The University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Music and Dance will present Cadáver Exquisito, a surrealist evening of dance theater by the University Dancers. Directed and choreographed by Thomas Vacanti and Leslie Frye Maietta, the performances will take place at 7:30 each evening in the Totman Performance Lab, located on Eastman Lane on the north side of the campus.
The two directors describe the performances as “an exploration into the lives and work of two of the greatest Latino poets of our time – Federico Garcia Lorca and Pablo Neruda.” In the 1920's, Lorca worked alongside the Spanish surrealists Salvador Dali, film director Luis Buñuel, and sculptor Maruja Mallo. Lorca and his fellow poets of the time became known as the "Generation of '27." The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, a contemporary of Lorca's, was greatly impacted by the poet's work and ultimate assassination in 1936 by Francisco Franco's far right Nationalist regime.
Vacanti and Frye Maietta were inspired by the idea of art enduring during times of fear, repression, and censorship. Playing off the surrealist principle of "exquisite corpse," the directors have created two distinct choreographic visions in episodic parts that will be blended together each evening to produce an original dance theater experience. The performances will feature a large cast of 35 dancers, with a visual design that juxtaposes the spare atmosphere of the Totman Performance Lab with an interplay of light, costumes and video projections, emphasizing a spirit of creativity over repression. Projection design for these performances will be created by Jim Coleman and Terese Freedman, and costumes are designed by Emma Hollows.