The Contemporary Ballet of San Martín Unfortunately, his 2023 season got off to a very late start; beyond this undesirable circumstance, the chosen title was a great success: Leafby the French choreographer Mourad Merzouki, who had created it for his Käfik company.
The San Martín Ballet, which they co-direct Andrea Chinetti and Diego Poblete, is in a very difficult moment due to the painful working conditions they live; but his professional commitment and his artistic dedication are so high that no one could imagine – if they didn’t know it – how difficult his situation is.
On the contrary, in this jubilant and festive work that is Leafand which will surely guarantee an hour and a quarter of happiness to the spectators of the next performances, the official contemporary dance company of the city of Buenos Aires immerses itself completely in it: in its changes of atmosphere, of character, in its humor and also in its more introspective moments.
And on the other hand it is practically a miracle that an extremely demanding choreography in the content and continuity of the subsequent parts, plus musicians who not only play but also participate in the action of some scenes, plus some large objects that the performer has to manipulate, plus the hip-hop technique and certain acrobatic requirements that the dancers had to learn, in short, it is a miracle that all this accumulation of elements to assemble has reached such an excellent term with only three weeks of assembly.
Circus and urban dances
Mourad Merzouki made his early debut in urban dances and circus arts and in a thirty-year journey he added other dance vocabularies and other worlds to tell. Leafas is generally the case in all his works, he says nothing that can be put into words.
It is a work of surprises, of totally unexpected moments, of crazy auctions, of poetry whose breath seems suspended. If it’s in it Leaf -as Merzouki said in a recent interview- a thematic link to the madness of today’s world, for better or for worse, it’s not at all necessary to look for that association while the show is running.
Better to let yourself be carried away by the charm of that world staged there: the musicians -whom the soprano Graciela Oddone joins with great display-, for visible moments, for veiled moments; baroque music; the large mobile spheres that hide and discover; the simple but imaginative costumes, and finally the fantastic dancers. What a great company.
It ends up being almost annoying to point out how excellent their technical mastery is and how they know how to do everything that each choreographer, however different it may be, asks them from time to time.
But truly the extraordinary lies in the enormous subtlety and at the same time in the great strength of the interpretations. It’s impossible, and unfair, to highlight some dancers over others. However, it is worth mentioning the incorporation of the talented Vicente Manzoni, trained at the San Martín Workshop and who is the youngest dancer in the history of contemporary ballet.
And beyond the beautiful performances in solos, duets and trios, there is a spirit that expresses itself collectively in this company and which shines in all its brilliance in Leaf.
San Martín Contemporary Ballet. Directors: Andrea Chinetti and Dieglo Poblete. Choreography: Murad Merzoki. Music: Franck-Emmanuel Comte and Grégoire Durrande, performed in Buenos Aires by the ensemble directed by Jorge Lavista and the soprano Graciela Oddone. San Martín Theater, Corrientes 1530. Functions: Saturday and Sunday at 8.00pm, until June 18th.
Charles Hurd is an entertainment journalist for News Rebeat. He brings a fresh and engaging voice to the world of pop culture, covering the latest developments in film, television, music, and more.