Creation Residence  
Figuras del umbral/Figures on the Threshold
L'animal a l'esquena (Celrà)
From 06/10/2021 to 11/10/2021

Javier Martín
( Javier Martín )


FIGURAS DEL UMBRAL is based on the reflections of a body in the age of acceleration. We live in times of lives in flight, caught in the inertia of everyday life and rhythms determined by the demands of production and efficiency, which constantly postpone desire and scatter and fragment our attention. These accelerated bodies are full of pent up speed, inorganic ways of doing things and tacit behaviours, and lack repertoire. In these crazy times, Pasolini’s slogan becomes more relevant than ever: “throw your body into battle”, throw your body into dance, alert to a moderate, observant vibe, ready to open up to create new movements, new gestures to break with the hegemony of the myth that technology is neutral, for it depends on cultural norms.

The idea of the threshold takes us to the concept of transit, of “crossing the threshold”, that comes from the rites and ceremonies of passage to be found in all cultures since ancestral times. Traditions and practices that have spread, in different forms, to our present day (though sometimes misunderstood or reduced to icons), and have been analysed and studied in philosophy, anthropology and the arts for their symbolic, transformative power to express social truths. These rituals of “crossing the threshold” have always implied a body in motion and a social dance turned into an event: the willing body of an individual who is surpassing his or her limits and open to anything, who on her journey is accompanied by the social body from which she comes and to which she will return. She comes back changed or transformed by the experience and so encourages others to cross their own threshold. The figure on the threshold is usually dressed up in masks, costumes or garments that transform her everyday appearance and involve all kinds of symbols.

The famous archetype of the “guardian of the threshold” refers to the figure that takes on the form of our most intimate fears: the guardian watches the threshold, not to deny us entry, but rather to encourage us to plunge into the labyrinth of opportunity that passing through it will lead to. We need to vibrate with the shape of the monster (a game of inner/outer worlds), wear the skins of wild beasts, inhabit the masks.

All this leads us to deep reflections about rhythm. The beat of the tensions of our own bodies, the constants that express our pattern of tensions or points of control. That is the monster we no longer feel and its techniques or procedures, our own situation, our ghost. These are patterns that repeat themselves. For the project UMBRAL, we have taken inspiration from these ideas and especially from some of the spectral figures of the cultural heritage of Galicia that match this archetype: from the Holy Company to the many extravagantly colourful characters of carnival, such as the Cigarrón, the Peliqueiro, the Felo, the Pantalla and the Felipeiro.

Artistic Team:

Movement: Javier Martín
Rehearsal support: Pep Ramis
Lighting: Octavio Mas
Visuals: Marta Verde
Space: Javier Martín
Production and theoretical advice: Sabela Mendoza
Wardrobe: Cremallera Studio and Álvaro Leiro
Video: Leo López

Co-production: CCG Centro Coreográfico Galego
Artistic Residency: L’animal a l’esquena, Celrà
Artistic Residency: Teatro Leal, Tenerife
Technical Residency: Centro Ágora, A Coruña