Miguel Ángel Berna once again vindicates the value of tradition in his new show. The Aragonese dancer wears two years researching together with the choreographer Manuela Adamo the dances of the community. They counted more than a hundred, too many to address them in a single production, so they decided to bet on “the most ancestral” of all: the dance of Yebra de Basa and its pilgrimages to Santa Orosia. Thus was born Oturia, an intimate pilgrimage, a show in which Berna once again values folklore but revamping it with a very modern and innovative language. Because Oturia it is a work of contemporary dance, also guided by music in which there are styles as groundbreaking at first as trap, reggaeton or electronics.
«It is a very different show than what I have done before and it’s being quite a challenge for me, ”Berna acknowledged this Wednesday at the presentation of her new production, which will land at the Main Theater of Zaragoza from November 11 to 14.
What has not changed in Bern is his passion for continuing to vindicate folklore. Because in Oturia, the choreographer looks back at a dance that connects with the origins of old Aragon. The first data that are known about the cult of Santa Orosia are from the 13th century or even earlier and currently Its traditional pilgrimage is celebrated on June 25, when the dancers dance to the rhythm of the chiflo and the chicotén (Psalter). «Let’s not let our traditions die, here we have many Caminos de Santiago», Has underlined Berna, who has pointed out that for the preparation of the show they had the collaboration and experience of the dancers of Yebra de Basa.
The dancer from Zaragoza has added in this sense that his company will continue to reinterpret other dances from the community in the future. “We started from the top of Aragon and the idea is to go down,” he said without specifying anything else.
Oturia is a choral proposal in which In addition to Bern, another seven dancers participate. And all with a totally contemporary language in which dance and music “go hand in hand”, as indicated by Alejandro Álvarez Longines, responsible for the choreography with the support of Laura López. «I have always focused my work on the physical exhaustion of dancers and this show is a bomb from start to finish ”, Longines pointed out.
For this they use music that seeks to “take the dancers into a trance”, as has been pointed out Guille Mata, in charge of the musical section with Miguel Ángel Fraile and Alberto Artigas. Thus, the traditional sounds of dance (with the psaltery as the protagonist, even if it is sampled) are intertwined with trap or electronics to embrace a totally contemporary proposal. In this sense, it should be noted that in the new Bern production, professional joteros are not in charge of bringing the singing voice, but Viki Lafuente, the Zaragoza who reached popularity in 2019 by participating in the television program The voice. “Almost all the pieces are very epic and the lyrics are in Aragonese in all,” said Lafuente.
The search for new audiences
In this new Bern commitment to contemporary dance wrapped in very modern music there is also a search for new audiences, as the choreographer has recognized. For this reason, and with the aim of opening the doors to new talents from the land, Bern has surrounded itself with very young dancers.
The Aragonese also intends to tour with this new production in other countries: “What is working internationally is that symbiosis between tradition and contemporary language.”
For the moment, Oturia, an intimate pilgrimage will land at the Teatro Principal from November 11 to 14 with tickets between five and 25 euros.
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Berna looks back at Yebra de Basa’s dance in her new show