Advanced Music inside a swimming pool!

A stage is not neutral regarding music: a rich dialogue can emerge between performances and stages. In this post I concentrate my comments on one specific case in which a stage becomes a key part of a performance.

Justo antes de los Bosques (Just next to the Forest - see a promotional video here) was performed inside an Olympic swimming pool during the CENT 2012 (Cisterniga New Trends in Performing Arts) in the city of La Cisterniga (Spain), on May 16, 2012 (9pm). This is a performance of Teatro DRAN directed by Ruth Rivera and Jaime Rodríguez, performed by Ruth Rivera and Saúl de la Fuente, and with original music composed by Edson Zampronha.

Performance of "Justo Antes de los Bosques" during the CENT 2012 inside a swimming pool in La Cisterniga, Spain 

This work has already been performed in different stages. However, this one, inside a swimming pool, is one of the most original and has strengthened deep connections with some aspects of the work. I am going to mention three:

  • The pool delimitates a micro-world and the audience watch the performance from above. The swimming pool becomes a hole to the deepness in which a fictional world is contained. Many connotations are generated during the performance due to the swimming pool blue color and the sound resonance in that space.
  • Water is very important in this performance. The swimming pool is empty until some water starts flowing and the performers start dancing with it. Now, the swimming pool is both a stage and a real swimming pool, and the concept of a play inside a play is expanded to become a stage inside a stage.
  • There is a kind of inverted ready-made in this performance. If a museum is able to transform common objects into art objects (as Duchamp did in the beginning of 20th century), now is an art object that transforms a common swimming pool into a theater.

Advanced music requires advanced stages, alternative ones, or traditional ones with innovative and flexible resources. Concerning the traditional ones, some are very good indeed. However, I have seen many others designed to contain a traditional and inflexible stage concept dedicated to perform a totally conservative musical language. Considering that stage and music dialogue, advanced music might be out of place in some of these stages.

Many times I have considered other possible stages, and I see that they are ready to be explored! A sound installation, a passageway, an old house, a bus, a street, a booth, a small village, a bridge, a historical ruin, a natural landscape, or even a public swimming pool are potential stages. I have already tried some of these places, and the result can be thrilling! This was exactly the case with the performance of Justo antes de los Bosques inside a swimming pool. The result was excellent, and the audience answered very positively to it! 

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