Review of Dolores, danced by Mimulus at Jacob’s Pillow
July 28, 2008 performance reviewed by Sandy Michel.
Dolores, a new ballet created by choreographer Jomar Mesquita, and danced by the Mimulus group from Brazil, had its USA premiere at Jacob’s Pillow on July 30, 2008. Dolores intertwines various Latin dances and the films of Pedro Almodovar. 2014 Jacob’s Pillow schedule, Contact info. and links
These realistic and sometimes surreal films deal with the alienation and dark side of the human soul as represented by aggressive, bizarre, and disturbing sexual behavior. Mr. Mesquito transcribes this behavior into the dance form by movements depicting endless groping of the genitals and backsides of dancers of both sexes.
Add various sado-masochistic configurations of the human body and no moments of love, joy, or pleasure, and you have Delores. The dance is performed without an intermission and lasts for an hour.
The sets, lighting, and costumes were both creative and effective. The dancers danced.
It is difficult for me as a woman of 73 years to accept the artistic value of such a performance. For me, there is no redeeming, or aesthetic, or spiritual value to watching sexual predators hover over women and/or men and manipulate them through domination and physical cruelty and indifference.
The artist in our society has a responsibility to speak or perform the truth. The artist is our last bastion of the truth. It is not for the artist to glorify but to reveal the underlying darkness of such behavior. The audience response was alarming.
In the 60s and 70s, Federico Fellini directed films about bizarre characters and their, his, fantasies. They were of genius quality and depicted Fellini’s artistic responsibility and values. Dolores shows no such value. I wish such dances will fade into oblivion as did the comedy of Andrew Dice Clay in the 1980s. The public turned off the TV sets and did not buy his recordings. Hopefully, lewd and disrespectful treatment of women and men in artistic arenas will no longer bring standing ovations.
A last thought that I would like to express is the audience of mostly seniors should examine their values and I wonder if they would give a group of gangster rappers a thunderous ovation???