PITTSFIELD — Actual life and artwork are coming collectively at Barrington Stage Firm.
Actual life is the migrant drama that’s being performed out each day alongside the US’ southern border. Artwork is a model new dance musical that’s being performed out via Oct. 17 at BSC’s Boyd-Quinson Stage on Union Avenue.
Commissioned via BSC’s Sydelle Blatt New Works Commissioning Program and created in affiliation with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, “A Crossing: A Dance Musical” is a few group of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border looking for a greater life right here.
It’s taken the higher a part of six years from inception for “A Crossing” to make it to the stage. The dance musical had been scheduled for production last summer however was postponed mainly due to a reshuffling of BSC’s plans in response to COVID-19. However director-choreographer Joshua Bergasse approached BSC founder and inventive director Julianne Boyd with the notion of “A Crossing” in 2015.
“My creativeness was turning towards telling a narrative about what’s occurring throughout the border; the place these migrants got here from; why they’re making the journey; what they need to do once they get there,” Bergasse mentioned throughout a rehearsal break interview on the Boyd-Quinson Stage.
Authenticity was important for Bergasse. The Primetime Emmy Award-winner (2012, “Smash”) realized from the start that Mexican folklore, dance and music can be integral. Looking out the net for somebody who can be an ideal collaborator, Bergasse discovered the individual he was on the lookout for in Alberto Lopez, who, along with govt director Juan Castranoi, based Calpulli in 2003. The New York Metropolis-based firm is actually a touring ensemble whose repertoire makes a speciality of tradition-based Mexican dance and music, in addition to unique work. The corporate has carried out all through the US, together with a 2016 look at Jacob’s Pillow Henry J. Leir Stage (previously the Inside/Out stage), which might be considered on-line on Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive.
Lopez, who hails from San Antonio Chiltepec in Puebla, Mexico, discovered deep connections with Bergasse’s idea and situation. He signed on as co-choreographer, story guide and dramaturg.
“When Joshua gave me the storyline I went ‘Ah!’ It touched me personally,” Lopez mentioned, becoming a member of Bergasse within the interview. “I’ve by no means seen anybody [wanting to tell] these tales via music and dance.
Playwright Mark St. Germain developed the situation for “A Crossing,” which comprises just about no dialogue. “My course of was very very like writing a silent film,” St. Germain mentioned. “A Crossing” is instructed in music — a mix of unique songs and vocal preparations by Zoe Sarnak, and conventional Mexican folks music preparations and extra rating by George Sáenz — and dance. Lengthy segments of “A Crossing” unfold solely in dance.
“We don’t have dialogue and there’s a lot we’ve to say,” Bergasse mentioned. He credit Sarnak’s songs for serving to him develop the story and the characters.
Bergasse says his major job as director and choreographer is to assist his artists do their finest work; “to get the most effective folks within the room after which get out of the best way and allow them to shine.”
Lopez says his major job as story guide is to maintain “A Crossing” near actuality.
The storytelling isn’t straightforward. “It’s tough to get folks to inform their tales about crossing the border,” Lopez mentioned.
However these are tales that have to be instructed, particularly “by individuals who know these tales,” one feminine member of the 12-person Hispanic solid mentioned following a quick preview of “A Crossing” for a small, invited viewers on the Boyd-Quinson Stage; and particularly to an viewers that is aware of in regards to the migrant disaster solely from information studies and pictures.
Bergasse’s hope is that theatergoers will acquire deeper understanding of what’s occurring alongside the border, will look past the discuss and pictures and are available to understand that behind all of the numbing statistics are folks: human beings with goals and aspirations.
“Seeing these characters onstage offers us an opportunity to empathize,” Bergasse mentioned. “We’re not making an attempt to be political. We’re simply saying it is a human subject we will’t ignore.”
“That is much more about one another,” Lopez mentioned, “about reaching out; about seeing people who find themselves neighbors who see you; about saying to them [in return] ‘Hey, I can see you.’”
Jeffrey Borak is The Eagle’s theater critic.