Contemporary dance and visual arts come together in RITO, a stunning and ground-breaking production by Otradanza that is the brainchild of artist Susanna Guerrero and director Asun Noales.
Set to wow audiences at this year’s Malta International Arts Festival, this is the kind of artistic performance that needs to be experienced to be understood, as mere words will not do justice to the visceral brutality that these two artists bring to the stage through their dancers. While reviews have hailed the performance for its “complex artistry”, it is only when I see a YouTube teaser that the power of RITO shines through.
At its very core, the project showcases this concept of humans juxtaposed against nature. This is achieved by fusing Guerrero’s sculpture, light, sound and installations with Noales’s choreographic prowess, revealing not only the strength of nature but also the symbolic strength of humanity.
Otradanza have built a strong reputation for repertoire that covers a wide spectrum of themes, many of them having a socially-committed approach. Judging by the artists’ and dancers’ track record, RITO also recreates a very personal concept of physicality that is merged with poetic language by means of very careful staging. The result is an immersive experience that stuns the senses.
“RITO is the celebration of a myth, of a fabulous story that explains, without any words, the aspects of humans and the strengths of nature. The result is a performance that involves not only our senses, but digs into our very emotions in a manner that allows us to be immersed in the story,” the artists say.
The performance can only be described as a bold departure from the traditional aesthetics of dance, thanks to choreography that embodies the ritualistic, showing off the high-level skills of the dancers as they recreate a narrative as old as time.
RITO will be presented as part of a double-bill programme that includes Shostakovich’s Quartet No 8, performed by BOHO4 from Belgium. Shostakovich composed this quartet in Dresden with the inscription “In memory of victims of fascism and war.” This quartet is riveting, immensely powerful, profoundly moving, and, in parts, achingly lyrical. The music explores the complex aesthetics of the darkest aspects of human experience: sorrow, terror, violence, death, shock, grief and a sardonic gallows humor. Regardless of its program, the music is a distillation of visceral emotion with an astonishing impact which delivers an unforgettable and epic experience.
RITO takes place on June 29 and 30 at 9PM at the Valletta Campus Theatre in Valletta. If you’d like to learn more about this year’s Malta International Arts Festival programme, check out this interview about RootlessRoot’s Stones and Bones and this interview with theremin artist Carolina Eyck. Book your tickets now directly from www.festivals.mt/miaf.