Anthem:Absence is inspired by the feelings of social fight and revolution. Using the poems of Mario Benedetti as an inspiration and also as a sound score, read by Alberto García.

Alberto also composed the music for the piece.

“Anthem:Absence” is a 15 min piece for 5 dancers, and is designed for a black box theatre, but adaptable.

“we sing because the shout is not enough

and it isn’t enough the crying or the quarrel

we sing because we believe in people

and because we will beat the defeat

we sing because the sun recognises us

and because the field smells like spring

and because in this stem in that fruit

every question has its answer”

“Por qué cantamos” – Mario Benedetti

Reviews of Anthem:Absence.

Cloud Dance Festival 19th July 2009 By Rebecca Robinson

The recently born Diciembre Dance Group brought energy and collaboration between art forms to the stage in their piece, Anthem:Absence. The Latin poetry of Mario Benedetti literally ‘footnoted’ the dance performance, which paid ample tribute to the expression of social issues. There was a poignant narrative undercurrent to the performances of all three dancers – who were strong and expressive – and included the choreographer of the piece Lucía Piquero. Their iconic moves were often reminiscent of the veritas of Martha Graham. The future work of this creative, collaborative group should prove startling.

Cloud Dance Festival 19th July 2009 By Mollie McClelland

As an exploration of absence, the initial choices in Anthem: Absence by Diciembre Dance Group made more sense. The piece opened with an image of the five dancers together in a sculptural configuration and the sound of Mario Benedetti’s poetry read in Spanish as the score. Translations were projected on the back wall, but pulled focus from the dancers, and became more of a distraction than a useful component of the work. It followed that with a series of three classically based solos, all of which featured a dancer predominantly facing away from the audience. In rare moments when we weren’t watching the dancer from behind, they kept their gaze and focus internal preventing connections with the audience, putting the audience in position of voyeur, rather than participant. The sound of the voice became ambience, aural texture with fragments of literal meaning for a non-Spanish speaker. Like the sounds, the visual imagery washed over the eyes, not leaving fully formed images or metaphors available for deciphering. In the end the dancers did open up to face the audience, but it seemed that the piece hadn’t fully decided what it wanted to say. The dancers were content with sharing fragments of meaning and moments of grace.

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