'Bodas de Sangre', the international scenic project that unites students from TAI and London South Bank University
Federico's play García Lorca'Blood Wedding'is the starting point of the international performing project that has united the Performing Arts students of the University School of Arts TAI as well as the London South Bank University.
For a week, the English students worked and lived with their classmates in Madrid, where the show premiered on May 19. These days are the students of TAI who have traveled to London to represent the play there on June 9.
This representation is presented as a scenic project that combines the two languages, Spanish and English, with physical experimentation of the body. After months of work preparing the play in their respective schools, the London students have traveled to Madrid to meet with the students TAI and to be able to rehearse together before premiering the work.
The playwright and director of the Performing Arts studies at South Bank, Gill Foster, says that this exchange is constructed like a traditional exchange but based on a theater project. It's about taking a text, two countries and trying to understand it in a different way, looking for a new theatrical language. “We have experimented with the idea of two families with two different cultures and how that is expressed through language barriers, lack of communication, not listening... We have worked in both languages, so that the students have worked on their language and in a foreign languageFoster explains.
However, neither the language nor the cultural difference have been a barrier off stage. The project was not trying to see the cultural differences, but to reinforce the similarities. “We have realized that we are not different at all and when we move in a space, we understand each other”reflects Nika Ganic, a Performing Arts student at the English university. Outside of rehearsals, the 16 students have had time to visit the Madrid student residence where she lived García Lorca and explore the city. “You are living in another culture, so you need to get out of the four walls in which you work. Every morning we had breakfast in the street, to feel the people. People in Madrid have a special vibration, that positive vibration fills you up in the morning and you arrive at work full of energy”, adds this student.
The most complex part of this whole process resided in the creation of a work from the corporeal. To do this, they have had the specialist director of body work and South Bank professor Ed Richard, who taught them to “prepare the body to respond to stimuli, to disinhibit it”. The students worked a lot on kinesthesia, movement and creating a common feeling through the body, as Jacob Harwood, a student at the London school, explains. He also adds how strange it is to think how those movements can become theater and tell a story. “In London we are used to being given a text, with a character and you interpret it. Here it was all about movements and body language”, expands his partner Ben Davies.
Despite all the difficulties, students and teachers were satisfied with the result of the performance. “The students are not used to this intense way of working, but they have responded with an absolute level of concentration, like true professionals,” says the Performing Arts teacher TAI and person in charge of the project in Madrid, Juan Ollero.
Chronicle of Jasone Argintzona, student of Master in Screenwriting.