden or linoleum platform but the façade of a building. “In vertical dance the choreography changes according to the architecture, its curves and profiles, windows and balconies, which add interest but also danger to the design”, explains Eduardo (Dudu) Torres, who founded the company together with Saioa Fernández in Barcelona in 2007.

Finale is designed to be performed on two façades of the CaixaForum building which give onto the Carrer de Mèxic and the audience would have enjoyed the show from the interior courtyard of the cultural centre. However, the pandemic and the impossibility of maintaining social distancing has meant that the performance had to be pre-recorded and broadcast by internet. It will then be available on the CaixaForum Digital Agora, together with the other shows in this series.

“The show takes these well-known pieces into the urban space and decontextualizes them”.

“Watching ballet online is not all drawbacks. You can see certain details and frames that perhaps would have been lost in a live performance” says Saioa Fernández. Finale, which lasts 20 minutes, takes a series of ballet pieces, which form part of the popular classics such as The Nutcracker Suite and Giselle into the air, and it end with the death of the swan and the phoenix rising from the ashes. “The show takes these well-known pieces into the urban space and decontextualizes them, while keeping the typical costumes – pointe pumps and tutus and the classical ballet movements, although there are some that cannot be reproduced exactly such as pirhouettes”, continues Fernández, who will be one of the two ballerinas on the stage together with Sheila Ferrer, while her partner Eduardo Torres, who has an interesting background in classical dance and the martial arts, will not be dancing on this occasion.

The particularity of this discipline, created for open spaces, has enabled the company to save 50 per cent of this year’s tour, which alongside Finale includes a performance of Uno, a piece combining classical and contemporary dance. For the thirteen years that they have been dancing on façades of building across the world, Delrevés has experimented with acrobatic techniques, although removed from the circus-sense of the word, and technological resources such as projectors and digital effects. “In Guateque we told a story with live music, mixing pre-recorded images with live ones”, the artists explain. For 2021 they have a particularly risky and experimental proposal in mind: the premiere performance of a bigger and more complex piece involving the building of a wall ex profeso, something they have never done before.