¡Viva! is Manuel Liñán’s new production that has been awarded the 21st Critics’ Prize at the 24th Festival de Jerez. This production is a song for the freedom of movement. Females are embraced as their own by the male body, as gender patterns, in a rigidly codified world such as flamenco, are broken by both joy and pleasure. This creates new spaces which, although unexplored, seem close to us.
Manuel Liñán is a dancer (bailaor), choreographer and director. Among his best known productions are Nómada, Reversible and Baile de Autor. It was in 2013, when he was awarded the Premio Max de las Artes Escénicas as best male dancer and the Critics’ Prize of Flamenco Hoy as best bailaor.
¡Viva! was devised from an intimate memory of Liñán’s childhood: “When I was a child, I used to lock myself in my room and wear my mother’s green skirt. I would accessorise my hair with flowers, put on make-up, and dance in secret. That dance was unthinkable outside those four walls.”
This happened in circumstances where social and artistic rules enforced the idea that artists should manifest themselves according to their gender. After illusion, desire, and need have been isolated, of which have remained silent for years, ¡Viva! brings to light all of those moments, recalling them and leaving open that door that separates what became private from what became public.
¡Viva! is a cry for the freedom of transformation, which does not always imply a way of disguise but rather one of nakedness. As a way of celebration, Liñán proposes the plurality of the dance, the different forms and the singularity of each one of them. Together with six dancers (bailaores), who will be in charge of exploring and delving into this fascinating universe of transvestism, it will expose the formal part of these identities, that form our own nature.
“We want to dance, Chimpum.”