Choreographer-dancer-singer François Chaignaud and four period-instrument musicians slice through Spanish history from the Golden Age to the 21st century, in a joyously theatrical blend of Baroque music, cabaret, flamenco, and gender play.
Chaignaud gives life to three luminous, romantic characters from Spanish drama, poetry and folklore: Doncella Guerrera, who sets out for war dressed as a man; the poet Garcia Lorca’s ambiguous archangel San Miguel; and the free-spirited dancer Tarara, an Andalusian Roma disappointed by love and hiding a secret androgyny.
In three fabulously-costumed acts, encircled by rich tapestries, Chaignaud is in a near constant state of physical and vocal metamorphosis, displaying extraordinary range in each discipline. The music accompanying these“uncertain romances” – Spanish melodies from the 16th and 17th centuries – is conjured live on stage by four musicians playing period instruments, including the bandoneon, Baroque guitar and viola da gamba.
Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, the Elizabethan courtier who undergoes a mysterious change of sex and lives for over 300 years, Chaignaud’s “opera-ballet” is a love letter to centuries of Spanish culture and an odyssey of a shape-shifting body that slices through the centuries.