dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
Butterfly transforms into transgender tale
DeNada Dance Theatre's new show Mariposa, which premieres on September 30, brings a transgender re-imagining of the tragic Puccini opera Madame Butterfly to Birmingham. Created by Spanish-born choreographer and dancer Carlos Pons Guerra, Mariposa, which is Spanish for butterfly, moves the tale of doomed love and betrayal to post-Revolution Cuba and creates a host of colourful new characters.
Mariposa is inspired by on-site research into the queer and transgender sex worker community of Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Love brings together a Cuban male prostitute and a foreign sailor but for the relationship to have a future, the young man is asked to make a huge sacrifice. Set against a world of faded glamour, foreign visitors and santeria spirits, the production explores what we are ready to sacrifice in order to be loved and accepted.
Pons Guerra trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds, and the Royal Conservatoire for Dance of Madrid, before founding DeNada Dance Theatre in 2012. His previous shows have included Ham and Passion, Toro: Beauty and the Bull, and family shows Penguins and The Bull and the Moon. He has created work for a host of international companies including Ballet Hispanico of New York, Nashville Ballet, Rambert, Sadler's Wells, Northern Ballet, the National Dominican Ballet, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Cahoots Northern Ireland.
DeNada Dance Theatre
In 2016 DeNada Dance Theatre received a UK Critic's Circle National Dance Awards nomination in the category of Best Independent Company, and in May 2018 Pons Guerra featured in Prejudice and Passion, a BBC Four documentary covering his journey as an emerging independent choreographer creating LGBTQ work.
Mariposa, which plays the Patrick Centre at Birmingham Hippodrome on September 30 and October 1, is set to an original score by three-time winner of the Spanish MAX Awards for the Performing Arts, Luis Miguel Cobo. The show forms part of Birmingham International Dance Festival and after playing Birmingham tours to the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre in Leeds On October 12 and The Lowry in Salford Quays on January 17.