In an empty locker room, two men play with movement, an analogue radio and tiny shorts.
Un Poyo Rojo combines wrestling, dance, acrobatics and physical comedy in a raw, playful and funny show that explores the expectations of manhood.
To find out more about the Argentinian contemporary dance and physical theatre company, we caught up with the two performers of the show, Luciano Rosso and Alfonso Barón.
You can catch the two in Un Poyo Rojo from 4 – 27 Aug, over Dance Base Festival 17.
1. What was it that inspired your show or performance?
When we started to create the show, we didn’t know where we wanted it to go. We started by creating a small contemporary dance piece with high impact partner elements. The work is inspired by the real link between Luciano Rosso and Nicolás Poggi, the choreographers and first performers of the work.
2. Can you describe your devising process, and how did you find inspiration for creating your work?
It started in a cultural centre where the 3 original creators lived: Nicolas Poggi, Luciano Rosso and Hermes Gaido. We rehearsed and assembled the work in less than a year, dividing the rehearsals into improvisations that we then combined with other scenes that we created during the process.
It was very chaotic, like all theatrical processes, but the director helped to create a genuine way of storytelling. Two years after the show’s premiere, Alfonso Barón replaced Nicolás Poggi, and this changed the work as each performer is different. It added freshness and new challenges.
3. What was it that inspired you in becoming a performer, or setting up your company?
We always knew we wanted to create something of our own. We wanted to create something on the scene that had our own genuine signature, and marked our work and love for our creations. On a whole, we wanted to do things that transcends the barriers of language and culture in general.
4. What has been the biggest challenges in creating your show?
One of the biggest challenges was to break our fear of showing ourselves on stage. We wanted to showcase the bond that unites us as human beings but didn’t know if it would work. We thought people would prefer to go to the theatre to see fiction or a farce, but when we started showing our work in public we realised otherwise. People were interested and that marked a lot in the way we know tell stories.
5. What was it that inspired you in becoming a performer, or setting up your company?
I think our favorite part of the research and the work came from experimenting with the use of live radio. When we were rehearsing two solos, our director Hermes Gaido suggested to work the sound of the live radio into our work. The radio became part of the work, and opened a space of improvisation.
6. Do you have a routine or pre-show ritual that you have to do before you perform?
Yes, before each function we listen to music with a mobile speaker, in general electronic music that puts us in tune with the situation, with the theatre, with the bodies. On the other hand when people are coming in we have a special greeting that we perform – we look at each other, we jump and we hit our breasts in the air followed by a couple of jumps to warm the room.
7. What is your favourite dance performance you’ve seen, and why?
We do not have a favorite work, as we like many things, many artists and many aesthetics.
8. If you could describe your show in 3 words, what would they be?
Powerful, sensitive, authentic.
9. What are you most looking forward to in bringing your show to the festival?
We like the idea that people can see our work, take our art to all parts of the world, it is a luxury, a privilege.
10. If you’ve visited the festival before, what’s your favourite Edinburgh haunt?
It is our first time at the festival, we are very anxious to see other shows, meet artists and above all things share and enjoy this experience that will certainly be unforgettable.
You can find out more about Un Poyo Rojo, and book tickets here.
Tickets can also be booked via the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Box Office on 0131 226 0000.