Theater company Teatro Cinema is one of the most genre-breaking groups around. Frustrated by the limits of stage and screen, the troupe fuses them by using a scrim between the stage and audience where images can be projected as actors move back and forth in time. Some images are photographs, others are hand-drawn, and still others are animated.
The Santiago, Chile-based troupe, which also has a home in Paris, comes to Miami this weekend. As part of the MDC Live Arts program, Teatro Cinema will perform its groundbreaking Historia de Amor. Members toiled for two years to put this piece together.
As complex as the show sounds, it's a fluid experience for the audience.
Director Juan Carlos Zagal says Saturday’s production is “the fruit of an obscure, deep, and contemporary loneliness.” It is a story of a predator and a victim. The community is silent and this makes it complicit.
Zagal adapted a novel by contemporary French novelist Regis Jauffret, and then added his own score. The story begins in a subway as a professor finds himself drawn to an unknown woman. Soon, the attraction becomes an obsession and terror and abuse become a way of life for the couple. “It is a story of impunity,” Zagal says.
Both Zagal and the company’s art/multi-media director Laura Pizarro were adolescents during Chile’s military dictatorship. They witnessed the disappearance of the country's enemies. That horrible experience is embedded in the performance.
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Historia de Amor “is a meditation on violence on many levels,” says actor Julian Marras, who is the predator in Saturday night’s performance. “Our hope is the work will be read as more than an exploration of gender or spousal violence.”
The actor continues, “Historia is an examination of an ancestral system of violence that we all continue to live by. It is about machismo, it is about socio-economic systems. It is, above all, a tragedy.”
— Elizabeth Hanly, artburstmiami.com
Teatro Cinema’s Historia de Amor
Presented by MDC Live Arts. 8 p.m. Saturday at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; $25, students $10; running time is one hour and forty minutes with no intermission; in Spanish with English subtitles; www.mdclivearts.org.