miércoles, 21 de noviembre de 2007

Esteban Aguilar: A Contemporary Dance Revelation


By Reinaldo Cedeño Pineda


“I feel great with the small things, I feel like an angel. I touch them, see them, love them. Many people don't realize they are there, but I do …”


This is the synopsis of the piece The Angel of Small Things, with which the young dancer Esteban Aguilar Domínguez, of the group Broken Dance, won the prize for a male performance in the Tenth National Competition of Choreography and Performance Solamente Solos (Solely Alone) carried out this November with venue in Ciego de Ávila.


The jury, chaired by Santiago Alfonso, National Prize for Dance, thus awarded a piece that proposes a scenic speech of deep lyrical features and filled of symbolism (the earth, the water, the leaves…). With only seven minutes he’s capable of balancing his expressive gesture repertoire and the search of an original silhouette on the stage.


The Competition Solamente Solos (Solely Alone) –founded by the departed Pablo Roca– has been for Esteban Aguilar, a space of premiere and confirmation. In year 2005, he had won the choreography mention with The Road is Back to you, recreation about the life of the North American musician Ray Charles… but another far distant antecedent appears.


In year 1998, when he was barely twelve years old, at Eddy Suñol Theater (Holguín) was surprised by the presence of this boy. The invitation of Hermanos Saíz Association to May Pilgrimages was a response to the award he won at the contest of children choreography “My Fantasy World” made in Guantánamo, city located to the Cuban eastern.


“Ever since I was a child I liked dancing a lot and as I grew up, it also grew within me the love for dance. Besides there are many artists in my family, my mother teaches classic ballet and I have always looked upon her.”


Esteban is the outcome of a creation workshop that later became the Children Academy “Broken Dance”, this is an evidence of what can be achieved with this sort of initiatives in the entire country. Since year 2002 he creates the Company of equal name, under the direction of Ladislao Navarro.


“Broken Dance has meant a lot in my development as a dancer, although I’m almost beginning. It has given me a lot as a person and artist; it has been my school and my second house. Thanks to “Broken Dance” I have learned how to appreciate things and life better.


“In year 2006, we had a good season; we celebrated the thirteenth anniversary of the Company. There was high-quality in the plays we performed, the organization, the diversity... we had the opportunity of sharing with the companies Corpus (Matanzas), The Contemporary Ballet Camagüey In Dedans; Free Dance and Folkloric Ballet Babul, of Guantánamo.”


This last biennial has been successful for the young artist. In the competition Danzan Dos developed last October in the “Athens of Cuba” (Matanzas), he ran off with two mentions: choreography and male performance for his work A Kiss Hung of the Game, an exploration of the innocence of juvenile love. Next to his group, he has earned the critic's appreciation in The Days of Dance (Mella Theater) Dance in Urban Landscapes (Old Havana) and Dance in Public Landscapes (Holguín).


At age twenty, he is already prophet in his land. The Scenic Arts Council of Guantánamo recognized his work awarding him with the honorable Dance Award Elfriede Mahler –name of a famous North American professor and dancer, settled in Guantánamo -; while Hermanos Saíz Association of the territory, granted him the Prize to the Young Creator… and yet he walks looking into the future.


“To make a choreography I seek inspiration in the human being, in people’s feelings, in what is going on in the world, in the environment. I always choose the music… Beethoven, Bach, Mozart… for me those are the greatest. The idea gets to the brain, you never expect it, and everything begins to be born. Then the movements get adapted, they are perfected with music, they come together. I perhaps invert the terms, because only then, finally, I write the script.”


Esteban Aguilar unites to his excellent physical fitness, the security of his projection, he moves with versatility in the universe of dance. And on top of that, his imagination is at his best: “I love dancing; it is something I can’t describe, something that is part of me. Some day I would like to create a choreography everybody loves… I always try to improve myself as an artist every day.”


And there are reasons to believe him. If he focuses his deep gaze toward small things, the angel he carries inside, will spread its wings toward greatness.


(Cubasi Translation)