Presented as part of the Chicago Flamenco Festival 2015
Phenomenal dancer Sònia Sánchez channels the subconscious depth of flamenco, raw and unadorned, in Le Ça, her solo dance propelled by electric guitarist David Soler and vocalist Miguel Angel (“el Londro”). A magnetic presence with an extraordinary command of body and rhythm, Sánchez creates a flamenco language all her own with her prodigious music collaborators.
Le Ça marks a genuine creative breakthrough in flamenco, extolling technique and a minimal aesthetic over the genre’s typically ornate costumes and narrative. Using a bare stage, Sánchez commands attention to flamenco’s energy and gesture in a barrage of steps and mesmerizing arms and hands that drink in the electrified sound of guitar and vocals, exciting the senses while unleashing deep-set emotion.
Sánchez conceived Le Ça during a year where she lived in solitude in a forest. Attuned to the sounds of the field, she began experimenting with her vocal chords, shoes, and different kinds of wood, filtering their percussive qualities using various microphones. Gradually discarding everything except technique—”as if facing an orchestra that has lost its score,” she says—she began composing with her body. “The sounds of the forest came in, the sounds of darkness, of pain, of joy, which were my companions for many years,” the choreographer has explained. To create this work, Sánchez improvised in her studio with musicians and dancers of flamenco, jazz, and contemporary forms for more than five months.
Since its March 2014 premiere at Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona, Le Ça has toured to Mexico City, Dussëldorf, and Paris. The MCA Stage presentation marks its North American premiere.
Running time: 60 minutes
Artists Up Close
MCA Talk First Night
FRI, FEB 13, postshow
Audience members are invited to stay at the end of the performance for a conversation with Sònia Sánchez and collaborators, moderated by Yolanda Cesta Cursach, Associate Director of Performance Programs.
MCA Studio: Workshop with Sònia Sánchez
SAT, FEB 14, 2015, 1–4 pm
Performance artist Sònia Sánchez teaches flamenco technique grounded in the form, musicality, and rhythm of the body.
About the Artists
Sònia Sánchez is a contemporary movement and sound artist who explores and tests the flamenco form in order to write her own personal language. Born in 1974 in Sabadell, Spain, Sánchez attended the Conservatory of Dance in Madrid and then continued her training in Barcelona, where she discovered butoh. For Sánchez, both flamenco and butoh are fundamental techniques for using improvisation, rhythm, and movement in the quest of a purely free and spontaneous body. She has studied with flamenco masters Ciro and La China and collaborated with many others including Antonio Canales, Cristina Hoyos, and Albert Pla. Her interest in experimental sound has led her to collaborate with trumpeter Julián Sánchez and electronics composer Joaquim Puigtió, and to perform in her free jazz project Sai Trio with award-winning pianist Agusti Fernandez and acclaimed jazz drummer Ivo Sans, which tours internationally.
David Soler, the guitarist/composer, has recorded and performed in Europe and the US for two decades with avant-pop and jazz bands. The recent release by his own instrumental electro-avant music project, Denga, titled Botanicas, is produced by Lee Townsend, legendary producer of Bill Frisell, Fred Hersch, and many others.
El Londro (Miguel Ángel Soto Peña), a native of Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz), started singing in flamenco groups at the age of 12 and debuted as soloist in the Imperial Theatre of Seville in 1992. Formally trained in canto with the national company Nuevo Ballet Español, he is a leading vocal collaborator with dance greats such as Joaquín Grilo, Antonio Canales, Belén Maya, and Sara Baras, and performs regularly with flamenco vocal innovators Miguel Poveda, Carmen Linares, Remedios Amaya, and others.
Generous support for dance works at MCA Stage is provided by David Herro and Jay Franke. Sònia Sánchez: Le Ça (The Id) is made possible by the Program for the Internationalization of Spanish Culture (PICE), under the Mobility grants awarded by the state company Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).