Silencio Blanco (White silence)
International Festival of Theater and Street Arts of Valladolid
Most original and innovative performance
Text by Maryse Badiou for the presentation of "SILENCIO BLANCO"
With over forty-five years of theatrical life behind him, Albert Vidal, admired and recognised both in Spain and internationally for his unique contribution to contemporary stage language, returns to Valladolid once again as part of the International Street Theatre and Arts Festival.
His proposal, White Silence, surprising, unheard-of, fascinating and popular, is the result of a long gestation period, as shown by his already wide and diversified productions, which never cease to impress audiences with their profound coherence. Beyond innovation, breaking with established values and conventions, Albert Vidal rediscovers with White Silence the revolutionary spirit of the avant-garde. His idea: a call to the people of Valladolid to participate in a very special individual and collective experience, where in a simple and stimulating way the wonderful capacity we all have to become a work of art takes effect.
Under the captivating baton of the veteran artist, the formation of a procession of maximum affluence is expected to seal the nucleus of social cohesion essential to begin a journey through the streets of the old city. This itinerary aims to comply with the precise rules of the game, as in any ritual, in this case a modern, urban and civic ritual which, as such, people should dress in the same solemn way as is imposed by sacred acts.
The first rule is silence: the courtship advances silently, because nothing is more true than what is not said, because beyond words is the world before words, a world that belongs to us and that our body can receive by placing itself at the disposal of the simple movement of walking detached from the subjective experiences of everyday life.
The second rule is that participants are invited to listen to the drums which, with their beat, sound, rhythm and beats, draw the space and time of our intimate fiction: White Silence. It is they who are nurturing the collective work of art that Albert Vidal proposes to express in the last chapter of this unpublished experience, the precursor of a new concept of art, defined by the artist himself as telluric art.
This is a concept based on the idea that the energetic sources of the earth are generators of movement and form; it is an art, then, that embraces plastic and like a magical architecture, it structures itself in a world of lines, volumes, planes and colour, the infinite manifestations of life.
At the end of the journey, the walker, awake and open to himself, absorbed in the exciting surprises that his body reveals, returns to the starting point, where Albert Vidal, master of ceremonies, and all the participants, promote the voice of The White Silence: the telluric choral singing from the remote lands of our secret garden.
Thus, from the harmonic flow of our personal and unrepeatable sound, the luminous note of collective singing responds, living from those same primordial pulsations that have fertilized the most universal territories. And liberated, magnified and happy, we experience in a sublime and timeless way the dazzling and indelible fact of creation.
Creation and direction
Coordination of cornets and drums
Roberto Martín Martín
"La Sagrada Lanzada" de Valladolid
Rebecka Biró, Leopoldo Samsó
Photographer Leopold Samsó
How are you feeling? How's your body in relation to your head?
In general, I feel fine. Especially if I do not neglect physical exercise and maintain a healthy diet. The performance artist must have the physical condition of an athlete and the mind of a sage. Only in this way can he face the caverns and stratospheres of the human without succumbing to his own subjectivity. I like to think in terms of paradigms. In this aspect, I think I am a man of another age, although not of a past age but of one to come. This is what I call the Way of the Prince. It is something that separates us more and more from the high percentage of DNA that we still share with apes. In this new scale of human improvement, the head and the body form a homogeneous unity that translates into high esteem and dignity.
What is your main concern and what are your current references?
The concern which is closest to my heart is not to give in to the onslaughts of standardization, which with seductive masks, can drive the creator away from his itinerary. Each of us is a unique and unrepeatable being of divine essence and there should be no valid excuse for compromising this harmony with destiny. We must always keep our spirit alert in a state of permanent revolution. Only in this way can we radiate genuine parameters of social renewal. My most vibrant references are in the depths of my being. Maybe that's why I've always been fascinated by snake lethargy.
What are some of the memories you have in your head today? How do you imagine the future?
I tend to devote myself very little to the pleasant sensation of memories, but perhaps the one I find most pleasant of all is the memory of the emptiness from which we all originate. This seduces me like a supreme elixir.
I love emptiness and silence. Perhaps this is how I imagine the future and a return to this emptiness and silence. I firmly hope that the human being will continue to ascend on his path of perfection and knowledge, once he has overcome the trance of disarray, pain and confusion that humanity is going through.
What happens inside you when you are standing in front of a work of art?
I try to recreate it in my body. To resonate the energetic DNA of its creator. To become a baroque muse, Renaissance angel, prehistoric stone or any other sublimation of the spirit, but resonating in truth is something very common that I share with others and it helps me to unravel the mysteries of existence.
Which of the different artistic disciplines causes the most emotion amongst the audience and which one moves you the most?
