Wednesday, August 19, 2009

La Pirata Cofresi: photographs by Ellen Fernandez-Sacco

La Pirata Cofresi
Photographs by Ellen Fernandez-Sacco

While on a research trip to Puerto Rico, I was invited to attend a ballet entitled La Pirata Cofresi, based on the life of Roberto Cofresi (actually Roberto Kupferschein y Ramirez de Arellano 1791-1825), the most renowned pirate in Puerto Rico. It took place at the Francisco Arrivi Theatre in Santurce, complete with an ingenious series of stage sets and lighting arrangements that transformed the dancers space.
The libretto for the performance was based on Alejandro Tapia y Rivera's mythic version of Cofresi's life (1876), encapsulated within an oral history told to a child that serve as the beginning and endpoints of the narrative. Different works of classical music drove the action.
What fascinated me about the dance was how bodies shifted and moved through different suggested landscapes, with dramatic, saturated colors providing access into interior, emotional space.
My series of images are a visual record of the trails left by the dancers bodies as they jumped, twisted or spun through the space of the stage. Magically their bodies fused into different forms, and metamorphosed into other impossible shapes that melted space and time together.
La Pirata Cofresi (2007)
Ballet Senorial, Director, Grace M. Bigas
Concept: Julita Maldonaldo, Anthony Gonzalez
Libretto: Hector Rodriguez
Artistic Director, Choreographer & Producer: Julio Enrique Rivera

A series of ten photographs are up now in Studio 8, at the Compound Gallery & Studios in Oakland, California. If you're interested in purchasing an image (8 x 10 photo printed on Ilford paper, framed) please contact me at .

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