Brilliant flamenco dancer and choreographer María Pagés brings her radical reimagining of Bizet’s opera heroine to the International Festival this summer in Yo, Carmen. In this vibrant ode to womanhood, Pagés unwraps Carmen’s stereotypes to become the voice of all women, looking deep into the essence of the feminine soul. Read on to find out 5 things you might not know about María Pagés and learn more about Yo, Carmen.
Blending dance, music, poetry and theatre, Yo, Carmen shows the primal emotions of flamenco by bringing together eight dancers in Pagés’ fluid choreography. Seven musicians – featuring violin and cello alongside flamenco guitarists and singers – provide a live soundtrack of Bizet’s familiar opera tunes, the popular songs that inspired them, and gripping original flamenco. Yo, Carmen marks her very personal creative journey with the figure of Carmen, whose operatic incarnation she has known since her childhood.
Here are five things you may not know about María Pagés:
- Pagés always knew she wanted to dance
Growing up in Seville, with its legendary flamenco scene, meant she grew up with flamenco in her blood. She started dancing professionally when she was 15.
- One of her first jobs was choreographing Carlo Saura’s film version of Carmen
On set she met Antonio Gades and he later invited her to join his dance company.
- She formed the María Pagés Company in 1990
And her first creation was Sol y sombra which means light and dark.
- She’s worked with Irish dance star Michael Flatley
And incorporated flamenco into his hit show Riverdance. Pagés performed as a guest artist in the show all around the world.
- She pushes the boundaries of flamenco
And sees it as an evolving art form. She fuses different styles, challenges traditionalists by mixing old and new, and uses nontraditional music with her choreography; all of which helps to attract worldwide audiences to her performances.
Yo, Carmen © David Ruano