THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

NO CAPTION

Review: Buñuel Descending | The Ochre House | Ochre House


Reign in Spain

Drinking, puppets and flamenco are important elements of Buñuel Descending, a colloration between Ochre House and Dallas Flamenco Festival. 



published Sunday, June 26, 2016

Photo: Karlo X. Ramos
Buñuel Descending at the Ochre House

 

 

Dallas — Little did I know that filmmaker Luís Buñuel was pals with Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca, that he had a drinking problem, or that he was a great flamenco dancer. But thanks to Matthew Posey’s Buñuel Descending, revived at the Ochre House Theater as part of the 2016 Dallas Flamenco Festival, I am no longer clueless.

Let’s say that Mr. Posey took some liberties with facts: in my reading about Buñuel there’s no mention of drinking, and of course, he wasn’t a flamenco dancer.

The idea, apparently, was to capture a moment in Buñuel’s life before he became the darling of the surrealist movement (except he already was). There is absolutely nothing surreal about this play besides the idea of a filmmaker Buñuel becoming a flamenco dancer…unless you count the truly bizarre puppets: exotic birds in one scene, a Chinese dragon in another.

Photo: Karlo X. Ramos
Buñuel Descending at the Ochre House

But more about Justin Locklear’s puppets later.

The play begins with Buñuel (Antonio Arrebola) slumped over a table, bottle of red wine on one side, several half-full and -empty glasses on the other side. At the far side of the stage sit flamenco guitarist (Calvin Hazen), cantor and flute (Alfonso Cid) and cajon/percussion (Bobby Fajardo). It takes a long time for Buñuel to wake up from a drunken stupor, and when his head finally lifts, we see a dazed, bleary-eyed man. He sits. He grabs a half-full glass, and with one backward swig, empties it. The music keeps playing.

It’s a slow start, but picks up when two figures in crinkly red paper bags over their heads appear, holding puppet birds with beaks long and dangerous. The first thing one bird does is to duck his beak into a half-full glass. Then both birds talk (in Spanish, so I have no idea what they are saying except that it must be, “Buñuel, wake up, you lazy bastard!”) When the masks come off, we discover Buñuel’s jolly friends, Lorca and Dalí.

There’s not much more to the story. More drinking; Lorca (Ivan Jasso) and Dalí (Christopher Sykes) break out into impromptu dance, a bit wobbly on their legs; then more cajoling Buñuel to stay awake. Into their midst slinks Buñuel’s spitfire of a wife (Delilah Muse) in black and white dress with red pompoms slung around her waist. He’s huge, she’s tiny, but she is more than a match for him.

Somehow “Paris” comes up in the conversation; going off to fight against Franco (that’s how we know this tale takes place in the 1930s); “riding the train until the wheels fall off;” and more drinking. Except for Buñuel, everyone including his wife is keen to join the war.

To express all this ardor, more dancing—solos by Buñuel and his wife, then impassioned confrontations. Ms. Muse curves and coils her body snakelike, dipping very low, arching her back, weaving intricate designs with her fingers. Mr. Arrebola swivels on a dime, pulverizing the floor with a torrent of stamps, easing up, going at it again with greater fury. The musicians egg him on.

Calm returns. “Are you going with us?” pleads Jeanne Buñuel. Her husband just takes another swig. When she returns with a suitcase wearing a smart dress, black on one side, white on the other, and ruffled at the bottom, she stands motionless. He gets up, looks at her, grabs the suitcase and together they disappear in the distance.

 

» Margaret Putnam has been writing about dance since 1980, with works published by D Magazine, The Dallas Observer, The Dallas Times Herald, The Dallas Morning News, The New York Times, Playbill, Stagebill, Pointe Magazine and Dance MagazineThanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Reign in Spain
Drinking, puppets and flamenco are important elements of Buñuel Descending, a colloration between Ochre House and Dallas Flamenco Festival. 
by Margaret Putnam

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit