Ad Libitum: Or how I freed myself from my chains
Ad Libitum is a tour de force of contemporary flamenco performed by several of the most significant living practitioners of the art.
Now in its 49th year, Theatre Flamenco is proud to announce the return of Spanish flamenco superstar Andrés Marín in the North American premiere of Ad Libitum: Or how I freed myself from my chains. Choreographed and directed by Marín, Ad Libitum features Theatre Flamenco Artistic Director Carola Zertuche and frequent Theatre Flamenco guest dancer Cristina Hall. Featured musical guests from Spain include singer José Valencia, guitarist Salvador Gutiérrez and percusionist Daniel Suarez.
Ad Libitum premiered as a solo for Marín in 2014 at the Théâtre Suresnes in France. However, in its presentation in San Francisco this November, Marín will adapt it for three dancers in order to perform with Zertuche and Hall. Hall, a “world class dancer” in her own right (San Francisco Magazine), was born and raised in San Francisco, but she has lived in Seville for more than 12 years. To prepare for November’s concerts, Zertuche will spend one month this fall rehearsing with Marín and Hall in Seville.
Andrés Marín has always shown a profound respect for tradition, in particular for singing, which he considers the backbone of flamenco. But he repeatedly insists that limiting oneself to ingenuous imitation or mechanical reproduction is to remove the essence of any artistic expression and, ultimately, disrespect the very thing you believe you serve. His flamenco exists in that fragile interstice between the norm and its transgression.
Throughout all his shows, Andrés Marín has developed the most peculiar of personal universes, based on a dance that he performs from a vision of the world on edge, from wounds he now unhesitatingly exposes, just as he exposes his almost naked body. Now it seems that Andrés Marín has taken another step along this path to freedom, daring all without limits. He, who has always regarded flamenco singing with admiration and humility, dares to sing, and does so very well.
For Andrés Marín, Ad libitum is dancing to the rhythm of his own will, wholly unrestrained, from total freedom, a subjugated improvisation. And, above all, giving himself fully to the moment, the place, the other, whether this is found on the stage or among the audience. The choreographer lets his body speak, a body that has so much to say and possesses him, breaking the shackles of reason. Deferring to the compulsions of this body and taking it into a dialogue with the inherited and assimilated sediments that are the foundations of a patiently stored knowledge of flamenco.
- Choreography and direction: Andrés Marín.
- Dancers: Andrés Marín, Carola Zertuche, Cristina Hall.
- Singer: José Valencia.
- Guitarist: Salvador Gutiérrez.
- Percussionist: Daniel Suarez.
- Lighting designer: Ivan Martín.
Fans of flamenco will have a chance to meet Marín and all of the artists in Ad Libitum at a post-performance tapas and dance party on Saturday, November 21. The event, catered by San Francisco’s popular Loló restaurant, will take place at the Firehouse at Fort Mason. Admission is $50.