The emotion caused by the different artistic disciplines to the public depends on the sounding board that this very public present in front of them. I think it is a difficult question to answer objectively because it will depend on education, social condition, age, the socio-political time, etc. The artist should be at the service of his work and allow his work to become a bridge that transmits truths which surpass him. I am personally more seduced by the arts which do not go through the description so much and which do not hold the spirit too tightly. But I would not distinguish between means of expression but rather concomitantly or not with a universal feeling.
What is dramaturgy?
The art of putting human feelings, passions and emotions in order in an apparent consequentiality that allows us to reflect ourselves in the stories of others.
What does light mean?
Once again, for me it is the bipolar complement of darkness without which I would have no reason to exist.
How did you feel about the theatre the day you suspended the performance?
That particular day, my suspension was actually caused by a deep respect for theatre. Since I could no longer afford to deceive the viewers, I was completely misaligned and incongruent. Perhaps that abandonment was one of the purest and most honest acts I have ever committed.
What feelings do you have about names like Chief Cochise, Crazy Horse or Sitting Bull?
These names give me certain nostalgia for something that human beings have been steadily losing throughout history and I hope that one day we will be able to recover those values, but preferably with ones transcended to levels of cosmic dimension reading.
Are you afraid of death? And of being born again?
I no fear because during all my life I have led my existence in such a way that on the day in which death embraces me, I will receive it with love. As far as I am concerned, being born again is a longing rather than a concern because I consider myself to be a good man. And therefore I believe that my spirit will be housed in a beautiful and elevated physical and circumstantial medium. Speaking of death, however, I want you to pray the following in my epitaph: next time please the same thing.
Why are you excited about the tribute?
The respect and consideration you show me for my journey calms my soul.
What does Valladolid smell like?
I associate Valladolid with nobility and chivalry. It's generally gives me the feeling of a city with an elegant spirit. And I'm not saying this to make myself look good or just to say what people want to hear. That's the way it is.
What things disgust you and how many of your lives would you give for something?
Bold ignorance in particular.
What is that special something?
That special something is my highest aspiration; and it is not to lose my trust and love for the human.
How old would you like to live until and who would you choose to be with you?
I think we should always celebrate our age. For life itself is a melting pot of gifts that shines forth in its entire journey. I would choose the one who is already with me to be at my side.
What's all this about homelessness?
The homeless are dark princes of freedom.
What music and authors appear inside you in the solitude of the mountain?
I think it is the good authors and composers who have led me to appreciate the silence in the solitude of the mountain.
What are you afraid of?
I hope I don't sound arrogant if I tell you that I consider myself a man who is quite oblivious to the feeling of fear. I generally try not to empathize with works or circumstances that encourage it and this is advice I give to all of you.
Who are you, anyway?
You know that better than I do.
Who am I to you?
I'll tell you when I've looked you in the eye.
What's your place after so many places?
I always try to make my place the place where I am and my reality the one I live in at the moment. But we already know that this is not so easy, perhaps that is why there is change, yearning and imbalance, perhaps which is why every morning we have the feeling of continuing to exist in a mutant reality that will find supreme peace and serenity with the omnipotent abandonment of death.
A "telluric event" co-produced by the Festival which had its premiere yesterday. A "lay procession".... Almost 200 people, under the watchful eye of Vidal, walked along the streets shaken by a drumbeat...
The citizen who is turned into both the participant and the very object of the work of art "Silencio Blanco". A silence broken by the beating of a drum and with the slight but resounding pulse of a march that stopped in order to invite one to contemplate the street, the other people and oneself. A silence finally broken by a choral "chant" in the cloister of the museum.
DIARIO DE VALLADOLID. J.T /Valladolid. 27.05.2012
"When you trust the human being, everything flows." Albert Vidal expressed himself this way after the final apotheosis in the form of a cathartic vocal act of collective liberation orchestrated by impressive drumming which put the final touch to "Silencio Blanco". "One person in front of the other, between birth and death, aware of being present in this world," Vidal pointed out to the improvising interpreters.
EL NORTE DE CASTILLA. Virginia T.Fernández.16.03.2012
With forty-five years of theatrical life behind him, Albert Vidal, admired and recognised both in Spain and internationally for his unique contribution to contemporary stage language, returns to Valladolid once again as part of the International Street Theatre and Arts Festival. His current proposal, "El Silencio Blanco", surprising, unheard of, fascinating and popular, is the result of a long gestation period, as shown by his already wide and diversified productions, which are still impressive for their profound coherence. Beyond innovation, breaking with established values and conventions, Albert Vidal rediscovers with "El Silencio Blanco" the revolutionary spirit of the avant-garde. His idea: a call to the people of Valladolid to participate in a very special individual and collective experience, where in a simple and stimulating way the wonderful capacity we all have to become a work of art takes effect.
EL COMEDIANTE. Programa del Festival de Teatro. Valladolid. 27.05.2012