Clouds | AracaladanzaWhen Aracaladanza’s Clouds finishes its run at the Perth International Arts Festival, there will be hundreds of children who want to practice shadow puppets, play with balloon heads, and chase clouds that turn into sheep. And hopefully, hundreds more children who have fallen in love with the thrill that theatre can bring. Such is the magic of Clouds that even the seasoned arts attendee can’t help but be charmed.

Spanish dance company Aracaladanza has created a child friendly, captivating, surreal and evocative dance piece. At a quick 50 minutes (side note – 2013 does seem to be the 50 minute festival!), it is long enough to get fully immersed in the enchanted world, yet short enough for your children not to get restless. Indeed the young gentleman next to me, who was about 10, sat enthralled throughout with nary a peep or rustle of his maltesers.

Artistic Director Enrique Cabrera founded Aracaladanza in 1995, focusing on high quality children’s theatre utlising contemporary dance with elements of fantasy, imagination and magic. Developed in 2009 by Cabrera and the company, Clouds (Nubes in Spanish) takes its inspiration from paintings by surrealist René Magritte. Key visuals from his paintings feature prominently throughout, the green apple, overcoats, top hats, and of course, clouds.

Clouds in all shapes and forms! The performance opened with a pyramid of little houses, which the dancers spirited away before the final dancer drew a cloud (of inspiration perhaps) out of the last house. This simple little cloud led to a huge cloud that danced around the stage, then floating fabrics, tables, doors that led nowhere, ladders to climb, and clouds that were in fact sheep. Everything had a purpose; and there were many delightful moments within each separate piece.

Original music has been devised by Mariano Lozano P. Ramos, and the performance is overflowing with a mix of classical and contemporary pieces interwoven into a seamless whole. Effective lighting by Pedro Yagüe, projection design by Álvaro Luna and set by Elisa Sanz / Ricardo Vergne were all complimentary and added to the mystical, fantastical atmosphere. Sanz’s costume designs were spectacular, simple in some scenes, and full of detail and block colours in others.

Carolina Arija Gallardo, Ignacio Martìn Prieto, Jimena Trueba Toca, Jorge Brea Salgueiro, Olga Lladó Valls and Raquel de la Plaza Húmera made up the six member dance troupe. Precision timing, first-rate dancing and choreography were added to the obvious fact that the troupe was having fun!

Clouds is a magical performance, one for the whole family to enjoy. As the company say in the program, Aracaladanza “invite you to open a door, the one that’s in your head and allow you to imagine whatever you want.” Go on. It’s enchanting!


Aracaladanza
Clouds

Choreographed by Enrique Cabrera

Venue: Regal Theatre | 474 Hay Street, Subiaco WA
Dates: 14 – 17 Feb 2013
Tickets: $59 – $25
Bookings: www.perthfestival.com.au

Part of the 2013 Perth International Arts Festival

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