Carlos Santos: «The public sees a show, but behind the stage there is another»

Carlos Santos. / c7

The set designer signs the design of the space for the contemporary dance show 'La Umbría', which premieres in November at Cuyás

A.G. The Gran Canarian palms

Carlos Santos is in charge of synthesizing the world in which it takes place on a stage.
'The Umbria'Quino Falero's version of Alonso Quesada's work that
Cyrano Productions and the Cuyás Theater will be presented in November at the aforementioned scenic area on Calle Viera y Clavijo in the capital of Gran Canaria. The architect and set designer from Gran Canaria has just shown the ins and outs of his profession and shared the peculiarities of his process in a training module framed in
the project 'Creating La Umbria'considered as a commitment to the dissemination of the creative process in the performing arts of the islands.

For Santos, the biggest challenge when it comes to bringing a universe like 'La Umbría' to a stage
«It is its conception as a contemporary dance show».

"It's the first time I've played the genre, although I've wanted to do it for a long time.
Technically it is different. No easier or more difficult than opera, zarzuela or theater. But each genre, each style, has its requirements. For a show like this you need an open space for movement, that there are no elements that interrupt the lighting of the dance. My creative process is very synthetic, and dance requires more synthesis at a spatial level", explains the set designer, who has worked on many occasions with Cyrano Producciones, but who had never done so with Falero in the theatrical field, with whom he confesses
«connect a lot with the artistic, poetic and plastic sensitivity that he has as a director».


He is still working on the last touches of the designs that the public will be able to see in the production that will be premiered at the Cuyás Theater. The only thing that can be advanced is that the aesthetics of the montage
«it affects that phantasmagorical point raised by 'La Umbría', with large curtains that lead us to the spectral. There is also a main corporeal component, a characteristic element of the royal house in which the story takes place that will give the dancers a game. It is a very synthesis point, because we are not going to recreate the house, which serves to evoke and accentuate without giving up dance", says Santos, who this year has worked on
'The Tales of Hoffman', 'Don Pasquale' and 'Orpheus and Eurydice', which premieres this Friday and Saturday at the Pérez Galdós Theater.

Carlos Santos, who acknowledges that he was aware of Alonso Quesada's original work until he began working on this project, highlights its validity. «
He tells us about topics that are up to date. Issues that, unfortunately, we have experienced with the pandemic. About the disease, about how we face our fears... The theater always talks about life », he warns.

Santos, who trained as a set designer in Madrid after finishing his architecture studies on the islands, assures that he had already felt the call of theater before beginning to study architecture. «
My family is closely linked to music and opera, and as a child I paid a lot of attention to the sets, the costumes, the space. I even remember deciding if I liked an opera more or less based on the scenery. But, as a child, I never thought of it as a profession. Later I had a stage on stage, as an amateur actor, and I even considered doing dramatic art, but for reasons in life I ended up studying architecture. And, later, I asked myself: what happens if I combine this with what I am passionate about? And I
I went to specialize in scenography in Madrid. There are many paths that can take you there. But in my style
the work of space has been given to me by architecture».

For the set designer, initiatives such as 'Creating La Umbría', which try to bring the creative process and the back rooms of the theater closer to the public, «are very positive. I have always said that the viewer sees a show, but behind the scenes there is another.
I argue that the viewer has to have a chance to see a performance from the other side. The professions inside are very unknown.