TORO: Beauty and the Bull, DeNada Dance Theatre’s new production by artistic director and choreographer Carlos Pons Guerra, is a full length narrative work which presents a gender questioning, Hispanic take on the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. TORO embarks on a national tour from 22 March to 27 April 2018.
Recently nominated for three UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards, DeNada Dance Theatre exports, explores and subverts Hispanic and Latino culture in Britain and beyond. Directed by up and coming Spanish choreographer Carlos Pons Guerra, the company is known for producing exciting and provocative LGBTQ work that calls for gender and sexual equality.
TORO is inspired by the original story by French author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve as well as the erotic and feminist reading of fairy tales by British writer Angela Carter. Set in a circus sideshow of a dystopian South American, TORO is a grotesque tragicomedy played out by conquistadors, female bulls and dragimals - animals in drag.
A young prostitute is rescued from a cruel gang of male colonisers by a female beast, who takes her to the outback to be adopted by her troupe of leather-bound, performing drag monsters. Basking under a sideshow marquee of gender-fluid acceptance and intimacy, Beauty and Bull live an intensely emotive love story that is never out of threat from the savagery of the civilized macho.
This queer postcolonial reading of Beauty and the Beast reflects on the nightmarish circus that is male supremacy, and the freak shows all minorities endure under oppression. Through a darkly ironic lens, with absurd humour and the right dose of Latin drama, Pons Guerra questions who the real monsters amongst us are.
The choreography for TORO draws on contemporary dance, classical ballet, voguing, bull fighting and drag to create a unique, highly physical and theatrical language. Movement narrates the story alongside an eclectic soundtrack of Hispanic and Latino tracks, including pasodobles, mambos, Latin percussion, sorrowful Mexican rancheras and the highly dramatic Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov.
TORO is performed by an international cast of six dancers - Marivi Da Silva, Emma Louise Walker, Michael Barnes, Nicholas Tredrea, Jonathon Luke Baker and Jason Tucker. Costume and set designs are by Ryan Dawson Laight with lighting by Barnaby Booth, both regular collaborators with Pons Guerra.
Produced by Spin Arts, TORO is supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and was commissioned by DanceXchange with further support from The British Council and the Spanish Embassy in London.
DeNada Dance Theatre – TORO - UK National Tour 2018:
Thursday 22 & Friday 23 March at 8pm
DanceXchange, BIRMINGHAM (Premiere)
Tickets: 0844 338 5000 / www.dancexchange.org.uk
Sunday 1 April at 8pm
The Lowry, SALFORD QUAYS
Tickets: 0843 208 6000 / www.thelowry.com
Thursday 12 April at 7.30pm
Pavilion Dance South West, BOURNEMOUTH
Tickets: 01202 203630 / www.pdsw.org.uk
Saturday 14 April at 7.30pm
Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, LEEDS
Tickets: 0113 220 8008 / www.theatreleeds.com
Tuesday 24 April (time TBC)
PATS Studio Theatre, Surrey University, GUILDFORD
Tickets: 01483 68 6876 / www.surrey.ac.uk/arts
Wednesday 25 & Thursday 26 April at 8pm
Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler’s Wells, LONDON
020 7863 8000 / www.sadlerswells.com
Friday 27 April at 7.30pm
Tickets: 01332 370 911 / www.deda.uk.com