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In Performance

In Performance: Rodrigo García at the Festival d’Avignon

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Since the creation of the Carniceria Teatro (Butchery Theatre), in Madrid in 1989, Rodrigo García and the actors in his company have developed an experimental form of theatre based on the body, matter and oral expression. Close to visual arts and dance, the Argentinean director favours crude and poetic language. He works on objects and matter as much as on the energy of bodies on stage. Construction and deconstruction, fragments, splinters, violence are part of this non-conformist’s playwriting. From the writing to the stage, the playwright’s political and radical intention seems literally to take shape through visions linked to current events. As well as directing other playwrights, and staging theatrical happenings, he has written over fifteen plays since Acera derecha (1989) and among the more recent, After Sun (2000), I bought a spade at Ikea’s to dig my grave (2002), The Story of Ronald, the McDonald’s Clown, Jardinería humana (2003), Borges + Goya and I scattered my ashes at Eurodisney (2006). At the Avignon Festival, Rodrigo García presented After Sun, I Think You Have Misunderstood Me in 2002 and The Story of Ronald, the McDonald’s Clown in 2004.

In this new show, the Argentinean stage director Rodrigo García, returns to his childhood memories. The title sets the pace, that of the cooking time of a steak. But Very rare. Rare. Medium Rare. Charred. is a way of revisiting the little known Argentinean expression of “La Murga” and the carnival “Murgueros” (carnival-goers from poor districts) who devote themselves to it all year long, making minute preparations that go from costumes to rehearsals. Rodrigo García remembers his fascination as a child for the festive aspect of the event, with its basic dances and street music, where percussions and colours encourage excess. Today, he concentrates on what lies behind this celebration: a form of protest, an unresolved social issue. For the first time, the director, together with his long-time actor accomplice, Juan Loriente, integrates a fifteen person strong troupe of “Murgueros”, carnival musicians and dancers. The desire to create a new form of fiction, to break with old habits and to build a new collective world stemmed from this “meeting with people who have never done any theatre and who don’t even speak the same language”. The creative process interweaves writing based on these exchanges with images shot in Buenos Aires. These relay each other to produce a novel vision, a novel poetic agit prop event. (from the Festival d’Avignon)

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Caden Manson is Editor In Chief and Curator of Contemporary Performance Network and co-founder and artistic director of Big Art Group, a New York City performance company founded in 1999.

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