Let’s imagine for a moment that the opera Carmen by Bizet was a museum piece. Now let’s imagine that this exhibit were to come to life courtesy of such contemporary artists as Luis Úrculo, Norberto Llopis or Bernhard Willhelm.
This is Grand Applause, an exhibition in four acts or an opera that runs through four rooms of an exhibition created by stage designer and performer Jorge Dutor together with choreographer, dancer and fellow performer, Guillem Mont de Palol.
Dutor and Guillem Mont de Palol began working together in 2008, after meeting in Amsterdam where Guillem graduated in choreography from the School for New Dance Development (SNDO). His artistic interest directs our gaze toward the language, the semiotics, the meaningful and the meaning, the body and movement, the musicality and the physicality of sound. They use humour as a tool to challenge forms of production, creation, exhibition, interaction, and contamination of artistic practice. “We believe in a certain political dimension of our work; we are trying to expand the concept of choreography by working on the limits of friction with other artistic disciplines”, they explain. Which is why, throughout their career, they have worked with artists such as Sara Manente & Marcos Simões, or María Jerez. These artistic relationships have given rise to such works as Uuuhhh, yo fui un hombre lobo adolescente inventando horrores (Uuuhhh, I was an Adolescent Teenage Werewolf Inventing Horrors) (2009), and Y por qué John Cage? (Why John Cage?) (2011), #LOSMICRÓFONOS (#THEMICROPHONES) (2013) and the film Thismovie (2013), which have been put on in myriad spaces and festivals such as Festival Panorama in Rio De Janeiro, Buda Kunstenzentrum in Kortrijk (Flanders), Short Theatre in Roma, the University Museum of El Chopo in México City, La Casa Encendida in Madrid, the Julidans Festival in Amsterdam, the AltVigo Festival, the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester or the Alhóndiga in Bilbao, among others.
Grand Applause premièred at the Mercat de les Flors during the 2016 Sàlmôn Festival and has been presented on stage in Mexico, Manchester or Palma de Mallorca. In the words of its creators: “Our proposal transfers an exhibition format to a performance format. It is a curatorial project; a choreography that runs through a virtual architecture on a 1:1 scale based on the fiction of the opera Carmen by Bizet and which puts into a dialogue the work of three artists who share the power of suggesting fictions based on elements: Norberto Llopis in the role of Carmen, Luis Úrculo in the role of Don José and Bernhard Willhelm as the bullfighter Escamillo. In Grand Applause we go from being the absolute protagonists of our works to being just another element in an entire ecosystem in which we share, or dilute, the matter of authorship with Mérimée, Bizet, The Korgis, Reveriano Soutullo, Juan Vert, Luis Cobos, Héroes del Silencio, and Rafael Alberti”.
Performance: Jorge Dutor and Guillem Mont de Palol
With works by: Norberto Llopis, Luis Úrculo and Bernhard Willhelm
Technical coordination: Carmelo Fernández
Sound: Carlos Parra and Marcelo Lastra
Theatre elevators: Almudena Sancho
Backdrop design: Paloma Martínez López
Graphic Design: Miguel Marques
With the collaboration of: Coro GAC de Barcelona and Coro de El Molino
Produced by: Jorge Dutor and Guillem Mont de Palol
With the collaboration of: Graner/SÂLMON< Festival, del Museo Universitario del Chopo, de Estiu en Obres de Las Naves Espai d’Innovació i Creació
With the support of: Beques a la Recerca i la Creació en els ámbits de les Arts Visuals, dels Nous Sectors Creatius, de les Arts Escèniques, de la Música i el Pensament de la Generalitat de Catalunya