Compañía Nacional de Danza de España will perform Carmen, their original piece created by Johan Inger in İstanbul for the first time on September 24th & 25th at Zorlu PSM’s Turkcell Stage.
When Johan Inger was asked to create a new version of Carmen, being himself Swedish and Carmen a piece with a strong Spanish nature, he faced an enormous challenge. But it was also a great opportunity. The story witnessed through the eyes of a young watcher reveals the tale stripped to its mythic and universal elements of passion and violence.
The conceptual base of this new staging of Carmen centres on a plain and open stage, with clear-cut, solid and honest visuals and forms. Associations with different atmospheres are created by reinterpreting the original novel and avoiding any locally-rooted aesthetics. So, Seville can be any place. A tobacco factory is any industry. And the mountains of Ronda are a frame of mind, pushed the edge. On stage, that mood appears as seedy, dark, concealed and menacing town quarters. To create this atmosphere, three scenic materials are used—concrete, a mirror and a black corrugated material. The entire set arises out of one shape: an equilateral triangle. By association, the triangle instinctively represents the universe depicted in this artwork; three are a crowd, three stir up jealousy, three, alas, erupt into violence.
Three times three equals nine prisms.
The scenography is synthesized into three moving prisms, each with three different sides, moved by the dancers and choreography. The prisms are used to create the different spaces; clear spaces that do not hinder the message portrayed by the dancing but, rather, reveal possible places and moods just by their form and the material from which they are made.
The floor changes throughout the performance, starting out light and ending darker. Lamps accompany three different moments: the factory, the fiesta and the mountains. Apart from the costumes, this will be the only touch of colour in the scenography.
This scenography is meant to be dynamic and functional, and to show us, from the viewpoint of a child, the multiple aspects of this universal work of art, including violence and its consequences.
Carmen is created by an amazing artistic team where we can find incredible proffessionals such as David Delfín (costume design), Gregor Acuña-Pohl (dramaturgy), Curt Allen Wilmer (set design), Tom Visser (lighting design) and Marc Álvarez (original music).
“My Carmen is not only based on the female protagonist of the story, but as Merimée’s original does, my ballet focuses on don José’s love sickness, who, unable to accept the freedom of his beloved, starts a way down to hell, pushed by his primitive instincts: passion and revenge.” Johan Inger
The Compañía Nacional de Danza
The Compañía Nacional de Danza was founded in 1979 under the name Ballet Clásico Nacional and headed by Víctor Ullate as its first director. In February 1983, María de Ávila took on the directorship of both the Ballet Nacional Español and the Ballet Clásico Español, placing special emphasis on opening the doors to choreographers such as George Balanchine and Antony Tudor. Furthermore, María de Ávila commissioned choreographies to the American dancer and choreographer Ray Barra, at the time resident in Spain. She later offered him the post as full-time director, which he accepted and held until December 1990.
In December 1987, the outstanding Russian dancer Maya Plisétskaya took her post as artistic ballet director. In June 1990, Nacho Duato was installed as artistic director of what was now called the Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND); a position he held for twenty years, up to July 2010. His incorporation brought about an innovative change to the company’s history and make up, with the inclusion of new, original choreographies within its repertoire, together with long-standing tried and tested works. In August 2010, Hervé Palito succeeded Duato as artistic director for one year. In September 2011, José Carlos Martínez took the helm as director of the Compañía Nacional de Danza, holding the post for eight years.
On 28 March 2019, INAEM—the culture ministry’s performing arts’ institute—announced Joaquín De Luz as new Artistic Director as of September 2019.
Choreography: Johan Inger
Music: Georges Bizet and Rodion Shchedrin
Additional Original Music: Marc Álvarez
Original editor of Carmen Suite, Bizet-Shchedrin: Musikverlag Hans Sikorski, Hamburg
Dramaturgy: Gregor Acuña-Pohl
Costume Design: David Delfín
Set Design: Curt Allen Wilmer (AAPEE)
Lighting Design: Tom Visser
Assistant to the Choreographer: Urtzi Aranburu
Assistant to Set Design: Isabel Ferrández Barrios
Duration: 1h 30 minutes