Just two months before his murder in 1936 at the hands of Franco’s henchmen, Spanish poet and dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca wrote “The House of Bernarda Alba,” his tragic play that took on authoritarianism, religious oppression, the subjugation of women and social and sexual repression.
Some 80 years later, the New York-based dance company Ballet Hispánico is performing two premieres connected to Lorca. Both pieces are on the program at the company’s 2018 season at the Joyce Theater, which runs through April 15. The first, choreographer Carlos Pons Guerra’s “Waiting for Pepe,” is directly inspired by “The House of Bernarda Alba.” The second, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s “Espíritus Gemelos,” looks at Lorca’s relationship with Salvador Dali—a relationship that was, according to Ballet Hispánico’s artistic director, Eduardo Villaro, “tumultuous.”
In a recent interview with ALL ARTS, Villaro discussed themes in Lorca’s work and how they translate to the pieces the company is presenting on the Joyce program.
“I think the statement we are making is that we accept the diversity that’s in our culture in all levels,” he said. “You know, it’s not only race based but belief based and gender based, and that’s important. And I think if it may appear or seem that it is in response to the current rhetoric, then maybe it is.”
Top Image: Ballet Hispánico performs “Linea Recta.” Photo courtesy of Paula Lobo.