MARCOS MORAU: P.A.R.A.D.E. | INTERVIEW
Luke Owain Boult speaks to the Spanish choreographer Marcos Morau about his role in the upcoming P.A.R.A.D.E. dance double bill as part of the R17 celebrations.
What can we expect from Tundra?
Tundra is a powerful work about the power of communication, cooperation and listening between dancers. This may just be a superficial interpretation, although it may also be the only interpretation for some, which would of course be valid. But Tundra is really much more than that.
Can you give us any sneak peeks into the costumes and lighting?
In all my works, I aim for the costumes, lighting and other visual elements to be closely linked to each other and at the same time create a dialogue with the central idea and complement each other. The costumes are a collection of patterns, prints, fabrics and shapes that come from different styles, times and places, ever so slightly evoking the countries covered by tundra, from Russia, Canada, Norway, and so on. It’s a kind of traditional patchwork that’s helped by modernity, where the old meets the new. Lighting is a result of Joe Fletcher’s painstaking work in collaboration with myself, where we’ve tried to create a cold and distant landscape, with an abstract emptiness rising from the tundra.
What inspired Tundra?
It’s all come about from the need to talk about revolution and Russia, two concepts that could go together but I worked on them separately. Caroline Finn told me about Parade and the whole project and I tried to reflect on the concept of revolution.
One of the first conclusions I came to was that revolution was only possible as a union between people, and not a result of individual efforts.
Is there a specific message that you’d like people to receive from the performance?
I like audiences to not burden themselves with interpretations and messages and just to get whisked away by the strength of the connection between the dancers. It’s moving that they can’t do anything on their own and are in a state of constant union, an absolute democracy. I don’t try to tell the public that this is how we should behave but only show them an idea that’s fully explored for 30 minutes.
The theme of your production Voronia was Hell, and now you’ve choreographed a work for the centenary of the Russian Revolution, what attracts you to these big topics?
I believe that topics have to be relevant to the zeitgeist, to the issues we’re interested in today and that they should be explored with modern methods. It’s something that’s so complex in a world where ideas constantly evolve and expire.
You said earlier that you like to capture emotion, how does the idea of revolution come into that?
Bauman said that we’re in the midst in an electronic revolution. At the moment, we live isolated from each other, separated, locked in our cells with virtual relationships. Something I wanted to convey in Tundra was just the opposite of this: we can dress up as warriors from the future with materials from the past and still have a convincing sense of union. Although I will say that revolutions aren’t made, they happen on their own.
This is your first time working in the UK outside of London. What do you think of Wales so far?
I’ve enjoyed it a lot thanks to the friendly atmosphere in the company. I’ve been wanting to go deeper into the Welsh spirit and above all get to know the work of local artists. When I travel, seeing the art and the people who create it helps me to better understand the place.
What attracted you to dance as a medium for expressing yourself? Rather than writing or painting?
It’s still a question I’m trying to answer. I don’t really know at the moment because I love painting and literature.
You’ve been described as “the next big name in contemporary dance”. What’s been your favourite project in your career so far?
Well, there are so many that I really love, but also some that I’d rather not have done. But I’m convinced that my best project is yet to come. This philosophy is how I survive from day to day.
P.A.R.A.D.E., Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. Tues 24 + Wed 25 Sept. Tickets: £10-£26. Info: 029 2063 6464 / www.wmc.org.uk