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Hemen zaude: Hasiera Hemeroteka ‘Decir Lluvia:’ A deluge of imagination

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‘Decir Lluvia:’ A deluge of imagination

Basque troupe Kabia presents a gorgeous, surreal dance theater work in Decir Lluvia y Que Lluvia

Jordan Levin
Performing Arts
Performing Arts

Director Borja Ruiz based Decir Lluvia on the writings of Basque author and poet Joseba Sarrionandia, as well as the creations of his nine intense, talented performers from this young, experimental dance and theater troupe from Bilbao, Spain. The result is a dense and stately parade of gorgeously crafted imagery with an unsettling undercurrent, as if dreams and nightmares were constantly bursting through reality. The synopsis calls Lluvia the story of an imaginary courtyard, and refers to the passage from childhood to adulthood, imagination to daily reality.

The work’s impact derives largely from the exquisitely crafted, wildly imaginative stage pictures — if Lluvia feels emotionally muted, its images seem guaranteed to linger for a long time. Designed entirely in black, white, cream and grey, with calculated splashes of red (major credit should go to scenic designer Alicia de Miguel, costume designer Azegine Urigoitia, and lighting designer Javier Garcia) Lluvia sometimes looks like a succession of surreal paintings (the umbrellas and the bowler-like hats worn by the performers recall the art of Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali).

Three female singers, called Hiedras (from a Sarrionandia poem) look through hanging frames, towering at the top of long columns of white fabric, singing in shimmering, atonal harmonies, like observing angels. Three “Inhabitants” in long grey coats and bowler-like hats rush through, often with umbrellas — red ones that pulse like beating hearts, or grey ones that shed twirling spirals of sand, or pour down rain. Karol Benito is a shivering Woman of Ice (another Sarrionandia personage), in long red snow-encrusted coat, carrying a red umbrella dripping with the same icicles that hang from her frozen face. In one particularly gorgeous passage, the three Inhabitants wield small devices that spray spirals of water, and they spin and circle them to create a dazzling watery kaleidoscope.

The pictures are interspersed with monologues from Sar (Iosu Florentino), an ironic figure whose ominous-comic shadow (Joseba Uribarri), in sleek black coat and mask, keeps threatening to strike off on his own. Florentino threatens, in turn, to follow his shadow — or to turn out the light and make him disappear. The image is one of many where opposites seem to melt into each other, either visually or in the text. Florentino talks of a room where people die of hunger and another where they eat too much; a woman writes a letter to herself. “Words can soak us,” says Florentino. “How long do we have to stay silent to become dry?” Reality is not so solid in Lluvia, but permeable, fungible.

For all the beauty and richness of its imagery, Lluvia feels cool, abstract — a dream without heat. A conscious irony undercuts any moment that might have more gravity or emotional punch. The final image is of the Inhabitants rushing through the rainy, blue-lit, sand-strewn stage, like a dreary wintertime street, reality as drab and destructive of imagination.


Scene from Decir lluvia y que llueva by Kabia Espacio de Investigación de Gaitzerdi Teatro of Bilbao  in the XXVI International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami.
Scene from Decir lluvia y que llueva by Kabia Espacio de Investigación de Gaitzerdi Teatro of Bilbao in the XXVI International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami.

If you go

What: XXVI International Hispanic Theatre Festival

Info: 305-445-8877,; 305-949-6722,

Cost: $29 ($24 seniors, students and those with disabilities) at Carnival; $25 ($20 seniors, students, disabled) at Prometeo


Carnival Studio Theater, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

Teatro Prometeo and Auditorium, Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami

Key Biscayne Community Center, 10 Village Green Way, Key Biscayne

Miami Dade College Interamerican Campus, 627 SW 27th Ave., Miami


‘Decir lluvia y que llueva’ by Kabia Espacio de Investigación de Gaitzerdi Teatro of Spain, 8:30 p.m. Friday, Carnival (dance theater)

‘Mujeres de Shakespeare’ by Prometeo Theatre of Miami, 8:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Prometeo (Spanish with English supertitles)

‘Trompo metálico’ by Trompo Metálico of Argentina, cancelled

‘El pájaro Dziú’ by Aquelarre Teatro of Mexico, 5:45 p.m. Saturday, Key Biscayne (Spanish, free)

‘Cuerdas’ by Kraken Teatro of Mexico, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday, Carnival (Spanish)

International Children’s Day, 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Miami Dade Interamerican campus (Spanish, free)

‘Espérame despierto’ by MOPA of Spain, 8:30 p.m. July 23, Wolfson Auditorium (dance)

‘El malentendido’ by Teatro Avante of Miami, 8:30 p.m. July 21-23, 5 p.m. July 24, Carnival (Spanish with English supertitles)




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