Good thing The Ochre House Artistic Director Matthew Posey doesn’t give half a fig about sticking to telling linear stories in his original plays. Otherwise, the Dallas stage-scape would be a lot less enchanting.
September 9-12, Posey and his crew of “Pioneers of the Suavant Guarde” mounted a deliciously enchanting, and non-linear, co-production with the 2015 Dallas Flamenco Festival: Buñuel Descending. Posey wrote the rudimentary script. Antonio Arrebola and Delilah Muse, partners on and off stage, choreographed the show. The performance emerged in half light, loosely book-ended front and back by a simple barroom scene. Three dissipated, drunken male friends (depicting film-maker Luis Buñuel, playwright Federico Garcia Lorca and painter Salvador Dali) haunt and carouse and belittle each other. Sometimes they play in a wicked crude dream state with horned masks and a talking hand puppet, sometimes in an inebriated semi-reality where a wise, beautiful woman portraying Jeanne Bunuel drifts in and out with sensual abandon and disdain for their lustful attention.
Virgin and whore, Mother of all things Godly, including castanets. Mesmerizing explosions of Flamenco dancing erupted with emotional content as full of expressive passion and musical rhythms as any Puccini opera. Accompanying and punctuating the performance stage left in full view were Cantaor Jose Cortes Fernandez, with a rich, silken voice sure to please the Gods on Mt. Olympus, melodic Guitarrista Calvin Hazen and rhythmically dominant Cajon on percussion, Bobby Fajardo. Following “plot” became insignificant as the dancers’ performance swept the stage. Sometimes the clownish antics of the three drunken chums charmed and amused. More often the love quarrels and courtship rituals expressed deeply and profoundly by master Flamenco artists Arrebola and Duse left the audience entranced and breathless. They were balletic, ageless, euphoric, divine, in balance with the universe while at war with each other. Brazen, earthy mortals blessed with terpsichorean transcendence. Who needs words when dance expresses so much? I didn’t give a fig for the story, either.
Acting ensemble included the bold, agile and ever so manly Ivan Jasso and Christopher Sykes….
Please come back for another encounter. I promise snow-white roses for all, wrapped in baby’s breath….
Melissa Auberty and Chuck Alexander designed the sparse set and painted the luminous backdrop wrapped around the playing space. Puppet design by Justin Locklear. Costumes by Flamenco Closet Creations, Furamenko Fabrications and Fernando Hernandez.Original music composed by Calvin Hazen, Bobby Fajardo and Jose Cortes Fernandez.
Production photos by Robert Hart