In Mexico, a message of environmental awareness through art

In Mexico, a message of environmental awareness through art
Fecha de publicación: 
29 October 2023
Imagen principal: 

With an environmental awareness message, the public recently enjoyed at the Raúl Flores Canelo Theater of the National Center for the Arts (CENART) in Mexico City, the premiere of Extinción, a staging that reflects on the cycle of life and death, from dance and the contemporary stage. Led by Érika Suárez Dance Company, the staging was under the artistic direction of Cuban dancer and choreographer, Mijaíl Rojas.

Extinción invites—and even forces—to meditate from visuality, movement, senses, and reason about one of the most serious problems that humanity currently faces: the excess of garbage resulting from unrestrained human consumerism. But also, and perhaps at a deeper level, Extinción engages with the viewer in a scenic dialogue about the close and inevitable relationship of the life/death binomial.

“We human beings sabotage and destroy ourselves…However, that often leads us to a rebirth. Even death, from one point of view, is a new beginning,” said Érika Suárez, protagonist of the staging and director of the company, recognized as one of the greatest exponents of flamenco dance in Mexico.

For Suárez, Extinción represents a leap in her career, since “it is not about something exclusively personal, but universal; problems common to all human beings such as water scarcity, the excess of garbage we produce and a world full of plastic waste.”

Several dance and dramatic styles converge in Extinción. “Of course flamenco,” Suárez points out, “from the percussion, the use of rhythm, the use of the beat as a trigger for each scene. On the other hand, contemporary dance, which gives us freedom of movement. There is also a lot of dance-theater, especially in the visual proposal.”

For his part, the Cuban Mijaíl Rojas, dancer, choreographer and stage director of Extinción, pointed out that the staging "proposes to the public an approach to the ephemeral idea of human existence and its totality." For Rojas, one of the main goals of the staging is “to cover many aspects of this concept: from the physical and material side to the illusion of a non-permanent and temporary existence of our passage through this plane of life. Things inevitably vanish, but they are part of an evolutionary and transcendent cycle,” said Rojas.

For Ximena Martín del Campo, a young dancer who, along with Noelia Rojas, Sofía Jara, Lola Salinas and Érika Suárez herself, is part of the Extinción cast, this “is a very interesting piece, since it addresses issues that must be paid a lot of attention. And doing so, from a dance perspective, is a contribution that helps us reflect on the effects that these problems will bring us in the future.”

Érika Suárez is recognized as one of the greatest exponents of flamenco dance in Mexico. However, in the last decade she has been recognized by the public and specialized critics as one of the most daring and innovative dancers and choreographers thanks to her proposals in the field of contemporary dance, particularly in the field of experimental flamenco.

“All my creative works arise from some personal concern. I consider myself an artist who works from emotion,” confesses Suárez, who states that Extinción —her twelfth full-length play—required her to get involved in an arduous creative process for two years.

In addition to the performers and the stage director, Mijaíl Rojas, Extinción has the participation of Chacho Guerra in the scenic design, and Joel Ruiz in the costume design.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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