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theater against useless rhetoric

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The volume is made up of no less than 21 dramatic texts by Eusebio Calonge (Jerez, 1963), some appearing in publishers and magazines, but never published in full like now. Yes, they have been seen and heard before being printed, since he wrote them to be said by the actors of his theater company, La Zaranda, not to be read. It is therefore an essential volume, which covers the production of the Andalusian company since 1992, the date on which he joined as author.

Calonge writes on stage and that marks his writing. His texts are designed for the cast of his company, -integrated from its origins by Paco de The ScreenGaspar Campuzano and Enrique Bustos–.

These performers are the author’s inspiration and it is with them and their voices that he has fixed most of the texts by rehearsing them on stage, stripping them of “useless rhetoric”, testing the intensity and silences of the words. , actions in space and time, and creating grotesque characters, who most of the time seem to come out of a farce by Ramón de la Cruz or a step by Lope de Rueda.

a beautiful lyric

You have to take your time to review the most famous works of the company and discover others less known, such as the five titles he wrote for other theater groups, for example, the sun of childhood (La Pajarita de Papel, 2010) or the most recent You turned my mourning into dance (The Extinct Poetics, 2020).

Also included are two meaty prologues about the writing process and about his universalist idea of ​​art.

[La Zaranda como último refugio]

A theater that has as a rule the rejection of prosody showing off and that first explores the way that the background results in texts of a amazing literary qualityboth in the stage directions –some more metaphysical than informative– and in the dialogues.

He distills a beautiful lyric, rich in metaphors, with a vital temperature, exploring shadows and revealing baroque pictorial paintings.

The scrapping of the muses

It is true that some works recur thematically in what he has already warned us are “constant currents” of his theater: meditation on the very meaning of theater (forgive the sadness1992; Tribute to the damned2004, allegory on the relationship between tradition and present in art); his commitment to human dignity (posthumous work1995, where he offers us a metaphor of human shipwrecks based on the crossings of immigrants in the Strait; The feed regime, 2012, about a dehumanized society); his search for the transcendent, the sacred, a metaphysics (present in almost all works, especially in the narrow gate, 2000; or one of my favourites, When eternal life is over, 1997); and the devastating passage of time and posterity (The scrapping of the muses, 2019; The battle of the absent; Not even a shadow of what we were2002).

There are many gems in this volume.

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