May 30, 2020

Guindalera, end point

It will be the last work that can be seen in this alternative hall, already emblematic, of Madrid. After 16 years open, housing a theater project that had started four years earlier, Guindalera will close its doors forever on December 22. «Yerma 2019» will be the culmination of a hard journey dedicated to the performing arts that has been accompanied by widespread applause from the public and critics. The task of surviving, however, has been exhausting for the main architects of this adventure; This is, for director Juan Pastor, the producer Teresa Valentín-Gamazo and their daughter, actress María Pastor. Staying afloat in Madrid with an alternative room that bets on research and creation, and not just the exhibition, is a complex task, almost impossible, as they recognize themselves when they face, "with grief and determination at the same time" , this final stretch.

It will be the second time that María Pastor works in a work in Lorca under her father's orders. The first one was many years ago, in a “Blood Wedding” set released in 2001 that marked the actress's professional debut, with a small role in the cast. The Granada author also closes, therefore, an artistic cycle that he started and in which the careers of the interpreter and the director have been closely linked. However, they assure the company that the choice of title has not been due to such reasons. «We weren't thinking of choosing something that would serve as our farewell; We didn't even think of the Lorca Year, ”explains María Pastor. We simply wanted to do a work that was in line with the work we defend in Guindalera; that is to say, that it was of a solid author and that it offered an interpretative challenge, especially for me, that I had been focusing on the survival of space for a couple of years and not so much in my work as an actress ».

Aquilatar and undress

Of course, that challenge is present in a proposal that tries to aquilatar and undress the poetry of Lorca to leave it in the hands of a small cast, formed by six actors (some regulars in the company, such as Raúl Fernández, Alicia González or José Bustos) , which has to face the text in a scenario stripped of any superfluous element. "It is the line we have always followed," the protagonist clarifies. Everything is at the service of the text and the actors, beyond any ingenious staging. In addition, we want the work to be related to the present, with what can happen today or with what society seems to demand. In that sense, we believe that the inheritance we have received in relation to, for example, very important issues such as women's liberation or gender violence is present in Yerma. ”

In the search for this connection with the present, the director of this well-known Lorca tragedy, first released in 1934, has dispensed with the folkloric and localist aroma that usually accompanies her in other settings, as her daughter explains: «We have conceived a timeless space and a neutral wardrobe, in which echoes of the Greek and Tartesian cultures may be guessed, with the idea of ​​reflecting on our roots in a universal way. We wanted to get rid of that stereotype that always shows Lorca from a dark or gloomy place. Pedro Ojesto's music is also conceived along this line, drinking from many different roots and not only from flamenco and Andalusian tradition ».

The argument of "Yerma", which is that of a woman in an oppressive rural environment who cannot have children and who, therefore, cannot fulfill the role of mother that society has assigned her, is also expressed in Guindalera's proposal, from a broader perspective than usual. «I think that many times we are left alone with the fable, and not with the meaning that is at the bottom of this story – says María Pastor -. We think that the issue of honor is more important, for example, than that of infertility. We believe that the work speaks of social pressure, of how these social conditions influence and sometimes, tragically, as in this case, determine the life of the individual. The frustration of the character for not being able to have a child is not as much for us as the frustration of not being able to fulfill the mission entrusted to him ». In short, an attempt to give a vision of the character that translates, for the actress, into «a difficult job; precision work that, on the other hand, has a lot to do with what we have been doing; It is almost a leap into the void, because you have nowhere else to rely on the body and the word. At the same time, however, I feel comfortable, because for me, in theater, less is always more ».

Defined by Pastor as "a tragic hero who rebels against her destiny," it may be the spirit of this wasteland that has governed the artistic project of Guindalera during all these years, in which a family of theater makers has tried to rebel against what they describe as "a non-existent cultural policy in our country." «A small space that is not committed to multiprogramming, but to research and the development of processes to obtain true artistic fruits; A modest space that has tried to dignify the profession, and that has always discharged its actors and workers, cannot subsist on the panorama we have today – affirms the actress. We have been many times on the verge of closure and have had to reinvent ourselves again and again; public aid, which has only come in recent years, is minimal, insufficient to maintain a project that, despite the good will of some politicians, and of course many spectators and friends who have wanted to help us at this time, he has run over and over again with a bureaucratic framework that has only put obstacles on us ».

Where: Guindalera Space (Martínez Izquierdo Street, 20. Madrid).

When: from today to December 22.

How much: 16 euros

María Pastor's career as an actress has been quite focused on the montages her father has directed in this room. So soon a new stage will begin for both. «I have never stopped looking for work also out of here; and I will continue doing that, ”Pastor affirms. In addition, the idea is to keep Guindalera as a company.

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