Patetisme il·lustrat (Illustrated Pathos)

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Patetisme il·lustrat (Illustrated Pathos)
© May/Zircus - TNC
Patetisme il·lustrat

Directed by: Carles Santos. Featuring: Carles Santos, Mònica López (actor), Núria Andorrà (percussion) and Dory Sánchez (dancer).

For those not familiar with his work, Carles Santos is an unclassifiable Valencian artist who started out playing piano and has since worked in many other creative disciplines, including cinema, musical shows for the stage, photography, poetry and composing (including for the opening ceremonies of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona).

At 75 years old, Santos is still far from being conventional, which you can see for yourself with his new work on at the Sala Tallers in the Teatre Nacional. 'Patetisme il·lustrat' smacks you in your senses and emotion over a series of short acts, a glorious tribute to the expiry date of the flesh and the eternal life of the mind that dreams and desires. Santos has gone into a dark place in his imagination to confront his obsessions full-on. The fierce man courting the lady in red face to face. A life and death battle that ends with an exhausted embrace, like the final scene of 'Duel in the Sun', the characters' mouths joined together by pieces of sheet music. Eros and Thanatos filtered through Santos's artistic fetishism.

This fascinating nightmare is also inhabited by actor Mònica López, in a role like none she's ever had in her illustrious career; percussionist Núria Andorrà, drawing beats out of flesh, metal, bone and plastic with the determination of a dominatrix; and dancer and choreographer Dory Sánchez, rising to the torture of pointe shoes balancing on 20cm stilettos. Theirs is a show/installation that's deserving of a spot in the MACBA for a whole season. (Note that most of the show is without speech, but there are some lines spoken in Catalan.)

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