Sunday, October 9, 2011
THE CARMEN CHRONICLES-My Discovery of TANGO + CARMEN HABANERA = MAGIC!!!! (By Kira Seamon)
As I discussed in my other Carmen blogs, I performed a number of versions of Carmen (all with my own original choreography). I was declared by a dance critic as "Isadora Duncan in a drawing room"! Very high praise as I am actually much more balletic than I believe Ms. Duncan was, but the critic said they were referencing my performance quality and impact in regard to her rather than comparing dance styles. My TANGO version of Carmen Habanera comes from my extensive research on the role of Carmen. I found out that the "Habanera" is the "Granddad of the tango". It seems to make sense to include a few "Tango-esque" moves in the Habanera...
I believe dance companies, ballet companies and opera companies do not emphasize the connection between the Tango and the Habanera for this reason: simply put, most of the time the dance/ballet versions use a solo female to dance the Habanera and of course, the opera aria is sung by a solo mezzo in opera productions. EVERYBODY is thinking "solo" so they don't think of unique partnering with a man that could include "Tango-esque" moves that reference the Habanera's historic relation to the tango...I am truly honored to have discovered this innovative quality to such a highly popular and famous piece of music. Because the other Carmen blogs don't always seem to post in the correct order(I uploaded them in July, 2011 and this is an Oct. 2011 blog, I reposted them here as well. Sometimes they don't show up in the July 2011 blogs for some reason?!?!?!
Ah-Carmen, La Carmencita...The Gypsy with the free spirit.
Arguably one of my best roles (maybe THE best?)
An honor to choreograph/dance such a famous role.
Of course, when you take on such a popular role, you are being compared by the audience (perhaps even subconsciously) to all the Carmen experiences they have ever had...Carmen music/Carmen Opera/Carmen Dance/Carmen Ballet/Carmen Films/Carmen Pop Culture, etc...
They (and I) are silently asking the implied question: What do you have to offer that I haven't seen one hundred thousand times before?
Basically: "Why you" and "Why Carmen"?
Well, I threw my "Carmen" hat into the ring and took it on because I believe I have a strong take on the role (having studied it intensely since I was 16)...trying to keep the essence, style and flair of that famous character and then adding my own qualities and ideas to the choreography.
I performed it in two different formats.
The pas de deux version seen below was shortly after I dislocated my kneecap.
(The pas de deux version was thrilling for me to perform, as I felt I had perfect chemistry with my Don Jose/Toreador!)
I was honored to do a different (all solo) version at various venues and finally at the Boston Center for the Arts when my knee was much stronger. For that solo version, I was described as: "Isadora Duncan in a drawing-room", "impressive", "spectacular", "amazing", "beautiful choreography" and
a "powerful, 1-Woman tour-de-force".
It is always an honor to perform Carmen and I try to do her justice.
Rehearsal and Performance Pictures!!