Cuerpo Mutable’s Papers of Water and Fire.
Photo: Courtesy Cuerpo Mutable
May 8, 1998
Reviewed by Laura Curnutt Santana
The world premiere of Lidya Romero’s Papers of Waterand Fire by Cuerpo Mutable took place in the historic Borda Gardens in Cuernavaca, a favorite resting place of Emperor Maximilian and Princess Carlota during their reign in Mexico, which began in 1864. This brief period, with its tragic ending, was the subject of Romero’s choreography.
Water images pervaded the choreography and theme, so many scenes were danced in what Romero terms “aquatic ballet”–on four separate stage areas in, on, and under the water of the great Magna fountain. The outdoor performance was stunning. The water’s surface mirrored choreography and wardrobe, giving impact and volume to colors and shapes upon land. The courtiers (men) were dressed in Body Glove neoprene wet suits with plastic tails and tuxedo accoutrements. The courtesans’ ball gowns were crafted from lacy plastic material similar to that used for table coverings, which enabled repeated entry into the water and execution of choreography on land.
Cuerpo Mutable, which was then the resident company at Cuernavaca’s Centro Morelense de las Artes, is composed of four dancers: Romero, Amada Dominguez, Lena Díaz, and Narciso Sánchez; they were joined by other artists invited especially for this production.