A/way Home / Saudade de ti, Carlos Aller / Cecilia Bartolino ©Fernando Duque Velasco

Unexpected Encounters

The double bill A/way Home / Saudade de ti premieres on 21 April 2024 at DOCK 11. Two duets by Carlos Aller in collaboration with Cecilia Bartolino explore origins and social interaction.

A seemingly well-situated person sits on a street corner with a person who lives on the street. They share an umbrella and listen to the radio together. In A/way Home, that which seldom occurs comes to pass. Prejudices and the obstacles that come with them are overcome, making it possible to approach one another. The encounter between the two dancers turns into a game, “un gioco”. At first they step towards one another timidly, then lightheartedly. Then new questions arise and the well-to-do person, of all people, questions their existence. We observe Cecilia Bartolino who, with expressive movements and facial features, twists her face with her fingers, tugging at it and attempting to change it. Does she want to laugh – for the camera? Should she laugh? Must she laugh? Or actually cry? An expression of doubt transforms her laughing, smiling face. Sweeping hand movements become scratching and then caressing, although the element of aggression remains. Vulnerability replaces what was previously untouchability.

Flower petals, old newspapers, a portable radio, a pair of shoes, and an umbrella are strewn across the stage. There are some white powder spots. By the final frame, the two artists, sharing the same umbrella and listening to the same radio, have traveled a long way. A journey marked by different origins and a multi-faceted choreography of rediscovery, losing oneself, and rediscovering oneself in unexpected positions.

In Saudade de ti we are invited to observe the inner lives of two people waiting for one another. Nervousness is represented as staccato movements that appear like flashing strobe lights, even though the lighting has not changed. For the viewers, watching Carlos Aller in various positions and states of inner turmoil is like flipping through an old photo album. Meanwhile, the other figure sniffs a cloth in reminiscence: of another time, a home, a loved one? Once again, a game ensues in which the two waiting figures meet one another, draw nearer, fight. They reveal the many facets of togetherness. The cloth, the memory, is snatched away, hidden, retrieved. Only to once again plunge, sink into what once was, perhaps also into what could have been and never had the chance to unfold.

With elements of contemporary dance acrobatics, hip-hop influences, and expressive movement language, the happening evolves into a turbulent altercation. How we remember and what we are allowed to remember is thrown into question: who we are and what we could have been, where we come from, and what we miss in the here and now. Since it is not there, not available, circumstances do not allow access to it, it is finally abandoned and the two people on stage approach each other and embrace. Ultimately, they had both been waiting for one another.

English translation by Melissa Maldonado

A/way Home / Saudade de ti by Carlos Aller in cooperation with Cecilia Bartolino premiered on April 21, 2024 at DOCK 11.