Nana Del Caballo Grande

Ancient - Immediate - Passionate

 

About Nana Del Caballo Grande

This piece was inspired by Carlos Saura and Antonio Gades' film, Bodas de Sangre. The play within the film opens with a mother singing a lullaby, Nana Del Caballo Grande, to an empty cradle. We decided to dramatize this surreal poem, approaching each verse, pivotal moments in the story.

This is how we saw each of the four verses:

Arrival: A young family enters, the father leading a horse, the mother carrying their infant child. We see the love they share and their intense love for their child.

Seduction: The sound of the river is seductive, lulling the family into a sense of calm and well-being. Behind that calm lies a growing sense of danger.

Struggle: As Night falls, the gathering shadows frighten the child. In comforting her child, the mother gets swept up in her child's terror. Soon, she is cut off from her husband and from reality. The husband reaches out to mother and child, struggling to avoid being swept away himself.

Transformation: The horse pulls the family from the rush of swirling water. He is completely exhausted, but the family is safe. The experience leaves the child marked for life.

 

about the dance

Creating the dance sequences for Nana del Caballo Grande was a powerful choreographic experience that included much time in the studio theater ARC Pasadena.  Along with creating unique, beautiful, and unusual dance motifs through dance practice, a new artistic tool was the rendering of over twenty drawn sketches of settings and movement patterns for a group of seven modern dancers. The sketches revealed and cemented the group movement on stage throughout the piece.

 

Separately came the creation of three lead soloists - Padre, Madre, and Caballo - all three dancers encompassing  flamenco and modern dance attributes in movement. Pulling these varying moments together gave us the inlet we needed to tell the new story - providing tension, love, sorrow and power aside beauty and lyricism throughout the piece.

Flamenco theatrical dance embraces new movement, fusing in amounts of freedom by including the incorporation of other styles of dance. For this new work, the lyricism of modern dance, and the bold sharpness of flamenco collided to tell a new and relevant work exploring the nature of love and courage, sorrow and joy.

 

about the MUSIC

In writing the music for Nana Del Caballo Grande, the goal was to create and populate a world that reflects the emotional state of the small family as they confront the world that surrounds them.

 

These musical excerpts from the piece reveal their  journey.

Arrival: This is built on a version of the lullaby Madre sings to her child.

Water Music: This section captures both the beauty and the menace of dark water that threatens to envelop mother and child.

Mad Scene: As Madre struggles with her fears, her pleas to the world to help her child become increasingly frantic.

Fight Scene: Padre, Caballo and Madre struggle against the darkness.

Transformation: In this final section, Madre is moved to care for Padre and Caballo.

 

Nana Del CabAllo

Grande

Federico Garcia

Lorca

Nana, niño, nana

del caballo grande

que no quiso el agua.

El agua era negra

dentro de las ramas.

Cuando llega al puente

se detiene y canta.

Quién dirá, mi niño,

lo que tiene el agua,

con su larga cola

por su verde sala?

Duermete, clavel,

que el caballo no quiere beber.

Duermete, rosal,

que el caballo se pone a llorar.

Dream, child, dream

Of the great horse

That did not want the water.

 

The water was black within the branches

When it arrives at the bridge

 it stops and sings.

 

 

Who will say to my child

Which has the water, with its long tail,

by its green wings

Ea, ea.

Go to sleep, carnation

The horse does not want to drink

Go to sleep, rosebush

The horse begins to cry.  

 

ABOUT THE Premiere

Nana Del Caballo Grande premiered in 2016 at ARC Pasadena in Pasadena, California.

Madre

Padre

Noche

Caballo

Las Sirenas

Lighting

Set Design

Photography

Laura Villa

Albertossy Espinoza

Masha Balovlenkov

Katerina Tomás​

Angelina Prendergast

Julia Murphy

Olivia Mia Orozco

Alyssa Thompson

Beatriz Vasquez

Livia Howard-Yashar

Samantha Whidby

Jami Ferreira

Efrain Valenzuela

Struggle